Fred Bodimer

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new local study finds quitting smoking is associated with mental health improvements.

Up until now, the common medical belief was that it might make matters worse to ask a smoker who was being treated for mental health issues to kick the habit. Wash University researcher Patricia Cavazos-Rehg questioned that notion.

“We wanted to follow smokers to see if that was in fact what happened and we found just the opposite. That smokers were able to quit smoking and that was associated in reductions with their mental health problems,” says Cavazos-Rehg.

But she adds it’s still not clear whether quitting smoking makes mental health problems better or whether better psychiatric treatments make it easier for smokers to quit. Either way, she says, the associations are strong.

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