Smoking may impact mental health, according to the study.
We all know smoking has a negative impact on physical health, but a new study, released on Tuesday, February 11, by the Psychological Medicine journal, suggests that people who don’t smoke are healthier mentally than people who do smoke.
The study, which analyzed data from a total sample of 4,800 daily smokers and was conducted in two parts over a span of three years, finds people who smoked and suffered from mental health issues during the first part of the survey had improved mental health during the second part of the survey after they had quite smoking.
Results from the first survey showed a significantly higher percentage of people suffering from mood and anxiety issues, as well as alcohol and drug abuse, whereas the percentage decreased significantly during the second survey, where many of those people had quit smoking.
Many people turn to smoking as a means of coping with stress. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., says that smoking is a type of self-medication that makes people “feel better.” However, while individuals may think that they’re alleviating stress with each puff, they’re in fact decreasing the condition of their mental health. And for those ready and willing to quit, mental health can suffer even further due to the difficulties that come from quitting.
However, for smokers, quitting isn’t always so easy. A group called Mental Health UK suggests rather than people considering the ways in which smoking is harmful, people should consider all the positives associated with quitting – fresh breath, improved concentration, better physical health, more money in the bank, and now, improved mental health as well.
For those who turn to smoking as a temporary relief from stress, the long-term and ongoing ramifications that can result from smoking can lead to a significantly worsened state of mental health.