Smoking's toll on mentally ill analyzed

April 17, 2014 by Bill Hathaway
Smoking’s toll on mentally ill analyzed

Those in the United States with a mental illness diagnosis are much more likely to smoke cigarettes and smoke more heavily, and are less likely to quit smoking than those without mental illness, regardless of their specific diagnosis, a new study by researchers from the Yale School of Medicine shows.

They also found variations in and of quitting among different diagnoses of . The results are reported in the April issue of the journal Tobacco Control.

Thirty-nine percent of adults with a psychiatric diagnosis smoked compared to 16% without a diagnosis, according to data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions analyzed by researchers. Two out of every three people with drug use disorder smoke, compared to one out of three with social phobia.

"We know that smokers with mental illness are more susceptible to smoking-related disease, and those with mental illness die 25 years earlier than adults without mental illness," said Sherry McKee, associate professor of psychiatry, and senior author on the study. "Effective smoking cessation treatments are available and we know that smokers with mental illness can . We need to address why smokers with mental illness are not being treated for their smoking."

Over the three-year study period, 22% of smokers with no were able to quit smoking, whereas rates of quitting among those with psychiatric disorders were 25% lower. Rates of quitting were lowest among those with dysthymia (10%), agoraphobia (13%), and social phobia (13%). "We also found that individuals with multiple diagnoses had the lowest quit rates," added Philip Smith, lead author on the study.

This study adds to evidence that smokers with mental illness consume nearly half of all in the United States, despite making up a substantially smaller proportion of the population.

Researchers and policymakers are increasingly calling attention to this important public health issue, and this study helps point to a need for interventions and policy that directly help individuals with mental illness quit smoking.

Explore further: Adults with mental illness have lower rate of decline in smoking

Related Stories

Adults with mental illness have lower rate of decline in smoking

January 7, 2014
In recent years, the decline in smoking among individuals with mental illness was significantly less than among those without mental illness, although the rates of quitting smoking were greater among those receiving mental ...

Smoking rates much higher among the mentally ill

February 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—The smoking rate for American adults with mental illness is 70 percent higher than for those without such problems, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday.

People with mental illness make up large share of US smokers

March 20, 2013
(HealthDay)—Adults with a mental illness or a substance-abuse disorder represent about 25 percent of the U.S. population but account for nearly 40 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the country, according to a new study.

Smoking cessation may improve mental health

February 11, 2014
Health professionals who treat people with psychiatric problems often overlook their patients' smoking habits, assuming it's best to tackle depression, anxiety or substance abuse problems first. However, new research at Washington ...

Missed opportunities to help smokers with mental illness

March 27, 2013
Although smoking prevalence has declined in the United Kingdom over recent decades, it has changed little among people with mental health disorders, remaining substantially higher than the national average. Yet a study published ...

Stopping smoking linked to improved mental health

February 13, 2014
The researchers say the effect sizes are equal or larger than those of antidepressant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.

Recommended for you

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.