Adults who experience mental illness or have a substance use disorder are more likely to smoke and smoke heavily than others, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Specifically, the findings showed that adults with mental illness or a substance use disorder accounted for 39.6 percent of all adult cigarette smokers. The rate of current cigarette smoking among these adults (38.3 percent) is 94 percent higher than among adults without these disorders (19.7 percent). SAMHSA defines mental illness as any diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder, as opposed to substance use disorder, which is identified as dependence on or abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs. SAMHSA and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center have partnered up to combat the high rates of tobacco use among those with mental illness and substance use disorders, including launching the 100 Pioneers for Smoking Cessation Campaign and working with policy makers and stakeholders to promote smoking cessation efforts.

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