New study links mental health issues and addictions to smoking

By Julianne Mosher,

Not only does smoking cigarettes cause ailments to the body but new research shows that it also effects the mind.

WebMD’s HealthDay reports that a new study suggests those who quit smoking will not only benefit your physical health, but also your mental health. These findings were published Tuesday in the journal, Psychological Medicine.

According to a study released on Feb. 11 on Webmd, two surveys were given three years apart to 4,800 daily U.S. smokers. The results showed that those who had some form of mental health problem or addiction within the first survey were relieved of those problems three years later when they had quit smoking.

The first initial survey showed that 40 percent of people had or had had a history of mood or anxiety disorders, 50 percent suffered alcoholism and 24 percent had problems with drugs.

The later survey results were shocking, showing that 29 percent of people who had quit smoking still had mood disorders. This compared to the 42 percent of those who still continued to smoke. It was also reported that 18 percent of the former smokers had alcohol problems versing the 28 percent of current smokers. Drug use had a significant change as well showing only five percent of people using narcotics after quitting while 16 percent used them as continuing smokers.

Lead investigator to the studies, Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, told WebMD that clinicians often try to mental health disorders, alcoholism and narcotic use first and then “allow patients to ‘self-medicate’ with cigarette if necessary.”

However because of these findings, she said, “We really need to spread the word and encourage doctors and patients to tackle these problems. When a patient is ready to focus on other mental health issues, t may be an ideal time to address smoking cessation, too.”

Recently, the FDA launched a new anti-smoking campaign directed to teenagers saying cigarettes are “bullies.”

Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons



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