Mission Statement

The mission of re:TH!NK, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network, is to improve the health of our residents by reducing tobacco use and exposure through prevention strategies which include community outreach and involvement to move policy forward collaboratively, across our multi-jurisdictional area.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Smoking and Mental Illness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) release a report this month highlighting the connection between smoking and mental illness. The report explains that those with mental illness have an especially high smoking rate. 

1 in 3 adults with a mental illness smoke, compared with 1 in 5 adults without a mental illness. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) about 45.6 million people have a mental illness, meaning over 16 million adults with mental illness smoke. People with mental illness generally use smoking as a way of coping with the anxiety and stress of their mental illness and according to smoke experts, smoking has been accepted as part of the mental health scene for decades.

Many people with mental illness are at greater risk of dying earlier from smoking than dying from their mental health condition, Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, told reporters during a teleconference after the CDC released its report Tuesday. "This is a big mental health disparity and a vulnerable population, and we need to do more for smokers with mental illness," Frieden said. 

For more information about smoking and mental illness visit the CDC's Vital Signs at-

Check out the Wisconsin program that helps those with mental health or substance abuse issues quit smoking (www.HelpUsQuit.org), including a video featuring patients talking about the issue. The program's formal name is the Wisconsin Nicotine Treatment Integration Project.

For quitting assistance, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or visit www.smokefree.gov.
Also, visit www.BeTobaccoFree.gov for information on quitting and preventing children from using tobacco.

A GREAT article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -