Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 18 submissions in the queue.
posted by Dopefish on Monday February 24 2014, @09:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the bender-might-be-less-cranky-if-he-ditched-cigars dept.

lhsi writes "A recent publication on the British Medical Journal finds that stopping smoking improves mental health: "Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis" (CC BY-NC 3.0).

A lot of smokers claim that smoking has mental health benefits; reducing depression and anxiety, and for relaxation and relieving stress. However the study suggests this is likely mis-attributing the ability of cigarettes to abolish nicotine withdrawal as a beneficial effect on mental health. The study notes that some health professionals are reluctant to recommend stopping smoking as a way to help mental health problems due to the fear that it might make things worse, but this study suggests that it actually would help.

The main conclusion of the study:

Smoking cessation is associated with reduced depression, anxiety, and stress and improved positive mood and quality of life compared with continuing to smoke. The effect size seems as large for those with psychiatric disorders as those without. The effect sizes are equal or larger than those of antidepressant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders."

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Gremlin on Monday February 24 2014, @09:14AM

    by Gremlin (2959) on Monday February 24 2014, @09:14AM (#5693)

    I stopped smoking over a year ago. I definitely felt less stressed and more positive once I had broken the back of stopping, around six months in.

    I would attribute being less stressed mostly to the fact a part of me wasn't nagging for a cigarette every hour or so or kidding myself I needed a cigarette for some random reason (tired, stressed, need to think etc). My lung capacity also started to return to normal. I cycle to work most days and started to find it easier. I cut six minutes off my cycling time which also gave me a positive boost.

    As most ex smokers will tell you, stopping smoking is nothing but a positive experience.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +4  
       Interesting=1, Informative=3, Total=4
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Monday February 24 2014, @01:09PM

    by mtrycz (60) on Monday February 24 2014, @01:09PM (#5771)

    As most ex smokers will tell you, stopping smoking is nothing but a positive experience.

    But wasn't it HARD? If it wasn't but a positive experience, wouldn't everybody do that?

    --
    In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
    • (Score: 2) by dilbert on Monday February 24 2014, @01:48PM

      by dilbert (444) on Monday February 24 2014, @01:48PM (#5792)

      If it wasn't but a positive experience, wouldn't everybody do that?

      Your comment assumes that people are well-informed, rational, and strong-willed enough to overcome addiction.

      In my experience, the above describes a very small minority of the population.

      Additionally, people are motivated by different things, so even if everyone knew of the health risks of smoking, had the ability to overcome the addiction, they still might choose to continue smoking for other reasons (teenagers wanting to appear cool, desire to annoy others, a guaranteed break from work every hour or so, etc).

    • (Score: 1) by DiarrhoeaChaChaCha on Monday February 24 2014, @03:14PM

      by DiarrhoeaChaChaCha (264) on Monday February 24 2014, @03:14PM (#5857)

      Smokers keen on giving up the habit still have to break through the nicotine addiction and that alone can be stronger than the motivation to quit.
      The positive effects, other than the mental boost of having quit in the first place, only take effect a while after having quit, so there's not necessarily an immediate positive experience from stopping smoking.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tsqr on Monday February 24 2014, @09:12PM

        by tsqr (1663) on Monday February 24 2014, @09:12PM (#6183)

        Smokers keen on giving up the habit still have to break through the nicotine addiction and that alone can be stronger than the motivation to quit.

        I suspect that this is highly variable from one individual to the next. I quit smoking mostly because my wife wanted to quit, and I thought she'd have an easier time if I wasn't puffing away around her. I went cold turkey and didn't have much trouble. She used Chantix and to this day still smokes every once in a while.

        The positive effects, other than the mental boost of having quit in the first place, only take effect a while after having quit, so there's not necessarily an immediate positive experience from stopping smoking.

        Again, probably highly variable. What I noticed right away was:

        • I have a lot more discretionary money than I used to.
        • Food tastes better.
        • Strenuous tasks don't leave me as short of breath.
        • Close friends don't pester me to quit anymore.
        • Corollary to the last one, I don't feel like quite as much of an idiot for doing something I know isn't good for me. Still feel like an idiot for ever having started, though.