Taking action on smoking and health
There are strong links between smoking and mental health - and in the UK, around a third of all tobacco is used by people with mental health issues. Smoking rates amongst those with mental health issues are also higher than in the wider population and are not reducing, which increases the existing health inequalities burden experienced by this group.
Life expectancy is significantly reduced amongst people with mental health issues, and lifestyle choices such as smoking are a contributing factor to this. There is now consistent evidence to show that stopping smoking is associated with improvements in depression, anxiety, stress and psychological quality of life compared with continuing to smoke. In addition, people with mental health conditions are just as likely to want to quit.
In 2015 ASH Scotland produced a comprehensive review of evidence on smoking and mental health, which informed our IMPACT project (still ongoing), and we are in the process of developing training around this topic.
In autumn 2016, we submitted our views to the Scottish Government consultation ahead of the new ten-year mental health strategy (published in March 2017).
ASH Scotland’s priorities in this area are to:
We also publish an updated list of the latest UK and international research on tobacco and mental health and have collated a selection of key documents and useful information.
If you work in a mental health support setting and would like to know more about how we can upskill your team to provide information around smoking, please do get in touch.We would like to hear your experiences of engaging people with mental health issues on tobacco - we can be emailed via firstname.lastname@example.org or phoned on 0131 225 4725.
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.