Quitting Smoking May Improve Mental Health

by Jenny Novac on February 12, 2014

Smoking Woman

Often health professonals treating people from mental disorders do ignore patient’s smoking habits. Latest study made by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrated that people who deal with mood problems can safely give up smoking. Besides this, quitting smoking is connected to improved mental health.  The results of the study is published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

The researcher Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg says that many doctors in the course of treating anxiety and depressions permit their patients to smoke cigarettes in cases when they need to relieve their excessive stress. Mental disorders are more challenging to treat and that quitting smoking may interfere with treatment.

However, the present sudy revealed that quitting smoking was connected to mental health improvement. Scientists found that reducing number of cigarettes smoked every day or total quitting was linked to lower risk for appearing of depression and lower risks for getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. At present, scientists cannot say  how exactly they are connected, but it is clear that there exists a strong link between quitting and a better mental condition.

According to Cavazos-Rehg, in spite of patient’s health problem, doctor should make him quit. Smoking leads to a number of diseases and it is important to prevent them. Even when the talk is about mental disorders, patient should quit if he smokes!

The researchers analyzed the results of the survey made in the early 2000s and in which participated 35,000 people. Three years in a row people were asked about smoking, drinking and mental health.  The researchers were interested in data provided by regular smokers. Those suffering from mental disorders in the first year of the survey had no these problems three years later after they quit. Those who had no mental disorders in the first survey were less likely to develop it after quitting. 40% of daily smokers experienced problems with mood, 50% had alcohol problems and 24% had drug problems. 42% of them continued to smoke and continued to suffer from mood disorders in comparison with 29% of those who quit smoking.

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