The use of tobacco products is the leading cause of premature death for people with mental illness or addiction and contributes to persons with mental illness dying an average of 25 years earlier than the general population. Tobacco is responsible for greater morbidity than alcohol and all other drugs combined and is more deadly to substance abuse patients than their primary presenting substance of abuse. The towering morbidity and mortality rates in this population are also propelled by chronic diseases associated with tobacco use. These include diabetes, COPD and asthma, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
The Department of Mental Health believes that overall health is essential to mental health and that recovery includes wellness. Reducing or preventing tobacco use among consumers of DMH services is critical to both mental and physical health and wellbeing. Tobacco cessation should be an active goal of every mental health provider.
Below are resources that providers may find useful as they pursue tobacco dependence treatment for both consumers and staff.
Toolkits and Clinical Guides - This web page contains resources for clinicians that will aid in conducting tobacco dependence treatment for persons with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder.
Tobacco Cessation Curricula (Free or at Little Cost) - Curricula for conducting group tobacco cessation courses can be located here.
Obtaining Tobacco Cessation Products in Missouri - A summary of policies governing tobacco cessation products (e.g., NRTs) available through MO HealthNet (Medicaid), Department of Mental Health (DMH), Medicare, and the Missouri Quitline.
Model for Organizational Change - A great model for any agency seeking to improve tobacco dependence treatment and change the organizational culture to support tobacco dependence treatment.
Journal Articles - Important articles from scientific journals on tobacco cessation treatment for persons with mental illness and/or substance use disorder.
Reports on Tobacco Use in Missouri - Basic descriptions of the demographics and patterns of tobacco use in Missouri.
The Missouri Plan - This is DMH’s own plan for reducing tobacco dependence in consumers of DMH services.