Cigarette smoking behaviors among adults with serious mental illness in a nationally representative sample

Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Oct;24(10):776-80. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.07.009. Epub 2014 Jul 30.


Purpose: This study updates nationally representative information on cigarette smoking behaviors among adults with mental illness, particularly serious mental illness (SMI), to serve as a new benchmark for smoking cessation initiatives.

Methods: Data are from the 2008-2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Prevalence estimates for past month daily smoking, heavy smoking, mean cigarettes consumed per day, nicotine dependence, past month quit ratio, and proportion of cigarettes consumed are presented by mental illness status.

Results: Adults with SMI were more likely than adults with any mental illness (AMI) but not SMI and adults without mental illness to engage in smoking behaviors. Adults with AMI but not SMI were more likely to engage in all smoking behaviors compared with adults without mental illness. The past month quit ratio was significantly lower among adults with SMI and among adults with AMI but not SMI than among adults without mental illness. Adults with SMI comprised 6.9% of past month smokers but consumed 8.7% of all cigarettes.

Conclusions: Adults with mental illness engage in more smoking behaviors and are less likely to quit than adults without mental illness. In this high-risk population, continued efforts to promote smoking cessation are needed.

Keywords: Mental disorders; Mental health; Mentally ill persons; Smoking; Tobacco use disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mentally Ill Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult