People with a mental illness diagnosis or drug/alcohol dependent persons use tobacco at double or triple the rate of the general population. Additionally, people with a mental illness diagnosis, a substance abuse diagnosis, or a co-occurring disorder smoke more cigarettes daily on average than people without a behavioral health diagnosis. As a result, those with a mental health or substance abuse diagnosis die of tobacco-related disease at a much higher rate than the general population.
Contrary to popular belief, most tobacco users with a mental health or substance abuse disorder want to quit tobacco (about 70% want to, the same percentage as in the general population) and many can succeed with help. Everyone should receive the same access to tobacco treatment and the same opportunities for a healthier tobacco-free life as their counterparts in the general population.
Project Integrate rejects the stigmatizing assumption that those with mental illness or substance abuse disorders do not want and cannot succeed in establishing a healthy tobacco-free life.
HCCA is the fiscal agent of Project Integrate!, an effort to: