Theme “Mental Health Equals Mental Wealth: Overcoming the Influences of Tobacco on the Mind” to encourage awareness, encouragement and support for withdrawal

Naples, Florida. – Each year, Tobacco Free Florida and Collier County announce Tobacco Free Florida Week as the beginning of an initiative focused on a major public health issue related to tobacco use. This year’s Florida Tobacco Free Week theme is “Mental Health Equals Mental Wealth: Overcoming the Influences of Tobacco on the Mind.” Florida No Tobacco Week will be observed May 8-14, 2022 and is timed to align with Mental Health Awareness Month.

Tobacco Free Florida uses “Mental Health Equals Mental Wealth” to address and correct misconceptions, including that tobacco offers an alternative when people are feeling stressed or anxious. In part, this goes back decades, with tobacco companies doing a lot of marketing to people with mental health issues and promoting myths and misrepresentations about the purported health benefits of tobacco.1

This year’s theme highlights the fact that tobacco and nicotine use can have negative health consequences for people with mental and/or behavioral disorders.2 People with behavioral disorders die approximately five years earlier than people without these disorders, and more than 50% of these deaths are due to tobacco-related diseases.3

On a positive note, when people diagnosed with mental or behavioral health problems quit smoking, they are also more likely to avoid other harmful drugs and substances.4

“We chose the theme Mental Health Equals Mental Wealth: Overcoming the Influences of Smoking on the Mind because there is so much we can do together to help raise awareness of the links between smoking and mental health. . This will go a long way in helping our friends, loved ones and neighbours. said Jah-Naika Lopez, senior health educator for the tobacco prevention program. “That means getting educated and getting involved.”

Smoking can exacerbate mental health symptoms and complicate treatment.5 This can include interference with medications often associated with mental and behavioral health treatments.6 Public health officials in Collier County and across Florida are taking advantage of the Florida No Tobacco Week occasion to encourage everyone to have conversations about the effects of tobacco, the benefits of quitting, and the support available from trusted sources, including


About tobacco-free Florida

The department’s Tobacco Free Florida Campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by the Florida Tobacco Settlement Fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida’s free tools and services. There are now about 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit or follow the campaign on Facebook at or on Twitter at

1 Apollonio, D., & Malone, R. E. (2005). Marketing to the marginalised: tobacco industry targeting of the homeless and mentally ill. Tobacco Control, 14(6), 409-415. Retrieved from 
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, December 3). Tobacco use and quitting among individuals with behavioral health conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from
3 Richter KP, Arnsten JH. A rationale and model for addressing tobacco dependence in substance abuse treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 2006;1(1):23.
4 Weinberger, Andrea H et al. “Cigarette Smoking Is Associated With Increased Risk of Substance Use Disorder Relapse: A Nationally Representative, Prospective Longitudinal Investigation.” The Journal of clinical psychiatry vol. 78,2 (2017): e152-e160. doi:10.4088/JCP.15m10062
5 Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. Fact Sheet: Drug Interactions With Tobacco Smoke. San Francisco: Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California; 2015.
6 Desai HD, Seabolt J, Jann MW. Smoking in patients receiving psychotropic medications: a pharmacokinetic perspective. CNS Drugs. 2001;15(6):469-94. doi: 10.2165/00023210-200115060-00005. PMID: 11524025

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