Project Integrate!

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.

Project Integrate at HCCA

HCCA is the fiscal agent of Project Integrate!, an effort to:

  • Identify and address the barriers to effective tobacco treatment for people with BH diagnoses, including substance abuse diagnoses;
  • Increase the capacity of providers to encourage and support tobacco-free living; and
  • Advocate for state level policy changes to further support tobacco-free living for all Mainers.

For more information on Project Integrate and resources on the above topics, visit the Project Integrate website or contact Joanne E. A. Joy at j.joy@hccame.org or 207-588-5011.