In the Spotlight

Behavioral Health and TobaccoMyth: Persons with mental illness and substance use disorders can’t quit smoking. Truth: They can successfully quit at rates similar to the general population. Myth: Persons with mental illness and substance use disorders don’t want to quit. Truth: The majority of them want to quit smoking and want information on cessation services and resources. Myth: Patients and care providers have more important things to worry about than smoking. Truth: Like clinical outcomes? The CDC states that smoking is associated with greater depressive symptoms, greater likelihood of psychiatric hospitalization, and increased suicidal behavior. Myth: Smoking calms patients down. Without smoking, facilities would be complete mayhem. Truth: Facilities that do not allow smoking report fewer incidents of seclusion and restraint and a reduction in coercion and threats among patients and staff. Myth: Smoking cessation exacerbates poor mental health. Truth: The positive impact of smoking cessation on anxiety and depression appears to be at least as significant as that of antidepressants.