Study shows links between mental health and secondhand smoke

Posted on July 21, 2010


A recent New York Times article discusses the relationship between secondhand smoke and mental health. The study found that people exposed to secondhand smoke are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from mental stress than those not exposed. Even those with minimal exposure increased their risk of depression and anxiety by 25 percent.

Dr. Mark Hamer, a senior research fellow at University College of London, states that studies like these are very important as they suggest nicotine’s strong effect on mental health. Likewise, in a Time article, Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, notes that this study relates to “group-home and mental-health settings, where many caretakers allow patients to smoke as a way to keep them calm and control their behavior.” 

The study also showed that most secondhand smoke exposure occurred in the home, putting children especially at risk.