Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has launched its report: The Stolen Years - The Mental Health and Smoking Action Report. The report sets out recommendations for how smoking rates for people with a mental health condition could be dramatically brought down over the next few years.
The report has been endorsed by 27 health and mental health organisations, including CMHP and the CMHP Council was proud to be represented its launch at Westminster this week.
People with mental health conditions die on average 10-20 year earlier than the general population and smoking is the single largest factor accounting for this difference. Around one third of adult tobacco consumption is by people with a current mental health condition with smoking rates more than double that of the general population. Recommendations in the report include improved training of healthcare staff, better access to stop smoking medication and a move towards smokefree mental health settings.
This is an area of patient support that CMHP President Nikki Holmes feels passionately about. She says:
"It was a privilege to be with fellow CMHP Council member Katherine Delargy at Parliament to witness the official launch of this important document that CMHP was involved in and has badged; a call to action to all involved in working with people with mental illness who smoke to tackle the shocking and unacceptably poor health outcomes and life expectancy in this element of society. The statistics speak for themselves. We simply cannot stand by and allow this to continue. Many mental health pharmacy staff have been pivotal in services and the people who use them stopping smoking; we must continue to work hard to make this the rule rather than the exception for people with mental illness."
The report can be downloaded from the ASH website: http://www.ash.org.uk/stolenyears
- Call to tackle smoking amongst mental health patients - BBC News