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Quitting Smoking Can Help Reduce Effects of Mental Health Issues

Posted 6th Sep 2016 to Vaping News



Mental health disorders and quitting smoking

One in four people in the United Kingdom face a mental health problem each year, according to the Mental Health Foundation. These can range from mixed anxiety and depression, which is the most common mood disorder, to diagnosed conditions such as schizophrenia. And many people with mental health disorders want to quit smoking. 


Smoking rates are higher among people with mental health issues, and they tend to smoke more than a smoker without mental health issues. This is likely due to the additional stresses they deal with, and the perception of smoking as a short-term stress reliever. However, there is sufficient evidence to prove that smoking can do more to contribute to mental health issues than it does to help, as well as the other obvious health disadvantages that it brings.


This study not only proves that smoking cessation can improve general mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, but that smokers with mental health issues are reluctant to quit due to the perceived mental health benefits of smoking.


Smoking can also exacerbate mental health issues. It has been linked to:


  • Greater depressive symptoms
  • Greater likelihood of psychiatric hospitilisation
  • Increase in suicidal behaviour


Support for mental health sufferers who want to quit


People with various mental health disorders may see some improvement after quitting smoking - but additional supports are needed for them to quit. Currently, mental health patients are as eager to quit as those without issues with mental health, but there’s a general view by health practitioners that cigarettes act as a form of self-medication, and in some cases health professionals even use cigarettes as a form of barter with patients to get them to do actions that are good for their mental health.


Public Health England has previously stated that those who both vape and use PHE’s local quit smoking services see a higher rate of success, and this may be even more helpful to those who have a mild mood disorder such as depression or anxiety. Having face-to-face support in either a group or one-on-one setting can mean the difference between quitting and not quitting.

Vaping can help in delivering only nicotine


The stimulating effects of cigarettes come from one thing: nicotine. This stimulant is the only ingredient in cigarettes which would possibly be of some benefit to those suffering from mood disorders; the other chemicals and compounds in cigarettes are simply addictive on their own, and deliver harmful side effects instead of relief from stress.


Nicotine on its own has been shown to be no more harmful than a cup of coffee, although most vapers have the goal in mind of ramping off of it. More traditional smoking cessation products promote a programme for smoking cessation which gets the smoker off of cigarettes and the smoking cessation products themselves within a matter of months - vaping doesn’t add the stressor of a deadline. You can go at your pace and ramp the nicotine down when you are ready. But any smoking cessation method is appropriate for quitting smoking, as they all have the same end goal - to make you healthier and happier.


If you quit smoking, you will notice an improvement in anxiety levels, stress levels, and general mood - this isn’t a claim, but proved out by this and other studies. This in turn will lead to higher productivity and a better quality of life.


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