About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Mentally Ill Australians Smoke Four Times the General Population

by Gopalan on October 7, 2008 at 8:10 PM
Font : A-A+

 Mentally Ill Australians Smoke Four Times the General Population

Mentally ill Australians smoke four times the general population, says a University of Melbourne study.

The study, published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, says despite smoking halving among Australia's general population over the past 20 years there has been little change in smoking rates among people with psychiatric disabilities.

Advertisement

Study author Kristen Moeller-Saxone from the University of Melbourne's Melbourne School of Population Health, says smoking rates remain high even though three quarters of those involved in the study said they wanted to quit or cut down on cigarettes.

Ms Moeller-Saxone's study surveyed 280 clients of a psychiatric support service - most of whom had schizophrenia - in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

It found that found that more than six in 10 (or 62 per cent) of those surveyed smoked, compared to fewer than two in 10 (16 per cent) members of the general population.
Advertisement

It also found that:

Smokers with mental illness consumed 50 per cent more cigarettes a day than the general population, averaging 22 cigarettes a day;

The heaviest smokers in the group smoked up to 80 cigarettes in a day;

Almost three in five (59 per cent) said they wanted to quit smoking;

Almost three quarters (74 per cent) said they wanted to cut down;

One in 10 (12 per cent) had successfully given up smoking; and

Smokers with mental illness were almost three times more likely to consume illegal tobacco.

Ms Moeller-Saxone said the study showed the need for specialist services to help people with mental illness stop smoking.

She said previous research by SANE Australia and ACCESS economics showed smoking among people with mental illness cost Australia more than $30 billion a year.

"Smoking compounds many of the health problems already experienced by people with mental illnesses,'' she said. "Combined with drug therapies that often make them overweight, they are at even greater risk of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes if they smoke.

"The biggest cause of death among people with mental illness is not suicide, it is cardiovascular disease."

Ms Moeller-Saxone said smoking also placed a big financial imposition on many people with mental illness, some of whom spent more than 20 per cent of their income on cigarettes.

However, governments had provided very little support for quit programs among the mentally ill.

"This is typified by the current Victorian Tobacco Control Strategy which doesn't specifically recognise the mentally ill as a group to be specifically targeted,'' she said.

"We really need to focus on people with mental illness as a specialist sub-group which needs tailored support rather than just including them with other socially disadvantaged groups."

Ms Moeller-Saxone said her study also showed that helping people with mental illness to cut down, rather than quit straight away, may also be a good strategy for reducing smoking rates.



Source: Eurekalert
GPL
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Smoking And Cancer Smoking And Tobacco Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Cigarette Smoking - A Silent Killer Antioxidants to Help You When You Quit Smoking 

Recommended Reading
Health Hazards of Smoking - Stroke and Laryngeal Polyps
Smoking causes deposition of fatty deposits in the blood vessels which is called atherosclerosis. .....
Smoking Risk Calculator
Do you smoke cigarettes daily? Use medindia smoking risk calculator and calculate your reduced Life ...
Antioxidants to Help You When You Quit Smoking
Smoking is injurious to health, but it sure is a tough addiction to stop. Cure yourself with the pow...
Cigarette Smoking - A Silent Killer
Smoking kills the smoker silently, pushing him towards serious illnesses, which slowly lead to ......
Smoking And Cancer
Smoking is the most important preventable cause of cancer in the world....
Smoking And Tobacco
Encyclopedia section of medindia briefs you about the History of Tobacco...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use