Behavior Health and Wellness Blog

Behavior Health
and Wellness Blog

Tobacco Use and Behavioral Health

An estimated 35% of cigarette smokers have a behavioral health disorder and also account for 38% of all U.S. cigarette consumption. The use of tobacco and mental health are quite intricately linked together, with some evidence showing a strong association between the two. Individuals with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse disorders are more likely to use tobacco than the general population. Some may turn to tobacco use as a way of coping, seeking temporary relief from distressing symptoms, but this often exacerbates mental health issues in the long run. There are higher smoking rates amongst individuals who have major depression disorder (59%), Bipolar disorder (83%), and Schizophrenia and other disorders being at (90%), compared to adults with no mental illness disorder. Individuals with a lifetime history of depression, anxiety or other mental health disorders have a greater dependency on tobacco and smoke more frequently. Roughly half of those deaths among those who were hospitalized for Schizophrenia, Bipolar or depression were linked to causes of cigarette smoking.

There is certainly no doubt that the use of tobacco has major impact on our mental and our physical health. Its use, like other substances, can lead to addiction and other possibly serious and life threatening conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or COPD. Tobacco prevention strategies and education on tobacco risks needs to be promoted for the health of individuals, families, and public health.



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