Quit Q&A

Need help?

What is the relationship between smoking and mental illness?

Three explanations have been proposed to explain associations of smoking and poor mental health: 1) they might have common causes; 2) people with poor mental health smoke to regulate feelings such as low mood and anxiety; or 3) smoking might cause or exacerbate mental health problems. Although smokers with and without mental illness think that smoking provides mental health benefits, they might be wrongly attributing the ability of cigarettes to alleviate nicotine withdrawal as a beneficial effect on mental health. Smokers experience irritability, anxiety, and depression when they have not smoked for a while, and these feelings can be relieved by smoking, creating the perception that smoking has psychological benefits, while in fact it is smoking that originally caused these psychological disturbances.

Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ 2014;348:g1151.

Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk