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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."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Jerry Smith on Monday February 24 2014, @09:38AM

    by Jerry Smith (379) on Monday February 24 2014, @09:38AM (#5699) Journal

    I read the book, stopped smoking for two weeks, started smoking again then a year later I just decided I wanted to stop. During this stopping phase I realised that a lot of what was said in the book was now popping into my head and I could use it to ward off the cravings.

    Same here. It's not pushing anything, not scare mongering, just making you realise what smoking is all about. And what quitting is all about. It's not a shame to not be able to quit on the first try, it's something that needs practice. Just retry until the need to smoke again is gone.
    A strong book.

    --
    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by threedigits on Monday February 24 2014, @01:43PM

    by threedigits (607) on Monday February 24 2014, @01:43PM (#5789)

    That is what, I believe, makes for part of the better mental health. In the months after the last time I stopped smoking I felt anxious whenever I felt the flavor of smoke. I discovered I could recognize what brand people were smoking next to me if I had smoked it previously.

    After that, I begun to realize that stopping smoking is quite a personal accomplishment. Not like running a marathon, but not that far. The proof is how many people just keep failing at it. And then It felt great to just keep avoiding that next cigarette.

    It's almost 10 years now, and I have just completed my first half-marathon. Man, it feels so great that avoiding that next cigarette is easier and easier each year, even if from time to time I get bugged by the flavor of my former favorite brand.

    I hope you could experience this feeling too.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Ezber Bozmak on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:04AM

      by Ezber Bozmak (764) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @12:04AM (#6297)

      After that, I begun to realize that stopping smoking is quite a personal accomplishment.

      Quitting cigarettes is the easiest thing in the world.
      I've done it a thousand times!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by digitalaudiorock on Monday February 24 2014, @03:05PM

    by digitalaudiorock (688) on Monday February 24 2014, @03:05PM (#5844)

    It's not a shame to not be able to quit on the first try, it's something that needs practice. Just retry until the need to smoke again is gone.

    Absolutely. I quite 28 years ago (after being a serious chain smoker for 15 years). I'd quit once before then for several months and fell off the wagon. The second time I just got up one morning and never lit up again. One mistake I see many make trying to quit is a sort of "beat yourself up" or "I never should have started in the first place" attitude. The fact is that a lot of people become addicted smokers (none of them intentionally), it's difficult to quit, and quitting is very much something to be proud of.

    That, and starting a serious regular workout regiment about 21 years ago, are arguably the two most important things I've ever done.

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday February 24 2014, @08:40PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday February 24 2014, @08:40PM (#6151) Homepage Journal

    Another mcgrew blast from the past: How to quit smoking cigarettes [kuro5hin.org]

    I suspect that the e-cigs might contribute to COPD, has anyone studied it?

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 1) by Jerry Smith on Monday February 24 2014, @09:04PM

      by Jerry Smith (379) on Monday February 24 2014, @09:04PM (#6172) Journal

      I suspect the e-cigs to be bad for the health too, but not as bad as straight cigarettes.

      Nice long story though. Can remember buying tobacco for my dad late seventies.

      --
      All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday February 24 2014, @09:34PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday February 24 2014, @09:34PM (#6202) Homepage Journal

        I doubt e-cigs will give you cancer, since you don't get smoke (unless niccotine itself is cancerous, is it?). Lots of nasty stuff in any smoke, which is why they thought pot caused cancer until they actually studied it (those who smoke both pot and cigarettes have half the cancers of those who only smoke cigs, and statistically insignifigantly fewer in those who smoke pot only than cancers in non-smokers).

        I see people with gray hair being carded for cigarettes and think "WFT"? When I was five I'd walk to the store to get cigarettes for my mother (that was in the fifties when almost all adults smoked).

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 1) by Jerry Smith on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:44AM

          by Jerry Smith (379) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @06:44AM (#6433) Journal

          I doubt e-cigs will give you cancer, since you don't get smoke (unless niccotine itself is cancerous, is it?).

          Nicotine was used an an insecticide and although it's not considered a carcinogen, it promotes growth and the likes: it has a very supportive roll.

          --
          All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.