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Priority Population: Mental Health & Substance Abuse

Nearly half of all South Dakota QuitLine callers report having a mental health and/or substance use disorder, which contributes to a higher rate of disease and mortality within this population.

Current research shows people have better outcomes for quitting tobacco and substance use if treated at the same time. Quitting tobacco should be part of a larger approach to mental health treatment and wellness.

Tobacco Use Prevalence

  • Nationally, nearly 1 in 4 adults (or 25%) have some form of mental health condition or substance use disorder, and these adults consume almost 40% of all cigarettes smoked by adults.
  • Nationally, 63.5% of adult cigarette smokers reported co-use of alcohol in 2016 compared to 52.8% of adult non-smokers.
  • Half of South Dakota QuitLine callers reported having a mental health and/or substance abuse disorder in 2016.

Risk Factors

Tobacco use contributes to high rates of disease and mortality.

  • People with mental illness or substance use disorders die about 5 years earlier than those without these disorders; many of these deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes.
  • Smoking causes more deaths among clients in substance abuse treatment than the alcohol or drug use that brings them to treatment.

Mental health & substance abuse clients may have more than one risk factor.

  • Lower levels of education
  • Tobacco use is part of their social norm
  • Increased exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Unaware of services available to help them quit
  • Experience housing and food insecurity
  • Multiple chronic conditions, such as mental illness, high blood pressure, substance abuse, etc.
  • Greater likelihood of violence, failure to respond to treatment, and higher risk of illness, incarceration, and death if they have co-occurring disorders

Multiple risk factors make it more difficult to quit.

  • Individuals living with a mental health disorder are sensitive to the effects of alcohol and other drugs.
  • In some cases, a person diagnosed with a mental health disorder uses drugs to self-medicate or manage certain symptoms. Even if it provides temporary relief, self-medication is counterproductive in the long-term.
  • Hazardous drinking also leads to greater difficulty in quitting cigarettes and increased relapses.

The tobacco industry targets low-income neighborhoods.

  • Low socioeconomic status creates stress. There is a strong relationship between commercial tobacco use and depression, anxiety, and stress.
  • The tobacco industry promotes its products as a quick way to relieve tension from stress.
  • Tobacco retailers are disproportionately located in low-income communities, which means community members face more exposure to tobacco marketing.
  • Marketing in retail environments, including in-store advertising, discounts, and product displays behind checkout counters, is the tobacco industry‚Äôs main marketing channel.

South Dakota Services for Mental Health & Substance Abuse

South Dakota QuitLine

South Dakota QuitLine services are free and available to anyone 13 years of age or older. Individuals with mental health disorders and/or substance abuse conditions can get help with quitting any type of tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.