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HHS HealthBeat (July 24, 2014)

Smoking and suicide

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

Researchers have found an indication that something about smoking might raise the risk of suicide. The study checked what happened with suicide rates from 1990 to 2004 in states that raised tobacco taxes and restricted smoking in public places, as compared to states that did neither of those things.

At Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, researcher Richard Grucza says that, as taxes and restrictions went up, smoking rates went down. And as smoking fell:

“For every dollar in excise taxes, there was actually a 10 percent decrease in the relative risk for suicide. The smoke-free air policies were also very strongly associated with reduced suicide risk.”

The study in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

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

Last revised: July 24, 2014