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 shown by the inclusion of a warning in cigarette packs and the proscription of smoking in public places. While these health dangers have mostly been associated with physical disorders such as lung cancer and other deadly illnesses, a new study has now reported that it is not only the physical aspect that may be affected, but may also include mental health.
A team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led by Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, an assistant professor of psychiatry, carried out a study aimed at determining the link between cigarette smoking and mental health and two common addiction problems. Conducted three years apart, this was actually a two-part study done in the United States.
At least for the first part of the study, the participants were composed of 4,800 persons identified as daily smokers. Those who were classified as smokers in the initial group and who have quit the smoking were also part of the second survey.
The first part of the survey had results showing that participants accounting for 40 percent suffered mood disorder or anxiety 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.
Of those who quit smoking, only 29 percent had mood disorders while their smoking counterparts had a higher 42 percent, based on the results of the second part of the study. For those who quit smoking, only 18 percent had alcohol problems compared to 28 percent of those who maintained their smoking habit. Perhaps the biggest reduction was on the area of drug problems with only five percent reported among the quitters while 16 percent of smokers faced the same troubles.
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 best indication for this was the reduction of the problems after the smoking habit was stopped three years earlier.
To Dr. Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, the lead investigator, this provides a very significant insight into the treatment of these mental health and addiction problems. Addressing cigarette smoking in the patients may greatly help clinicians in treating the mental disorders and the dependence on alcohol and drug, as suggested by the researchers.
The Dangers of Smoking
Clearly shown in this very recent study are the dangers of cigarette smoking. The link between smoking and breast cancer and women’s pelvic floor disorders was also reported by two different studies not too long ago. 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.
The association of smoking and urinary incontinence has become a grave concern in light of the controversy involving vaginal mesh surgeries. Women suffering from urinary incontinence have been reported to sustain serious injuries after undergoing mesh sling procedures, surgical operations which were intended to treat their condition. Click here to learn more about this condition and the actions taken by injured women.