News / Health

Studies Show Smoking Affects Both Mental, Physical Health

Studies Show Smoking Affects Both Mental, Physical Health
Studies Show Smoking Affects Both Mental, Physical Health

Multimedia

Carol Pearson

It is well known that smoking is bad for you.  But just how bad? Three new studies about cigarette smoking show it is more harmful than previously thought for both physical and mental health.

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin recently issued a statement on the impact tobacco smoke has on the human body.

"This report concludes that damage from tobacco smoke is immediate," said Benjamin.

Dr. Benjamin said smoke enters the blood stream quickly and affects every organ. She said even occasional smoking or breathing other people's smoke can lead to serious illness or death.

"One cigarette, or exposure to some second hand smoke, may cause a heart attack," added Benjamin.

Dr. Benjamin told people who are trying to quit not to give on up trying.   

Smoking cigarettes is common in the military, especially in war zones. Military veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder often turn to tobacco for help in regaining an even mood.  That's what Walter Williams did when he served in Vietnam.

"I started to smoke in the military.  It seemed to be what everybody was doing," recalled Williams.

Professor Miles McFall and Dr. Andrew Saxon from the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Seattle studied more than 900 veterans.  Doctors treated half of the veterans for post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) while also treating them for their smoking habit.  The other half were treated for PTSD but went to a separate program to quit smoking.  

Saxon: "Veterans who received that integrated care, intervention, from their mental health clinician in the PTSD clinic, twice the number quit smoking as those who were referred to a smoking cessation clinic."

McFall: "There was no worsening of psychiatric conditions connected to quitting smoking."

In fact, a study from Brown University found quitting makes people happier.   This study involved a group of 200-plus smokers who wanted to quit. They got a nicotine patch and counseling and then agreed on a quit date. Those participating in the study took a standardized test for symptoms of depression before the quit date and then at various intervals afterwards.

"Those people who were the most successful, who quit and stayed quit, came in with relatively low levels of depressive symptoms," said Professor Christopher Kahler who led the study.

In contrast, Kahler found that people who quit and then relapsed, were in better moods when they didn't smoke and then became depressed when they went back to smoking.

"If anything, people are feeling better when they are not smoking compared to when they are," added Kahler.

Kahler says he hopes the study inspires people to stop smoking, especially when they realize that quitting can lead to a happier, healthier life and not long-term deprivation.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid