There will never be anything good linked to smoking, but this possible outcome shocked even the most notorious smokers. A new study, based at King’s College London, has shown that there might be a link between smoking and schizophrenia, one of the toughest mental illnesses in the world; furthermore, cigarettes could even play a direct role in the development of this serious condition.
They based their study on the analysis of 61 separate studies, all of which involved about 14500 smokers and 273 non-smokers. The date from those separate studies suggested that “57% of people with psychosis were already smokers when they had their first episode, and that daily smokers were as much as twice likely to develop the disease than non-smokers.”
The study also found that cigarette lovers “developed the mental illness a whole year earlier than non-smokers did.” The team concluded that, although the findings “made a pretty strong case,” more research was needed to be done.
This is not the first time that smoking has been linked to a psychosis of some sort; however, it is from a much different perspective. For a long time, it has been believed that patients suffering from schizophrenia are more likely to smoke because they use cigarettes are a form of self-medication.
The idea that smoking eased the distress of hearing voices and having hallucinations was a generally accepted idea which has now been overruled, since there already is a higher rate of smoking before schizophrenia is diagnosed.
This, of course, doesn’t apply to all smokers. Not all cigarette lovers develop the mentally troubling illness; however, the act of smoking does indeed increase the risk. One in every 100 non-smokers develops schizophrenia, while the odds with smokers are twice as high.
This is all pretty hard to prove, but it is a troubling idea indeed, and further research is needed to fully comprehend the link between nicotine and schizophrenia.