CDC: Address Smoking among Mentally Ill Adults

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FROM A TELEBRIEFING SPONSORED BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

The rate of cigarette smoking among mentally ill adults is 70% higher than among adults without a mental illness and is particularly high in certain groups, including young adults, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The estimates are based on data from SAMHSA's 2009-2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which calculated the rates of cigarette smoking among people aged 18 years and older in the United States who reported having "any mental illness," defined as "a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, excluding developmental and substance use disorders" in the past year.

During this period, 36.1% of adults with a mental illness were current smokers, compared with 21.4% of adults with no mental illness. Those with a mental illness who smoked were heavier smokers, smoking an average of 331 cigarettes a month, compared with 310 a month among adult smokers who do not have a mental illness.

Wide variations were found in the proportion of people with a mental illness who smoked across states, ranging from a low of 18.2% in Utah to almost 50% in West Virginia. In addition to younger adults, the gap in smoking rates was particularly stark among certain populations, including American Indians and Alaska natives (54. …