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A study has shown that cigarette smokers are more likely to commit suicide even if they suffer from psychiatric disorders or not.
Researchers at Washington University’s school of medicine in St Louis found that smoking itself may increase suicide risk and that policies to limit smoking reduce suicide rates.
According to Richard A Grucza, an associate professor of psychiatry from Washington University,
Suicide rates declined up to 15 percent in US states that implemented higher taxes on cigarettes and stricter policies to limit smoking in public places.
The results showed that each dollar increase in cigarette taxes was associated with a 10 percent decrease in suicide risk.
Using statistical methods, researchers compared rates of suicide in states with stricter tobacco policies to rates in states with more lenient laws and lower taxes.
They also determined whether people who had committed suicide were likely to have smoked.
They learned that suicide risk among people most likely to smoke was associated with policies related to tobacco taxes and smoking restrictions.
Grucza now wants e-cigarettes to come under scanner which deliver nicotine but release vapour rather than smoke.
Like any other addictive drug, people start using nicotine to feel good, but eventually they need it to feel normal.
The chronic use of any drug can contribute to depression or anxiety, and that could help to explain the link to suicide, say researchers.