New behavioral health program launched by Montana Tobacco Quit Line

HELENA — A new program from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) aims to help people with behavioral health issues quit tobacco products.

“People with behavioral health issues will face greater stressors. They might have anxiety or depression or other behavioral health issues that will make it harder for them to successfully quit smoking,” said Nicole Aune, manager of Montana’s smoking prevention program.

Compared to the general Montana population, tobacco use among people with behavioral health issues is high. Those with poor mental health are twice as likely to smoke as those who did not report having poor mental health. Also, on average, people with serious mental illness die 15 years earlier than those without, mostly due to conditions that are aggravated or caused by smoking.

In response to this, the Montana Quit Line launched its behavioral health program and estimates that this program will help 500 Montana residents 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 problem in this population, and we also know, as I said earlier, that people with behavioral health problems have a harder time quitting. . It is therefore very important for our state to have this additional support for the people who will need it,” says Aune.

If you or someone you know would like to quit smoking, visit https://dphhs.mt.gov/News/2022/July/TobaccoQuitLineLaunchesNewBehavioralHealthProgram.

Ryan H. Bowman