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Smoking Rates Higher Among Adults with Mental Illness

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nationally nearly 1 in 5 adults (or 45.7 million adults) have some form of mental illness, and 36% of these people smoke cigarettes. In comparison, 21% of adults without mental illness smoke cigarettes. (Mental illness is defined here as diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and does not include substance abuse.)

There are other troubling statistics from the February 2013 CDC Vital Signs report:

  • 31% of all cigarettes are smoked by adults with mental illness.
  • 40% of men and 34% of women with mental illness smoke.
  • 48% of people with mental illness who live below the poverty level smoke, compared with 33% of those with mental illness who live above the poverty level.

You can read more about smoking prevalence among people with mental illness in the Vital Signs Report or you can visit the CDC's webpage.