Mental Health and Smoking Partnership

Click here to view the new ‘Smokefree Policies and COVID-19 Guidance’ developed by the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership.

Preliminary research shows that smokers who contract the new coronavirus (COVID-19) have more severe symptoms, and more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, need mechanical ventilation or die compared with non-smokers.

Consequently, it is vital that mental health trusts maintain their smokefree policies and continue to support smokers to quit.

About us

Smoking prevalence among people with a mental health condition is more than 50% higher than 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.

Our ambition

Most smokers who have a mental health condition want to quit and it’s vital that they receive the services and support they need to quit.

In Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s the Government committed to an ambitious target for England to be smokefree by 2030 – defined as a smoking prevalence of 5% or below.

It is vitally important that people with mental health conditions are not left behind as the country moves towards being smokefree. The Stolen Years report sets out clear recommendations for the actions needed to make this a reality. The press release can be viewed here.

Latest report: Progress towards smokefree mental health services

This report presents the findings of a survey of NHS mental health trusts in England conducted by ASH for Public Health England in Spring 2019. The report is available for download here.