In May 2012, for Mental Health Awareness Month, Legacy hosted a special Warner Series Lecture to address a devastating trend in public health.

Research shows that people with mental illness smoke at rates nearly twice as high as the general population (41 percent vs. 22.5 percent, respectively) and nearly half of the cigarettes smoked in the United States are consumed by people with co-occurring psychiatric or addictive disorders. The smoking prevalence rates are even higher (60-80 percent) for those who are diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.

On World No Tobacco Day, Legacy recorded a live-webcasted panel discussion addressing how public health experts can work with the mental health system to curb tobacco use among this population.

  • A Hidden Epidemic: Tobacco Use and Mental Illness

    Legacy's Warner Series explores the causes and impact of the shockingly high rate of smoking among the mentally ill.

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Judith J. Prochaska, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor in Residence, University of California, San Francisco


Chad Morris, PhD

Associate Professor and Director, Behavioral Health & Wellness Program University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Department of Psychiatry

Jill M. Williams, MD

Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Psychiatry

Marie Verna

Program Support Coordinator, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, University Behavioral HealthCare and a person managing mental illness