Smoking and mental health

Smoking and mental healthPeople with mental illness are more likely to smoke heavily than the general population. This briefing published by the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network provides the background to smoking prevalence and the consequences for people with mental illness.

Tobacco smoking is the main cause of preventable and premature deaths in the UK. People with mental illness are more likely to smoke heavily than the general population. Those with severe mental illness live 16 to 25 years less than the general population, have a reduced life expectancy, and are at significantly greater risk of smoking-related illnesses.

The briefing examines the evidence of what works to reduce harm from smoking for this group, and how providers are implementing the smoking ban in practice. It asserts that reducing smoking among mental health service users can make an important contribution to improving public health and can improve the longer-term health and wellbeing of people living with mental health problems.