Smoking affects lifespan of people with mental health problems

14th April 2016

Smoking is the biggest contributing factor to the shorter lifespan of people with mental health problems, according to a report from Action on Smoking and Health.

The report said that those who have psychological problems and who smoke tend to have a lifespan that is ten to twenty years less than someone who smokes but doesn't have mental health issues.

Around a third of adult smokers are people who have a mental health condition and among this same group, smoking levels are double the rest of the general population.

Despite the fact that most people in this group are keen to quit smoking, they are not offered adequate levels of support and so continue as they are.

The report sets out some recommendations for how the rate of smokers with mental illness can be reduced. These include better access to the medications that are recognised to help people quit, and moving to smokefree mental health settings.

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's cancer prevention champion, said: "Any person with an illness should be given the best possible care, and be treated as an individual. People with mental health conditions who smoke, and are dependent on nicotine, are no different."

Posted by Edward Bartel


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