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Resources to Help Patients Quit Smoking


Tobacco use is still the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, and people with mental illness are more likely to smoke.

Did you know that:

  • More than one in three adults with a mental illness smoke cigarettes, compared with about one in five adults without mental illness.
  • At least three out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.

As a health care professional, you can help your patients quit smoking. Advice from their health care provider significantly increases the chances that a smoker will try to quit and will be successful.

Click graphic to enlarge

APA is joining in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Tobacco Education Campaign to encourage people to quit smoking. The campaign, “Tips from Former Smokers,” incorporates profiles of real people living with serious long-term effects from smoking, such as heart attacks, stomas, lung removal and asthma. This year CDC is particularly focusing on reaching people with mental health conditions. One of the people featured in CDC’s PSAs this year is a woman named Rebecca who smoked as a way to cope with depression.

As part of its campaign, CDC has developed resources specifically for mental health professionals to help patients quit smoking. You can find printable posters for your waiting room, handouts for patients, FAQs about tobacco quitlines and a pocket card with a brief tobacco intervention. The brief tobacco intervention card has suggestions for asking about tobacco use, assessing readiness to quit, assisting your patients to quit and continuing to encourage patients if they are not ready to quit.

Tobacco quitlines, operated by states, can be accessed nationwide by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Quitlines are free, confidential, staffed by trained counselors and tailor their help to individual needs. Quitlines significantly increase a tobacco user’s chances of successfully quitting.1 Some state quitlines offer free smoking cessation medications or provide vouchers for medications at reduced cost. See information on specific state quitlines.

CDC is encouraging health professionals to:

  • Explain to patients how health conditions can be linked to smoking. (Use the Tips campaign participants as examples. Stories at
  • Refer your patients to the ‘I’m Ready to Quit!’ online resources
  • Let your patients know they can get help at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
  • (or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) for Spanish speakers)
  • Tell your patients they can sign up for a text messaging program to support quitting smoking

We encourage you to talk to your patients about smoking and use these resources to help them quit. See more resources for mental health professionals.

Additional clinician resources:


  1. Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Quick Reference Guide for Clinicians. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. April 2009.


AnxietyADHDBipolar DisordersSleep DisordersDepressionAutismPatients and FamiliesAlzheimer’sOCDPersonality DisordersEating DisordersSchizophreniaAddictionPTSD


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