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 Change in Mental Health Following Smoking Cessation

While it is a popular belief amongst smokers that smoking helps to reduce stress levels and anxiety, a recent study demonstrates that the opposite is actually true. A systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the changes that occur in mental health following smoking cessation. The review summarized the results of 26 studies that assessed anxiety, depression, psychological quality of life, positive affect, and stress. The time frames for follow up ranged from 7 weeks to 9 years after smoking cessation. The study found that there was a decrease in anxiety, depression, and stress in people who quit smoking when compared to people who continued to smoke. Conversely, psychological quality of life and positive affect were shown to be increased in those who quit smoking compared with those who continued to smoke.

Taylor, G, McNeill, A, Girling, A, Farley, A, Lindson-Hawley, N, Aveyard, P.“Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis”BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 13 February 2014)


Smoking Bans Reduce the Rate of Preterm Birth & Hospitalization for Childhood Asthma

A study published in the Lancet has investigated the effect of public smoking bans on perinatal and child health. Eleven studies published between 2008 and 2013 were analyzed. It was found that in areas where smoking bans were enforced, there was an associated decrease in preterm births and hospital attendances due to asthma. The authors suggest that evidence found by the study provides support for WHO recommendations to create smoke-free environments.

Jasper V Been, Ulugbek B Nurmatov, Bianca Cox, Tim S Nawrot, Constant P van Schayck, Aziz Sheikh, “Effect of smoke-free legislation on perinatal and child health: a systematic review and meta-analysis” Published Online in The Lancet, March 28, 2014,


Smoking on TV & Trends in Adult Cigarette Consumption

Portrayal of cigarettes on TV has changed over the decades, and a new study set out to determine the effects these changes have had on trends in cigarette use amongst adults in the US. The study examined trends in cigarette use on popular TV dramas in the US between 1955 and 2010. Coinciding with the decrease in TV cigarette consumption, there was an associated reduction of cigarette use by adults in the US. The reduction was calculated at 38.5 cigarettes per US adult, which also took into account changes in cigarette prices and other factors that may have accounted for a reduction in cigarette use over the 55 year period. These results are consistent with other data showing a correlation between cigarette portrayal in TV dramas and associated cigarette cravings in adult smokers.

Patrick E. Jamieson “Portrayal of tobacco use in prime-time TV dramas: trends and associations with adult cigarette consumption – USA, 1955–2010.”Tobacco Control, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050896, published online 4 April 2014.


The Dangers of Third-Hand Smoke

A newer area of study is that of third-hand smoke. Like second-hand smoke, third-hand smoke is more toxic than directly inhaled smoke from cigarettes. It has now been demonstrated that this third-hand smoke, derived from the build-up of second-hand smoke on surfaces, becomes more toxic as it ages, posing an even greater health risk to those who come into contact with it. In a recent animal study it was shown that third-hand smoke had negative health effects on the liver, lungs, and skin. In addition, behavioural effects were also seen, with mice becoming hyperactive upon exposure to third-hand smoke. This is especially alarming for children who may be at risk for behavioural and neurological disorders as a results of exposure to third-hand smoke.

Bo Hang, et alThirdhand smoke causes DNA damage in human cells.”Mutagenesis, doi:10.1093/mutage/get013, published online 5 March 2013.

Manuela Martins-Green, et al.,Cigarette Smoke Toxins Deposited on Surfaces: Implications for Human Health.”PLOS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086391, published online 29 January 2014.


Smoking Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

A new study has revealed an increased risk of breast cancer in smokers compared to non-smokers. The study included women aged 20-44 years, who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2004 and 2010. The study found that women who smoked a pack a day had a 60% greater risk of developing breast cancer compared to non-smokers. It also showed that women who either smoked rarely, or had recently started smoking, also had an increase in their risk of developing breast cancer. Interestingly, the study found that smoking increased the risk of developing a specific sub-type of breast cancer, estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, which is a more common form of the disease.

Masaaki Kawai, Kathleen E. Malone, Mei-Tzu C. Tang, and Christopher I. Li. “Active smoking and risk of estrogen receptor positive and triple-negative breast cancer among women 20–44 years of age.” CANCER; Published Online: February 10, 2014 (DOI:10.1002/cncr.28402).

Drop in Cardiovascular Disease-Related Deaths Following Public Smoking Bans in Michigan

Indoor smoking bans in Michigan were enforced in 2010, making it the 38th state to ban smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants. To date, there have been several studies conducted in the US to determine the impact of smoking bans on public health. A recent study set out to investigate the impact of the smoking ban on public health in Michigan. The study assessed hospitalizations due to heart attack, congestive heart failure, and stroke one year prior to, and one year following the smoking bans in Michigan. The study reported a significant decrease in both hospitalization and death due to cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke in Michigan following the public smoking bans.

Press Release from American College of Cardiology. Available from: Accessed: April 12, 2014.


Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD

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