Helping the Mentally Ill Quit

Smokers with mental illness consume 40% of all cigarettes and smoke at rates 2-to-3 times the US average, despite being just 20% of the population. Myths abound about mental illness and smoking: that it alleviates psychiatric symptoms or that the mentally ill can’t quit even if they wanted to. But research shows that when smokers quit, symptoms improve.
Most US smokers, including those with mental illness, reside in populous California. The state can make a dent in reducing smoking rates among the mentally ill by increasing behavioral health services, identifying smokers in mental health settings, and boosting cessation counseling, one California doctor argues.
San Francisco Chronicle

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