Each year, 660,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer related to tobacco use, and 343,000 people die from such cancers, according to CDC.

Most Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities Aren't Smoke-Free

People with mental and/or substance use disorders are more than twice as likely to smoke cigarettes as people without such conditions and are more likely to die from a smoking-related illness than from a behavioral health condition, CDC noted, yet many people aren't screened for tobacco use in behavioral health facilities.

Just 49 percent of mental health treatment facilities and only 35 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico reported having smoke-free campuses, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

People with mental and/or substance use disorders are more than twice as likely to smoke cigarettes as people without such conditions and are more likely to die from a smoking-related illness than from a behavioral health condition, CDC noted, yet many people aren't screened for tobacco use in behavioral health facilities. Their study found that in 2016, 49 percent of mental health treatment facilities and 64 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities reported screening patients for tobacco use.

"Too many smokers lack access to proven interventions that could ultimately help them quit smoking," said Corinne Graffunder, Dr.P.H., director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "Many people with mental health and substance abuse disorders want to stop smoking and are able to quit, and can do it with help."

The report is based on data from the 2016 National Mental Health Services Survey and the 2016 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services. It appears in the May 10 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

It said the percentage of mental health treatment facilities with smoke-free-campus policies ranged from 19.9 percent in Idaho to 77.7 percent in Oklahoma. The percentage of substance abuse treatment facilities with smoke-free policies ranged from 10 percent in Idaho to 83 percent in New York. Similarly, the percentage of mental health treatment facilities offering tobacco cessation counseling ranged from 20.5 percent in Idaho to 68.2 percent in Oklahoma. In substance abuse treatment facilities the percentage ranged from 26.9 percent in Kentucky to 85 percent in New York.

"Helping people with behavioral health conditions quit smoking is a win-win," said Doug Tipperman, SAMHSA's Tobacco Policy Liaison. "Quitting smoking reduces the risk of smoking-related diseases and could also improve mental health and addiction recovery outcomes."

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