Studies indicate that smoking tobacco can have negative effects on one’s mental health. A new study shows that people who smoke tobacco may have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia and depression. Furthermore, the link between mental health issues and substance use disorders (SUDs) is strongly documented through research and the two are intimately connected. However, those with mental illness often do not receive attention when studies look at reducing smoking prevalence.


The Research

The study used genetic data from over 460,000 individuals to look at the cause and effect relationships of smoking. The research found that smoking increased the risk of both schizophrenia and depression and that those with these mental illnesses also experienced a higher likeliness to smoke. The relationship between smoking and depression was greater than that of the relationship between smoking and schizophrenia. Furthermore, the study also found that smoking tobacco increased the risk of the development of manic-depressive illness called bipolar disorder.  

Another side of the argument is that smoking itself does not increase the risk of mental illness, such as schizophrenia. Instead, the results of the study may show the effect of expectant mothers smoking during pregnancy, which is a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. Thus, mothers of individuals with schizophrenia had a higher genetic risk of smoking, then smoked during pregnancy, and therefore increased the risk of the development of schizophrenia in their children. Consequently, complications during pregnancy may trigger genes related to schizophrenia. 



Those battling mental illness die up to 20 years earlier than those in the general population. The research leads to the conclusion that psychiatric hospitals should ban smoking and create a smoke-free environment to avoid detrimental effects on an individual’s mental health. Another study found cigarette and marijuana use by teenagers is linked to a higher risk of psychotic-like experiences, such as delusions or hallucinations.  


Are You Experiencing Mental Illness and Subsequent Substance Use Disorders?

Prevention of smoking is imperative because there are real consequences and detrimental effects on one’s mental health, as well as physical health. Smoking tobacco or marijuana may increase one’s risk of the development of mental illnesses, such as depression or schizophrenia. Furthermore, the profound connection between mental illness and substance use disorders reveals that prevention is key in the avoidance of both. The road to the development of a substance use disorder is just as individualized and unique as the road to recovery from that addiction. 


At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.