People living with a mental illness are two-to-four times more likely to smoke than the general population. The rate of smoking tends to increase with the severity of mental illness and varies by diagnosis. High smoking rates and lack of access to best practice treatment contributes to widening inequities.
An organisation-wide approach is needed to embed the Ask, Advise, Help (AAH) smoking cessation brief advice model into routine practice. The AAH model outlines how to deliver best practice smoking cessation care and can apply to all health, social service and community settings.
In Australia, smoking rates for people with mental health conditions range from 25 to 50% depending on their diagnosis. One of the reasons that rates continue to remain high is that there are many myths that persist about the links between smoking and mental health. It’s important to know the facts about smoking, mental health and how to quit, so that you or your patients will have the best chance of quitting for good.
There are a number of benefits for people with mental health conditions once they have quit.
Embedding smoking cessation supports into everyday care for mental health services takes a whole of organisation/service approach.
Below are tools and resources related to mental health and smoking. There is also a range of more general resources which can be ordered or downloaded to support health professionals and clients on this site.
Offering evidence-based support and treatment to your patients with mental health conditions will give them the best chance to quit smoking. Most smokers with a mental health condition want to quit, and with the right supports, can quit successfully.