About the Partnership
Smoking prevalence among people with a mental health condition is higher than the average rate in the general population. The Mental Health and Smoking Partnership aims to address this disparity in smoking rates and ensure smokers with a mental health condition are not left behind as we move towards a smokefree generation.
The Partnership was established in 2016 following the publication of The Stolen Years report. Its aim is to bring together organisations committed to improving the health and lives of people with a mental health condition through achieving report’s ambitions.
The Partnership meets quarterly and brings together Royal Colleges, third sector organisations and academia to review progress and highlight areas for further action. It is jointly chaired by Professor Ann McNeill of UKCTAS and the National Addictions Centre King’s College London, and Professor Paul Burstow, Chair of Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
Most smokers who have a mental health condition want to quit and it’s vital that the services and support are in place to help them do so. The ambition of The Stolen Years report, and of the Partnership, is to reduce smoking rates among people with a mental health condition: to 5% by 2035, with an interim target of 35% by 2020. It sets out clear recommendations for the actions needed to make this a reality.
The Stolen Years
In 2016 ASH published The Stolen Years: Smoking and Mental Health Action report which highlights the disproportionately high rates of smoking among people with a mental health condition.
Whilst smoking rates have fallen significantly over the last 20 years, they have remained stubbornly high among those with poor mental health and around 1 in 3 cigarettes are currently smoked by someone with a mental health condition.
The report was endorsed by 27 mental health and public health organisations, many of whom have become key members of what became the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership, including The Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Rethink Mental Illness.
Mental Health & Smoking Partnership shared key messages
At the end of 2018 the Partnership completed work on a shared key messages document. The document is designed to ensure that the Partnership and its members deliver clear, consistent and accurate messages and the evidence to support them. You can download the Mental Health & Smoking Partnership shared key messages here.
Partnership Resources & Webinars
The Partnership has created a Q&A document for mental health trusts. It sets out key questions to assess your trust’s progress towards supporting service users to quit smoking in line with NICE guidance PH48. You can download the Q&A here.
There is a new poster designed to be displayed in staff areas of inpatient settings. This describes effective ways to help service users quit smoking and you can download it here. You can also find the briefing for the poster here.
In August 2017 the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership hosted a webinar to examine the implementation of smokefree policies in mental health settings, including case studies from trusts, an overview of NICE Guidance PH48 and recommendations from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You can view this below.
On 13 November 2017, the Mental Health & Smoking Partnership hosted a webinar on the use of e-cigarettes among people with a mental health condition. The webinar featured presentations from Dr Debbie Robson who gave an overview of harm reduction and the evidence around e-cigarettes, then Louise Ross on harm reduction in the community, followed by Sam Churchward on harm reduction in inpatient settings. You can view the webinar below.
Useful smoking and mental health resources
Mental Health & Smoking Partnership statement on e-cigarettes
Smoking and mental health – A joint report by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists
NICE Guidance PH48 – Smoking: acute, maternity and mental health services
The Stolen Years: Smoking and mental health action report – The Stolen Years outlines recommendations to reduce the disproportionately high levels of smoking amongst people with a mental health condition
Mental health, smoking and poverty in the UK – This report, by Dr Tessa Langley of the University of Nottingham, quantifies the extent to which smoking exacerbates poverty in adults with mental health conditions in the UK
ASH smoking and mental health survey 2016 – This report examines the results of surveys which explored the attitudes of people with mental health conditions to smoking and the views of staff working with people with mental health conditions
Smoking and mental health conditions – This briefing sits within the wider Health Inequalities Resource Pack which has been designed as a set of pragmatic tools, setting out the problem and solutions, to support the case for targeted tobacco control in groups with high smoking prevalence
The ASH Smoking and mental health factsheet (PDF)
Response to inquiry on e-cigarettes
In December 2017 the Mental Health & Smoking Partnership submitted its response to the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology Inquiry into e-cigarettes. You can read the submission here and learn more about the inquiry here.
Recent news from the Smoking and Mental Health Partnership
14 November 2017 – Mental Health and Smoking Partnership press release: Health groups call for positive approach to e-cigarettes for smokers with a mental health condition
18 July 2017 – Mental Health and Smoking Partnership press release: New Government Tobacco Control Plan Tackles Smoking and Mental Health
University of York Mental Health and Addictions Research Group
Find Mental Health and Smoking Partnership members on Twitter
- Association of Directors of Public Health
- Association of Mental Health Providers
- Cancer Research UK
- Centre for Mental Health
- Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
- College of Mental Health Pharmacy
- Network for Mental Health / NSUN
- Mental Health Foundation
- Mental Health Nurses Association
- Royal College of Nursing
- Royal College of GPs
- Rethink Mental Illness
- Royal College of Occupational Therapists
- Royal College of Psychiatrists
- Yorkshire Smokefree
- UK Centre for Alcohol and Tobacco Studies (UKCTAS)
- Mental Health Nurses Association
- York Mental Health and Addiction Research Group