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HHS HealthBeat (March 20, 2014)

Smoking, quitting, and mental health

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers say smokers who have mental health issues, including drug dependency, might improve mentally as well as physically by quitting smoking. At Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Patricia Cavazos-Rehg saw signs of this in survey data from the early part of this century on 4,800 daily smokers. They included some who had, or developed, mental health issues.

“Smokers were able to quit smoking, and that was associated with reductions in their mental health problems.”

Cavazos-Rehg says smokers who seek mental health treatment might be ready to quit smoking as well, especially because their mental conditions might improve.

The study in the journal Psychological Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 20, 2014