November 13, 2019


While smoking rates have lowered over the past 40 years, people experiencing mental illness or a substance use disorder still consume nearly half of all cigarettes in the U.S. Despite this, little effort has been made in promoting smoking cessation in the mental illness community.

Learn more with NAMI and Dr. Williams on Great American Smokeout Day about the impact of smoking; why it’s harder to quit when you live with mental illness or a substance use disorder; and how to advocate for a better smoking cessation treatment options, like CHOICES, in your area.



Our Expert

Dr. Jill WilliamsDr. Jill Williams

Our expert, Jill Williams, co-founded a program called CHOICES to help change that. Her program connects individuals with mental illness struggling to quit smoking to treatment, referrals, advocacy and support. CHOICES aims to increase smoking cessation in the mental illness community through a process of education, advocacy and culture change.

Jill M. Williams, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at the Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick. She also holds faculty appointments at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Rutgers Center for Addiction Studies.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).