Studies Show That Smoking Can Increase Risks of Psychosis

By March 20, 2018 Mental Health

Research has found quite the link between psychosis and smoking, whether it is marijuana or cigarettes. This is quite the interesting find and is something we all need to be aware of.

The study Smokin’ hot: adolescent smoking and the risk of psychosis” was published just last month in the journal Acta Psychiatric Scandinavica and showed that there was a clear link between tobacco smoking and an increased risk in psychosis. They examined associations between daily smoking and psychosis risks through self-report questionnaires on psychotic experiences. The teens questioned were broken down into three groups those being non-smokers, 1-9 cigarettes per day, and 10 or more each day.

Their results were as follows:

Subjects in heaviest smoking category were at increased risk of subsequent psychosis (unadjusted HR = 3.15; 95% CI 1.94–5.13). When adjusted for baseline psychotic experiences the association persisted (HR = 2.87; 1.76–4.68) and remained significant even after adjustments for multiple known risk factors such as cannabis use, frequent alcohol use, other illicit substance use, parental substance abuse, and psychosis. Furthermore, the number of smoked cigarettes increased psychosis risk in a dose-response manner (adjusted OR = 1.05; 1.01–1.08).

While this might not be seen as a huge surprise considering the other risks associated with smoking tobacco it seems there is also another risk with smoking in general as in a different study published just earlier this month similar results were found in those who smoke cannabis. This study titled “Adolescent cannabis use, baseline prodromal symptoms and the risk of psychosis.” was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Their results showed that psychosis was elevated in those who had tried cannabis 5 times or more. However, I wonder if they had considered that people in the areas they were reviewing actually tend to mix their cannabis with tobacco or if that had not been brought up at all?

Regardless it seems there is some kind of connection there in regards to those who smoke in general be it cannabis or tobacco and psychosis. Some believe that smoking is a form of self-medication and that those with psychosis of some kind may just be more prone to trying to ‘self-medicate.’ I believe this is the most likely explanation.

What do you think about all of this? I for one think more research needs to be done. This is quite interesting and who knew smoking was linked to so many different mental illnesses?


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