Friday, June 11, 2010

Attention Nonsmokers: Your Mental Health

According to a recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, second-hand smoke could potentially be causing mental illness.  Yep, we know how bad smoke and second-hand smoke are for our physical health, including cancer risks, but it may also affect our mental health.  The risk of mental distress is higher among exposed nonsmokers than exposed smokers, 1.5 times higher for psychological distress and 3 times higher for psychological hospitalizations. Mental illness was defined as psychological distress, mainly meaning symptoms of depression and anxiety, and was measured with the General Health Questionnaire.  The authors additionally found the risk of psychiatric hospital admissions was higher for people exposed to second-hand smoke.  This study provides more reason to encourage your loved ones, coworkers, friends, and the public to quit the lethal habit.

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