10 Facts about Smoking and Mental Health

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in health, quit smoking, side effects

Dr. Howell

Mental health is among the biggest concerns of many governments, costing each nation billions of dollars each year due to hospitalizations, work productivity losses, and treatments. Smoking doesn’t just affect one’s physical health but also his or her mental fitness. By quitting smoking today, you can prevent yourself from developing mental illnesses that don’t just affect your life, but also the people who care a lot for you.

Here are 10 facts about smoking and mental health:

1.  60% of smokers report having had a mental disorder sometime in their lifetime. Such disorders include Woman-puts-hands-on-the-head--43410685depression, anxiety problems, difficulty in sleeping, bipolar behavior, and even suicidal tendencies.

2.  Among smokers, the most prevalent mental health issues they experience include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorders such as phobias

If you are trying to quit smoking today, you should also avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. Living a healthy lifestyle (proper diet and exercise) is necessary to reduce the risk of developing mental illness.

3.  People who have psychiatric disorders are more likely to smoke by 2-4 percent.

4.  People who have schizophrenia are three times more likely to smoke than mentally healthy individuals.

5.  Reports show that smokers who have psychiatric conditions are likely to experience severe forms of mental problems during withdrawal period. This is why experts recommend taking pharmacological treatments to alleviate withdrawal pangs. However, using nicotine-containing drugs may not be a good option because it doesn’t actually help the body resist nicotine addiction. Tested medications such as Chantix, which don’t contain nicotine, are much better.

6.  A growing body of research suggests that people who have history of PTSD during childhood are more likely to engage in smoking.


7.  Smokers who seek mental health treatments report having experienced more severe symptoms, poorer wellbeing, and greater functionality disorders than those who don’t smoke.

8.  Quit rates among smokers who have mental health issues are lower as compared to smokers who don’t have any mental problems.

9.  Studies show that smokers who consume 20 cigarettes per day are likely to experience anxiety disorders during adulthood. The symptoms are more severe during withdrawal, making quitting very difficult.

10.  Smoking causes stress, unlike the popular belief that it makes a person calmer. Stress is the most common mental disorder which could lead to a wide array of health issues if unmanaged.


How would you feel if you quit smoking today?

Smokers who have successfully quit experienced an improved sense of wellbeing. They also gain more energy and vigor. By now, you might be wondering of what you will feel when you stop smoking today. Contrary to what other people think, quitting smoking now makes you feel reborn. Basically, you will feel healthier physically and mentally. You will feel less anxious and depressed as well.

One of the reasons why smokers who have mental illnesses tend to die younger is because smoking makes their condition worse. They become even more prone to substance addiction that missing to light up in a day could make them feel miserable.


Don’t be a slave of smoking. Set yourself free. Quit smoking today.


Previous post:

Next post:

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list