People living in Kansas who are diagnosed with mental illnesses are twice as likely to smoke tobacco as the rest of the population, according to a report from RTI International and the Kansas Health Foundation. The researchers found 37.8 percent of Kansas adults with mental illness smoke, compared to 17.3 percent of adults without mental illness, and nearly one-half of those diagnosed with mental disorders reported smoking in the last 30 days. The more serious or chronic the disorders, stated the report, the higher the smoking rates. The numbers correspond to other studies cited by the authors.
“The smoking rate among adults with mental illness remains high despite progress made in tobacco control and the decrease of smoking among the general population,” said Betty Brown, lead author of the study, in an RTI press release. “As a result, people with mental illness are at an increased risk of negative health, financial, and social outcomes associated with their tobacco use.”
Although the authors apparently gathered data about which people were currently taking psychiatric medications and which were not, the report included no information or discussion about whether the smoking rates were different or the same in the two groups.
Study: Kansas adults with mental illness twice as likely to use tobacco (RTI International Press Release, July 8, 2014)
Tobacco Use Among Kansans with Mental Illness (RTI International, July 2014)