The figure is stark: 42% of all cigarettes smoked in England are consumed by people with mental health problems. So while the life expectancy of the general population continues to climb, those with a severe mental health problem have their lives cut short by up to 30 years – in part due to smoking.
Since the 1950s, rates of smoking have dramatically reduced in the population while the number of people with psychosis has remained constant. So why has the incidence of psychosis not mirrored the reduction in the overall numbers of smokers? Two factors might explain this. First institutional neglect has held up efforts and resources employed to reduce smoking for people with mental health problems – until recently public health campaigns have ignored this group with justifications that “surely they have enough to worry about without nagging about smoking” or “it’s one of the few pleasures they have”. Although some people use smoking as a way of dealing with any mental health issues they may have, it is not doing them any favours when it comes to their overall health. But a site like gourmeteliquid.co.uk could be the solution that smokers have been looking for. With the idea of vaping and the use of nicotine patches, they are just some alternative methods to help you quit smoking effectively. Just because a method didn’t work for someone else, does not mean it won’t work for you. It is worth a try or at least do a little bit of research, just so you are familiar with this a little more. Your health should be your top priority, so it makes sense that you want to do all you can to live a healthier lifestyle. If that possibly means you have to switch over to a nicotine alternative such as a vape pen and its related products that are now widely popular to focus on your health, then all your opportunities should be explored.
A more sinister role is also played by the tobacco industry, who have not been passive or unaware of one of their most loyal consumer groups: people with mental health problems. The industry has been active in funding research that supports the self-medication hypothesis, pushing the idea that people with psychosis need tobacco to relieve their symptoms, rather than tobacco having any link to those symptoms. The industry has also been a key player in obstructing hospital smoking bans which they perceive as a threat to tobacco consumption. Worse still they have marketed cigarettes specifically to people with mental health problems. This is why we need to put more resources into mental health services to help people and improve mental health access, so people are able to cleanly help themselves in more constructive positive ways. It’s important to remember the devastating effect that smoking can have on our bodies too, not just on our mental health. Smoking has been identified as one of the risk factors of Peripheral Arterial Disease, amongst other serious diseases affecting the heart, kidneys, and brain. However, the good news is that it is a modifiable risk factor meaning that it is something that you can stop doing in order to lessen your risk of acquiring harmful (and avoidable) diseases. It is a difficult thing to quit but it is ultimately for the good of your health.