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Smoking risks may be higher for the mentally ill

CREATED Feb. 5, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Smoking among Americans with mental illness is 70 percent higher than in the general population, according to new study released Tuesday by the CDC.

Those with a mental illlness tend to be the heaviest smokers, which means they have a harder time quitting and need more help to do so, including expensive smoking cessation medications they can't

afford. In fact, three of every 10 cigarettes sold are smoked by someone with a mental illness.

Many mental health facilities aren’t smoke-free because smoking is a calming tool, and cigarettes may even be used as a reward for good behavior.

We’re looking to find out what the policies are at treatment facilities here, and whether smoking cessation is encouraged and financially supported in the mental health community.

Read the full story here.