In Gallatin County, 14% of adults aged 18 years and older currently smoke cigarettes, according to the 2021 Montana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). And, according to the Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2021, almost 50% of Montana youths have tried e-cigarettes. Additionally, from the BRFSS, 22% of Montanans who use tobacco report having poor mental health, as compared to 13% non-tobacco users.
“We know that many people in our community turn to nicotine to reduce their stress,” said Kelly Keenan, Director of Prevention Services at Gallatin City-County Health Department. “However, studies have shown that nicotine is an addictive drug that can impact areas of the brain that control attention, learning and memory, mood, and impulse control.”
There’s good news though, most individuals who quit using nicotine containing e-cigarettes reported feeling less stress, anxiety, and depression. The Gallatin City-County Health Department is committed to addressing the public health crisis caused by the use of all forms of commercial tobacco products.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department is hosting a community learning session, Mental Health & Nicotine Use, on December 13, 2023 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bozeman Library. Come learn about current rates of tobacco use in Gallatin County, and the correlation between nicotine use and mental health. The health department will also be providing resources for tobacco cessation and how to provide support for individuals in your life currently using nicotine.
Through funding made possible by the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP) the Gallatin City-County Health Department works with community partners to eliminate tobacco use, especially among young people. Our goal, and that of MTUPP, is to reduce disease, disability, and death related to tobacco use.
For more information on MTUPP and the health department’s commitment to addressing the commercial tobacco public health crisis, please visit our website http://www.healthygallatin.org/community-health/tobacco.