Adults with mental illness were significantly more likely to smoke, compared with adults without any mental illness.
“Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Despite further evidence provided in the 2010 Surgeon General’s Report that cigarette smoking causes disease and that no level of cigarette use is safe, rates of cigarette use among certain groups of Americans remain high,” Rachel Lipari, PhD, and Struther Van Horn, MA, of SAMHSA, wrote. “Cigarette use among people with mental illness has garnered attention and concern over the past decade.”
To update the relationship between smoking and mental illness, researchers analyzed data from the 2012 to 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.
Adults with mental illness were more likely to report past-month cigarette use, compared with those without mental illness (33.3% vs. 20.7%).
Among adults with mental illness who had ever smoked daily in their lifetime, 61.6% smoked in the past 30 days, compared with 47.2% of adults without mental illness who had ever smoked daily in their lifetime.
Smokers with mental illness smoked an average of 326 cigarettes in the past month, compared with 284 among smokers without mental illness.
“Although smoking has decreased, certain groups, such as people with mental illness, have higher rates of smoking than the general population,” the researchers wrote. “The association between current cigarette use among lifetime daily smokers and mental illness was found regardless of age groups and gender. Policymakers, mental health practitioners, and public health service providers can use this information to better understand and address the needs of people with mental illness to make progress in lowering the rates of smoking among them.” – by Amanda Oldt
Lipari R, Van Horn S. CBHSQ report: Smoking and mental illness among adults in the United States. Available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data. Accessed April 20, 2017.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.