tobacco

The Link Between Tobacco Use and Substance Use/Mental Health Disorders

by Brenda Stubbs

I think most people – health providers and patients alike – understand the dangers and overall health risks of tobacco use, even those who currently smoke or use tobacco.

Add substance use or mental health disorders into the mix, and the risk goes up even more, as smoking rates are even higher in these vulnerable populations. Look at the statistics: 90% of women who use opioids, along with 77-93% of patients in treatment for substance use or addiction, and 60-88% of people with mental health disorders – ranging from depression to bipolar to schizophrenia – ALSO SMOKE.

For many people in these populations, smoking may SEEM like the least of their problems – but it is certainly the one problem that may be killing them at higher rates.

Tobacco Talk: A Provider Must

By Steffie Duginske, Western Regional Coordinator

As a health educator, I am interested in my health and the health of others.  However, I am also a former cigarette smoker and understand tobacco addiction all too well.  Like so many others, I started young - 14 years old - for the typical reasons.  I wanted to fit in with a friend.  I was definitely addicted well before high school graduation.  Sadly, it took me 10 years to finally kick the habit.  On a positive note, I’m one of the lucky ones who quit for good.  Of the nearly 69% of adult smokers in 2010 who wanted to quit, more than 50% tried but only 6.2% succeeded.1

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