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Healthcare neglects effects of smoking among mentally ill people, says report

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1987 (Published 27 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1987
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

A third of cigarettes smoked in Britain today are smoked by people with a mental illness, says a new report that calls on the NHS to deal with the issue urgently.

The report, Smoking and Mental Health, from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says that smoking is becoming the domain of the most disadvantaged people in society: poor, unemployed, homeless, imprisoned, and mentally ill people.1 Life expectancy of people with mental disorders is 10 or more years less than that in the general population,2 and the report says that the high prevalence of smoking accounts for much of this difference.

Whereas the prevalence of smoking in the United Kingdom has fallen substantially over the past 20 years, it has barely changed among people with mental illness. Around 20% of the general population but 40% …

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