A Closer Look at Smoking and Mental Illness

Published on Nov 14, 2018
Authored by Pfizer Medical Team

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.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

 

References

  • 1. Hall. NIH. Hall SM, Prochaska JJ. Treatment of Smokers with Co-Occurring Disorders: Emphasis on Integration in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Settings. Accessed October 23, 2018.
  • 2. Prochaska JJ, Gill P, Hall SM. Impact of nicotine withdrawal on an adult inpatient psychiatry unit. Presented at 10th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Scottsdale, AZ. Study abstract 2004.
  • 3. HHS. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: A Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Washington, DC: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, November 2010.
  • 4. Mental Health. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Tobacco And Smoking. Accessed October 11, 2018.
  • 5. CDC Features. Smoking Among Adults With Mental Illness. Accessed October 23, 2018.
  • 6. Bowden JA, Miller CL, Hiller JE. Smoking and mental illness: a population study in South Australia. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2011;45(4):325-331. Accessed October 11, 2018.
  • 7. Thorndike AN, Stafford RS, Rigotti NA. US physicians’ treatment of smoking in outpatients with psychiatric diagnoses. Nicotine Tob Res. 2001;3(1):85-91.
  • 8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Smoking Cessation for Persons with Mental Illness. Accessed October 26, 2018.
  • 9. Cook BL, Wayne GF, Kafali EN et al. Trends in Smoking Among Adults With Mental Illness and Association Between Mental Health Treatment and Smoking Cessation. JAMA. 2014;311(2):172-182.
  • 10. Schroeder SA. Smoking cessation should be an integral part of serious mental illness treatment. World Psychiatry. 2016;15(2):175-176.
  • 11. Callaghan RC, Veldhuizen S, Jeysingh T. et al. Patterns of tobacco-related mortality among individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. J Psychiatr Res. 2014;48(1):102-110.
  • 12. Quitting. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental Health Care Professionals: Help Your Patients Quit Smoking. Accessed October 11, 2018.
  • 13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quitting Smoking. Accessed October 26, 2018.
  • 14. SAMHSA. SAMHSA 2014. Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Detailed Tables. Table 1.10B comparing cigarette usage in the past month for "Any Mental Illness (2014)" with "No Mental Illness (2014)”. Accessed October 23, 2018.
  • 15. Smoking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States. Updated September 24, 2018. Accessed October 23, 2018.
  • 16. Ng. MA et al. Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 Countries. 1980-2012. JAMA. 2014; 311(2):183-192.
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