Although the smoking rate among New York State adults has fallen to an all-time low of 16.2% over the past decade, the smoking rate among people with mental illness has remained relatively unchanged at 32.5%. People living with mental illness smoke more, suffer more, and die more than do people without mental illness. In fact, half of all deaths among people with behavioral health disorders may be attributable to smoking-related illnesses. These deaths are preventable.

That’s why the Center for Smoking Cessation and the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition, in collaboration with the Capital District Commissioners of Mental Health and the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), launched the Tri-County Behavioral Health Initiative for Tobacco-Free Living. The Initiative aims to reduce smoking among people living with serious mental illness (SMI) in the Capital District community by increasing the delivery of effective tobacco dependence treatment by behavioral health providers. Nine behavioral health provider agencies in Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties are currently participating. Learn more here.