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Mentally ill adults tend to smoke more, CDC finds

By Deana DeLisio,

Federal studies show that smoking rates and intensities are significantly higher amongst the mentally ill compared to adults with no history of mental illness.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 36 percent of mentally ill adults smoke, compared to 21 percent of other adults. In addition to this, mentally ill adults are known to even smoke more heavily. The study showed that mentally ill adults smoke approximately 331 cigarettes per month, while the average American adult smokes 310, as stated in Reuters.

The study consisted of interviewing 138,000 adults at their homes. It defined a smoker as someone who has had a whole or a part of a cigarette within the past 30 days, and it described someone being mentally ill as having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder in the past 12 months.

As mentioned in MedPageToday, the study excluded individuals in institutions, those who have substance abuse disorders and members of the United States military.

“About a thousand Americans are killed every day by tobacco,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC. He continued to mention how smoking is more dangerous to the mentally ill than their mental illness.

 

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