Smoking Linked to Mental Disorders, Drug and Alcohol Dependence

It has been long recognized by medical experts that a person’s health may be put in danger due to cigarette smoking and this has been demonstrated by the inclusion of a warning in cigarette packs and the banning of smoking in public places. The dangers of the smoking habit, which has long been connected to lung cancer and other deadly diseases, may extend beyond physical disorders and may include mental health, this according to the results of a recent study.

With the aim of determining the link between cigarette smoking and mental health and two common addiction problems, a study was carried out by a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led by Dr. Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, an assistant professor of psychiatry. This study involved two parts which were conducted three years apart in the United States.

Involved were 4,800 participants who were identified as daily smokers, at least on the first part of the study. Subjects belonging to the group of smokers at the start of the study and who have kicked the habit were also included in the second part.

Results of the first part of the survey had shown that 40 percent of the participants had anxiety or mood disorders or a history of these conditions. Subjects composing half of the group were reported to have alcohol problems while drug addiction was present in 24 percent of the total.

It was determined, upon completion of the second part of the study that only 29 percent among those who quit smoking had mood disorders while 42 percent was reported among those who continued with their smoking. As to the alcohol problems, only 18 percent among those who quit smoking had these issues compared to 28 percent for those who persisted on smoking. It was on the area of drug problems that perhaps showed the biggest reduction with only five percent among quitters while the same troubles were experienced by 16 percent of the smokers.

Significance of Study

As medical experts have long believed, these outcomes may support the link between smoking and mental disorders, alcohol problems, and drug addiction. The reduction of these problems three years after quitting the smoking habit may have clearly proven this.

To Dr. Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, the lead investigator, this provides a very significant insight into the treatment of these mental health and addiction problems. It has been suggested that addressing cigarette smoking in the patient may greatly help clinicians in treating these mental disorders and the dependence on alcohol and drugs.

Dangers of Smoking

This very recent study is clearly an indication of the dangers of cigarette smoking. Not too long ago, two different studies also linked smoking to breast cancer and women’s pelvic floor disorders. That smoking may greatly increase the risk of women acquiring urinary incontinence, a pelvic condition that affects an estimated 18 million American women, was concluded in one study.

With the controversy surrounding the vaginal mesh surgeries, grave concern has been expressed by many sectors on the association of smoking and urinary incontinence. It has been reported that serious injuries were sustained by thousands of women suffering from urinary incontinence after procedures involving the use of mesh devices, which were originally intended to treat their condition. Click here to learn more about this condition and the actions taken by injured women.



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