Monday, October 25, 2010


· 40% - 60% of people with depression smoke
· 61% of people with bi-polar disorder smoke

People who use tobacco, who don’t quit can or will die of smoking related problems, especially those with a serious mental illness who may die 25 years earlier than the “normal” non-smoker.

We hear a lot about smokers who exist in the mental health category, yet not very much about cigarette use amongst adults who work full time or adolescents. The two categories cannot be readily compared yet it can be stated that in the food and restaurant occupation, cigarette use is nearly 50% in that work force, the highest of most occupations where 33 million full time employees from the age of 18 to 64 do smoke, the lowest being 15% for those in the physical, psychological and social science occupations.

There are many studies of cigarette smoking amongst adolescents from the age of 12 to 17 years of age who may be smoking 1 – 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Studies such as these have taken place over a 27 state range throughout the United States. Cigarette smoking cause more than 400,000 deaths every year and most smokers begin in their adolescence. There are many prevention programs throughout the United States, not only from the private sectors of businesses yet also the government and state level as well. Cigarette use has a major role in the health of many citizens in every state in this nation, and to reduce making and changing the attitudes of smoking in people will have achieved progress in maintaining the health of these people.

People who are clients within the Mental Health system, who have a mental illness, are known to smoke more than all other people in other occupations; twice as much. The reasons for such high smoking statistics in schizophrenics and other serious mental illness are social, psychological and physical; and smoking amongst people with mental illness is viewed as not just smoking, yet self medicating as well.
It is hard to tell the difference between nicotine withdrawal and the symptoms of mental illness, when people are being treated for a possible mental illness, in all this treatment for mental health is a bit more difficult.

These are just a few of the unnoticed attitudes about smoking that have been established in the United States and abroad. So while most everyone I have ever met smokes because of nerves, or a friend got them started, the fact remains that smoking tobacco takes its toll, even amongst the mentally ill.

by Donald Sammons

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