Smoking and mental health

Smoking and mental health


A joint report by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, published March 2013

Endorsed by Cancer Research UK and the Faculty of Public Health

This report draws on substantial evidence to highlight the plight of smokers with mental disorders, and reveals that only a minority of people from this group receive effective smoking cessation interventions by the NHS. This causes major reduction in their life expectancy and quality of life, exacerbates poverty and presents huge economic costs to the NHS and wider society.

The report, which is available to purchase or download as a pdf, covers the incidence of smoking in people with mental health disorders; cessation interventions; smoking in special circumstances such as forensic psychiatric services, secure units and prisons; costs to the NHS; and the ethical and legal aspects of smoking in people with mental health disorders.  

Report recommendations

The report recommends that health professionals and commissioners should require mental-health-service settings to be smoke free, prioritise providing at least the same level of support for cessation, abstinence and harm reduction for people with mental disorders as for the general population, and put an end to the perpetuation of smoking in this group. The recommendations are available to download as a pdf.

Evidence tables

The evidence tables (Appendix to Chapter 4: Epidemiology of the association between smoking and mental disorders) are available online only.

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Smoking and mental health