HELENA - A new program from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) works to help those with behavioral health conditions quit tobacco products.
“People with behavioral health conditions are going to be dealing with greater stressors. They might have anxiety or depression or other behavioral health conditions that are going to make it more difficult for them to successfully quit,” Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program Manager Nicole Aune SAID.
When compared to the general population in Montana, tobacco use among people with behavioral health conditions is high. Those with poor mental health are twice as likely to smoke than those who did not report poor mental health. In addition, on average, those with a serious mental health illness die 15 years earlier than those without, largely due to conditions that are worsened or caused by smoking.
In response to this, the Montana Quit Line began their Behavioral Health Program and estimates that this program will help 500 Montanans benefit in the next fiscal year. This program helps people who use any type of tobacco product.
“So, we know that tobacco use is a serious issue among this population, and we also know, as I stated earlier, that people with behavioral health conditions have a harder time quitting. So, this is really important for our state to have this extra support for people who are going to need it,” says Aune.
If you or someone you know would like to quit, visit https://dphhs.mt.gov/News/2022/July/TobaccoQuitLineLaunchesNewBehavioralHealthProgram.