There is no one single reason why so many people who live with mental illness smoke. If nicotine can alter the brain, then this could explain why many people who smoke may be at risk for developing mental illnesses. In an article for the American Psychological Association, Kirsten Weir discusses the relationship between smoking and mental illness, noting that having a mental illness places someone at a 70% greater risk for smoking than someone in the general population.
Overall, if you have a mental health problem and smoke, you are more likely to have poor general health – it’s one of the main reasons why people with a mental health problem tend to die younger. The more you smoke, the more likely you are to develop a mental illness, feel anxious or depressed, have thoughts of suicide, and possibly use more drugs and alcohol – which can make a mental health problem worse.
What Can Be Done To Stop Smoking
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Get advice from your doctor, nurse or other health care professional
- Get help from your local NHS stop smoking service
- Pair up with a friend who is also trying to stop
- Acupuncture and Sauna Therapy
If you stop smoking, you will feel better, be healthier and live a lot longer. Research has continued to prove that kicking the habit will improve your mental health by decreasing anxiety, depression and stress.