Smoking May Boost Psychosis Risk

Pharmacological Approaches to Help Psychiatric Patients Quit Smoking
Pharmacological Approaches to Help Psychiatric Patients Quit Smoking
Almost 60% of people diagnosed with a first episode of psychosis were also smokers.

A new study by researchers at King’s College London suggests that smoking tobacco is associated with an increased risk of developing psychosis.

People who suffer from psychosis are three times more likely to smoke cigarettes than healthy controls, according to the meta-analysis published in Lancet Psychiatry. Although the association between smoking cigarettes and psychosis — particularly schizophrenia — has been acknowledged before, scant attention has been directed towards the possibility that cigarettes themselves may increase the risk of psychosis.

Instead, in the past, various different explanations have been proposed for why people with psychosis are more likely to smoke compared with the rest of the population. These include relief from boredom or distress, and self-medication, whereby smoking counteracts the negative symptoms of schizophrenia or the side-effects of antipsychotic medication.

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