This fact sheet provides brief statistical information on smoking cessation to healthcare providers whose clients experience homelessness. Tobacco use contributes to an estimated 18 percent of deaths among individuals experiencing homelessness, approximately 73-80 percent of whom smoke tobacco. Smoking tobacco is directly linked to an increased likelihood of developing respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Numerous factors contribute to the rates of tobacco use in people experiencing homelessness, so it is essential that these factors are acknowledged when service providers want to approach smoking cessation in their clients. Smoking culture, boredom, stress, and unstructured days may contribute to the desire to smoke.

To approach smoking cessation in organizations that provide services to people experiencing homelessness, the Program to Achieve Wellness suggests that care providers set an example by discouraging smoking in their facilities and developing a smoking policy for their agency. A setting that supports and encourages smoking cessation is good for staff and clients alike.

This resource was first shared in 2017.

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