Objectives: We estimated smoking prevalence, frequency, intensity, and cessation attempts among US adults with selected diagnosed lifetime mental illnesses.
Methods: We used data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey on 23 393 noninstitutionalized US adults to obtain age-adjusted estimates of smoking prevalence, frequency, intensity, and cessation attempts for adults screened as having serious psychological distress and persons self-reporting bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity, dementia, or phobias or fears.
Results: The age-adjusted smoking prevalence of adults with mental illness or serious psychological distress ranged from 34.3% (phobias or fears) to 59.1% (schizophrenia) compared with 18.3% of adults with no such illness. Smoking prevalence increased with the number of comorbid mental illnesses. Cessation attempts among persons with diagnosed mental illness or serious psychological distress were comparable to attempts among adults without mental illnesses or distress; however, lower quit ratios were observed among adults with these diagnoses, indicating lower success in quitting.
Conclusions: The prevalence of current smoking was higher among persons with mental illnesses than among adults without mental illnesses. Our findings stress the need for prevention and cessation efforts targeting adults with mental illnesses.