A new study published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal found that smoking may be a factor for developing psychotic illness like schizophrenia. The study undertaken by researchers from Kings College, London states that people who suffer from psychosis are three times more likely to smoke than the rest.
The study was published after researchers did an analysis of 61 studies conducted between 1980 and 2014 which included 15,000 smokers and 273,000 non-smokers. It was found that 57 percent people first diagnosed with psychosis were smokers whereas daily smokers developed psychotic illness around a year earlier than non-smokers.
It has long been assumed that higher smoking rates among psychosis sufferers could be explained by people seeking relief from boredom or distress or self medication against the symptoms or side effects of anti-psychotic medication. However, if that was the case then psychosis sufferers would resort to more smoking. The findings are in a way ambiguous since they did not take into account the effects of cannabis which is associated with psychotic illness. They however, suggested that smoking could act as a catalyst by increasing the levels of chemical dopamine in the brain which plays a significant role in psychotic illness.