Myths about Smoking and Mental Illness

  • Tobacco is necessary self-medication (industry has supported this myth)
  • People with mental illness are not interested in quitting (same % wish to quit as general population)
  • People with mental illness can’t quit (quit rates same or slightly lower than general population)
  • Quitting worsens recovery from the mental illness (not so; and quitting increases sobriety for alcoholics)
  • It is a low priority problem (smoking is the biggest killer for those with mental illness or substance abuse issues)

Prochaska, J.J. (2011). Smoking and Mental Illness - Breaking the Link. New England Journal of Medicine, 365, 196-198.