In the U.S., smoking is one of the reasons people with chronic mental illness die up to 25 years earlier than the general population. Research indicates that adults in the U.S. living with mental illness have a smoking rate higher than adults without mental illness. In fact, tobacco use by people under treatment for mental disorders or substance abuse accounts for about 200,000 of the nation’s 480,000 tobacco-related deaths each year. Moreover, research has found that smokers with mental illness are as interested in quitting as the general population, but some mental health providers and institutions may not make smoking cessation a priority.
Treating tobacco dependence is challenging for all smokers. But it is possible for smokers with mental illness to quit. Significant evidence shows that smoking cessation strategies work for those living with mental illness. Quitting smoking can have important health benefits for all smokers. If you want to quit smoking, talk to your healthcare provider to discuss a smoking cessation plan.
Here’s more information to increase awareness about the issue.
- An estimated 37.8 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.
- While the prevalence of cigarette smoking has declined worldwide, there has been less progress in reducing smoking among those living with mental illness.
- Adults in the U.S. living with mental illness have a 65% higher smoking rate than adults without mental illness.
- Nearly 1 in 4 adults has some type of mental illness, yet they smoke almost 40% of all cigarettes.
- Studies have shown that smokers with mental illness are just as interested in quitting as the general population, but don’t often receive help.
- Most of the causes of early deaths come from smoking-related conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung cancer.
- Among people in the U.S. hospitalized with a psychiatric diagnosis, tobacco related conditions were the cause of deaths in: 53% of people with schizophrenia, 50% of people with depression, 48% of people with bipolar disorder.