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BMJ study: Stopping smoking linked to improved mental health

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  • BMJ study: Stopping smoking linked to improved mental health
    Stopping smoking linked to improved mental health
    Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 16:29

    Quitting smoking is associated with an improvement in mental health in comparison with continuing to smoke, suggests a study published on today.

    The researchers say the effect sizes are equal or larger than those of antidepressant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.

    It is well known that stopping smoking substantially reduces major health risks, such as the development of cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. But the association between smoking and mental health is less clear cut.

    Many smokers want to stop but continue smoking as they believe smoking has mental health benefits. And health professionals are sometimes reluctant to deal with smoking in people with mental disorders in case stopping smoking worsens their mental health.


    Although observational data can never prove causality, ?smokers can be reassured that stopping smoking is associated with mental health benefits,? say the authors.

    ?This could overcome barriers that clinicians have toward intervening with smokers with mental health problems,? they add. ?Furthermore, challenging the widely held assumption that smoking has mental health benefits could motivate smokers to stop.?
    Full text of study:

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