People living with mental illness have a high rate of smoking. In America, 44.3% of all cigarettes are consumed by individuals who live with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders. People with schizophrenia are three to four times as likely to smoke as the general population.

It’s estimated that, every year, smoking kills about 200,000 people who live with mental illness. Also, smoking increases the breakdown of medicines in the body, so smokers often need to take higher doses to get the same results as someone who does not smoke. If a smoker quits, they can usually get the same treatment results from lower doses of psychiatric medications.

This Thursday marks over 40 years of the Great American Smokeout. Held on the third Thursday of November every year, the Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke -free lives – not just for a day, but year round.

Here is a link to NAMI’s Ask the Expert series feature on “Good News for People With Mental Illness As the Great American Smokeout Nears”

Additionally, the NAMI NC Helpline is available to provide you smoking cessation resources and warm support. Email, call 800.451.9682 or text 919.999.6527.