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Smoking may hike the risk of developing depression and schizophrenia, according to a study.
Bristol University experts discovered smokers face almost twice the risk of getting the mental health conditions.
Study - People - Catalogue - Health - Issues
The study, conducted on nearly half a million people, adds to the large catalogue of health issues already linked to tobacco.
Academics could not prove smoking causes depression or schizophrenia, warning that they only found more evidence to link them.
Results - Psychological - Medicine - People - Conditions
Results, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, also showed people with the conditions are more likely to start smoking.
But the evidence to suggest smoking leads to poor mental health - as opposed to the other way round - was much stronger.
Author - Dr - Robyn - Wootton - Team
Lead author Dr Robyn Wootton and her team believe nicotine hampers dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain.
Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical and regulates one's emotions, as does serotonin - known as the 'happy chemical' which contributes to wellbeing.
Paper - Smokers - Health - Conditions
The scientific paper calls for more to be done to help smokers with mental health conditions to stop.
Dr Wootton said: 'Individuals with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, leading to health inequalities.
Work - Effort - Initiation - Smoking - Cessation
'Our work shows we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health.'
The toxicity of tobacco is...
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