Smoking has been linked to depression and other mental health conditions, but recently it was found that not only smokers are prone to this, but also those exposed to second hand smoke are also at an increased risk.
The study looked at over 5,600 people who do not smoke, and about 2,600 who do smoke. Using a questionnaire the researchers found out that people who do not smoke, but are exposed to second-hand smoke were 1.5 times as likely to suffer from psychological symptoms as non-smokers who were not exposed to second hand smoke. Although people who actually smoke are 4 times more likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital than those who have not smoked or been exposed to second hand smoke, it is astonishing to find that those exposed people are also 3 times as likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. It is still unknown whether those who establish mental health problems are more likely to start smoking or if smoking helps cause the mental health problems.
So far it is only known that mental health and smoking are connected, but further research is needed to develop these ideas. Now that these risks have been increased, smoking warnings are becoming increasingly serious. Smoking has been linked to heart disease, lung cancer, cancer of the larynx, cancer of the oral cavity or esophagus, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and most recently, mental conditions. Exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to causing sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, severe asthma, slowing lung growth in children, and mental diseases.
Here is the latest smoking news in Canada:
Non-Smoking Week Initiative –
January 17th – 23rd is National Non-Smoking Week. Ottawa kicked off the week with a 630,000 dollar gift to the Canadian Public Health Association to decrease tobacco use. The financial proposal is titled “’The Next Stage: Delivering Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Knowledge through Public Health Networks”. It will offer knowledge of reducing smoking in the curriculum of various college and university health related classes. It will also create a national public medical forum for health professionals.
The Olympics –
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics were originally decided to be smoke-free; this was a popular brag topic amongst the Vancouver Costal Health Authority. This recently was changed as news was revealed that there will be more than 25 outdoor designated areas for smoking. These areas are to be used by officials and coaches. Other outdoor smoking vicinities have been tactically placed away from spectators to prevent any damage caused by second hand smoke. The reason these smoking areas were permitted was because it was requested by various international sport associations.
No Smoking at Parks or Beaches –
A ban was proposed over a year ago that on February 1st, 2009, all smoking at parks or beaches would be prohibited. This idea is gaining popularity with the Vancouver Park Board. The idea was exceedingly popular during the summer, when there was a risk of forest fires in Stanley Park. Rather than banning smoking all together at locations such as parks and beaches it was discussed that certain areas of the parks or beaches (such as playgrounds) would forbid smoking. Another issue which has been raised around smoking was the littering of cigarette butts. Beaches are covered in cigarette butts, which can be removed no other way than by hand.