Smoking linked to mental illness

Research we're watching

Published: February, 2020

Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking may increase your chances of developing schizophrenia or depression, says a study published Nov. 6, 2019, in Psychological Medicine. It's long been known that people with mental illness are more likely to smoke than those without mental illness. But no one ever looked at what came first — the smoking or the mental illness. Researchers decided to find out using a database containing data from more than 462,000 people, of whom 8% were current smokers and 22% former smokers. The team found that people who smoked not only had a higher risk of developing depression and schizophrenia, but that people with either conditions were also more likely to smoke (although the association was not as strong for schizophrenia). The bottom line: Smoking may be bad not only for your lungs, but also your mind.

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