National survey data indicates that about 32% of adults with any mental illness smoke, compared with 23% of adults without a psychiatric disorder. Smoking rates are higher in clinical populations, where up to 53% of persons with serious mental illnesses (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) are estimated to smoke. Despite higher rates of smoking among persons with mental illnesses, motivation to quit in this population is similar to that of the general population of smokers. Nevertheless, smoking cessation rates in the USA have been significantly lower among persons with mental illnesses than among persons without a mental illness. Advising patients to quit is among the most basic approaches to smoking cessation used by health care professionals, and there is evidence that the likelihood of cessation increases with even minimal advising. Indeed, advising is the second of five smoking cessation activities recommended in the US Department of Health and Human Services clinical guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, which promotes physician intervention activities in steps known as the five A’s (ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange). A randomized, state-wide survey was used to estimate the smoking prevalence among psychiatric outpatients served in Ohio’s publicly funded behavioral health care system. A follow-up survey explored a self-selected sample’s exposure to cessation advising by health care practitioners and the relationship between that advising and subjects’ desire to quit.