Smoking could be linked to schizophrenia and psychosis – Innovita Research

You know that smoking is not good for you, but do you know exactly how? Most smokers do not really care to hear about the damaging effects of smoking, although they definitely should remember them. It is not just about an increased risk of lung cancer, yellow teeth, bad smell, reduced fertility, possibility of damaged heart and skin. Now scientists from the University of Queensland say that tobacco smokers are at increased risk of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia as well.

Vaping nicotine is not entirely harmless – some negative effects remain and can be extremely damaging to mental health. Image credit: TBEC Review via Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

There are many bad habits in the world and a lot of them have terrible health effects. Eating too much sugary food is bad for you as well as fried stuff, alcohol, drugs, irresponsible sun exposure and many other things. However, tobacco smoking is still one of the most popular harmful activities. World Health Organization estimates that more than a billion people in the world are smoking tobacco. This trend is declining, but not as rapidly as one would like it to. Especially as new information is coming out about potential health risks for tobacco smokers. Scientists from Australia have now reviewed eight long-running studies and found strong evidence of an association between smoking and mental illness.

Scientists are estimating that tobacco smokers are facing at least two times bigger risk of developing schizophrenia or psychosis. Both are terrible mental health conditions and, although tobacco consumption seems to be reducing, they are still extremely worrying, especially when we can see how popular e-cigarettes are becoming. Associate Professor James Scott, one of the authors of the paper, said: “While e-cigarettes reduce some of the harms associated with smoking, governments need to consider their potential to harm the mental health of young people”.

E-cigarettes are now viewed as a good way to quit smoking or at least cut down some harmful effects of this habit. Scientists are estimating that e-cigarettes are 95 % less harmful than more traditional alternatives. However, many young people are choosing them for the same purpose – consuming nicotine. So much so that in certain countries liquid nicotine is not even legal. Scientists say that new studies are urgently needed in order to fully understand the possible correlation between e-cigarette use and psychosis, particularly in adolescents and young adults.

Harmful habit is a harmful habit. There is no safe level of nicotine – it is always better to quit. However, more studies need to be done to confirm this link between e-cigarette smoking and psychosis or other mental health conditions.


Source: University of Queensland