Those Living With Mental Illness
Nationally, one in four adults − approximately 61.5 million people − experiences mental illness in a given year. Even though people living with mental illness account for 25 percent of the population, they consume 40 percent of cigarettes sold in the United States.
In Nebraska, the cigarette-use rate of the mental health population is more than 20 percentage points higher than the average of the state while patients who receive substance abuse services are approximately 40 percentage points higher.
Evidence exists that tobacco companies targeted those living with mental illness, and homeless populations, as recently as the 1990s. Tobacco use among these marginalized populations is not decreasing, as it is with the general population.
According to data from the 2012-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), one third of adults with any mental illness were current (past month) smokers, compared to one fifth of adults without any mental illness.
Smoking accounts for more than 480,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, and it is estimated that more than 40 percent (around 200,000) of these deaths are among persons with mental illness or substance abuse.
In Nebraska, behavioral health patients use cigarettes at a much higher rate than the total population throughout the state. The cigarette-use rate of the mental health population is more than 20 percent higher than the average of the state, while patients who receive substance abuse services are approximately 40 percent higher.