-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- 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.
The researchers also said that the smoking rate among adults
aged 18 and older with a mental illness or substance-abuse disorder
is about 38 percent, compared with just under 20 percent for those
without these conditions.
This means that the current rate of smoking among adults with a
mental illness or a substance-abuse disorder is 94 percent higher
than among adults without the disorders, according to the U.S.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Adults with substance-abuse disorders but not mental illness
represent about 5 percent of the population, but smoke nearly 9
percent of all cigarettes. Those with both a mental illness and a
substance-use disorder represent roughly 4 percent of the
population, but smoke 9.5 percent of all cigarettes.
"It has long been a public-health priority to develop effective smoking prevention and cessation programs," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in a government news release.
"This report highlights a clear disparity. It shows that people dealing with mental illness or substance-abuse issues smoke more and are less likely to quit," she said. "We need to continue to strengthen efforts to figure out what works to reduce and prevent smoking for people with mental-health conditions."
The report findings are based on data from SAMHSA's 2009 to 2011
National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
SAMHSA and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center have launched
the 100 Pioneers for Smoking Cessation Program, which provides
support for mental-health and substance-abuse treatment groups and
facilities to help patients quit smoking.
The American Cancer Society offers a
guide to quitting smoking.
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