Adults with Substance Use Disorder or Mental Illness Smoke 40% of Cigarettes

Adults with a substance use disorder or mental illness smoke almost 40 percent of cigarettes in the United States, a new government study finds. These adults represent about 25 percent of the U.S. population, according to HealthDay.

The smoking rate among adults with a substance use disorder or mental illness is about 38 percent, compared with about 20 percent for adults without these conditions. The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found adults with a substance use disorder, who do not have a mental illness, represent 5 percent of the population, but smoke almost 9 percent of cigarettes. Adults with both a substance use disorder and a mental illness represent about 4 percent of the population, but smoke 9.5 percent of cigarettes.

“It has long been a public health priority to develop effective smoking prevention and cessation programs,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a 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. We need to continue to strengthen efforts to figure out what works to reduce and prevent smoking for people with mental health conditions.”

In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report that found the rate of smoking for adults with some form of mental illness is 70 percent higher, compared with those without a mental health issue. The study found among adults with a mental illness, 36 percent smoke cigarettes, compared with 21 percent of adults without a mental illness.

Smoking rates are particularly high among younger adults with mental illness, and those living in poverty or with lower levels of education, the CDC report found. Smokers with mental illness are less likely to quit smoking, the report found.

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