The association between smoking and mental health conditions

People with poor mental health die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, and smoking is the biggest cause of this life expectancy gap.

A third of cigarettes smoked in England are smoked by people with a mental health condition.

Research has found that having a mental health condition is associated with:

  • current smoking
  • heavy smoking and high levels of tobacco dependence
  • desire to quit
  • difficulty remaining abstinent
  • perceived difficulty remaining abstinent

This is the same for all mental health conditions individually, but the strength and significance of the associations vary depending on the condition.