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Mental Health and Lung Health Advocates Unite to Address Smoking Epidemic among Those with Mental Illness

A quit-smoking community, Quitter's Circle® expands to provide smoking cessation resources for people with mental illness

Mental Health America (MHA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are joining forces with Quitter’s Circle®, an online quit-smoking community from the American Lung Association and Pfizer, to help overcome the unique barriers associated with smoking cessation in the mental health community. Smokers with mental health conditions face greater nicotine dependence, more withdrawal symptoms, and lower quit rates than other smokers. Yet, there is limited information about quitting smoking within the mental health community.

Quitter’s Circle® is a helpful resource for individuals with mental illness, as it provides additional support needed and focuses on the benefits of quitting smoking. To help address the gaps observed in this community, the organizations have issued a consensus statement drawing attention to the need for integrated healthcare for those with mental illness.

“While progress has been made in decreasing smoking rates in the general population, smoking in the mental health community has remained steady,” said Ken Duckworth, M.D., National Alliance on Mental Illness. “For those with a mental illness, quitting smoking needs to have an integrated approach that takes into account an individual’s  mental and physical wellbeing.”

Research shows that people with mental illness can quit smoking with the help of customized quit-smoking support, including behavioral counseling and monitoring.

“Since its launch, Quitter’s Circle® has made a significant impact on the lives of people who have been struggling to quit smoking,” said S. Christy Sadreameli, M.D., MHS, American Lung Association volunteer medical spokesperson. “Our new partners brought the expertise we needed to expand the resources of this program to a particularly vulnerable, at-risk population, providing them with support specially tailored to meet their needs.”

For information and tips to help on the journey to quitting smoking, visit QuittersCircle.com.

Quitter’s Circle® is a registered trademark of Pfizer.

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
312-801-7628
[email protected]

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