SAMSHA Reports: Cigarette Smoking Linked To Mental Illness And/Or Substance Use Disorder

Quitting cigarette smoking is difficult…

Have you ever smoked cigarettes? If your answer to this question is “yes”, then you know how hard it is to quit. First of all, cigarette smoking is very addictive. Secondly, cigarette smoking is still legal in our country and cigarettes are available in almost every convenience store, gas station, and grocery store and, in the scheme of things, cigarettes are inexpensive. There was a time when television shows depicted the stars smoking…think back to old standards like “I Love Lucy” or “The Andy Griffith Show”, and even more recent television series like “Sex And The City” where Carrie struggled to quit repeatedly. Perhaps, although you have never smoked you may have watched one or both of your parents try to quit. Maybe you even tried to coax your parent to quit smoking or you have had friends attempt quitting by using nicotine gum or patches. Additionally, President Obama admits to the difficulty he has experienced with trying to quit smoking and House Speaker John Boehner is reportedly a heavy smoker.

Cottonwood Tucson’s staff works with our clients by offering nicotine cessation groups educate the participants on the physical, emotional, social, and psychological implications of nicotine use. Participants are also helped to examine their own addictive process regarding their use of tobacco, including triggers to the impulse to use. Our medical doctors and therapists help participants also develop a plan to stop smoking.

SAMSHA published a new report linking cigarette smoking and mental illness

This week the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) published the results of a National Survey on Drug Use and Health titled: Adults with Mental Illness or Substance Use Disorder Account for 40 Percent of All Cigarettes Smoked.  Consider the following statistics:

  • On an average day, adults aged 18 or older smoked 588 million cigarettes.
  • Adults with any mental illness (AMI) or substance use disorder (SUD) represent 28.8 percent of adults.
  • However, those with AMI or SUD used 39.6 percent of all cigarettes smoked by adults.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a VitalSigns report

In February 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new VitalSigns report on Adult Smoking: Focusing on People with Mental Illness. Here are some highlights from this report:

  • Nicotine has mood-altering effects that put people with mental illness at higher risk for cigarette use and nicotine addiction.
  • People with mental illness are more likely to have stressful living conditions, be low income, and lack access to health insurance, health care, and help quitting. All of these factors make it more challenging to quit.
  • Evidence shows that there has been direct tobacco marketing to people with mental illness and other vulnerable groups of people.

You can read more about the CDC’s report here, including some success stories.

Here’s a short video from CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here. Remember, quitting smoking is possible and there are a lot of cessation programs available in most towns, cities, and states, including those offered by the American Cancer Society.

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