Smokers urged to quit for Great American Smokeout

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Mental Health is citing a study by The Journal of the American Medical Association that reports more that 44 percent of all cigarettes in America are consumed by individuals who live with mental illnesses, as part of its urge to kick the habit, even if just for a day.

The study goes on to say that people living with mental illnesses are about twice as likely to smoke as other people.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there is no single reason why so many people with mental illnesses smoke, but a combination of psychological effects and their social world may be contributing factors. Because smoking kills about 200,000 people with mental illnesses each year, the Alabama Department of Mental Health is encouraging Alabamians with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders to take advantage of the Great American Smokeout observance to kick the habit.

Thursday is the 36th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the observance encourages smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. According to the ACS, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Dept. of Mental Health

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