Bipolar People Are Heavy Smokers

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar people tend to smoke more, and this might affect their health

A group of Australian researchers discovered that smoking rates among people suffering from bipolar disorder were much too high. Psychiatrists are concerned about these worrying results and emphasize the importance of helping them quit.

They found that around two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder (that is around 61 percent) were regular smokers. Tobacco is one of the main causes of heart disease and other severe conditions. This is why the psychiatrists from Australia and New Zealand say that it is really important for these people to quit smoking as soon as possible.

Smoking is more dangerous for bipolar people than for mentally healthy ones

Smoking is more dangerous for bipolar people, since people who struggle with mental illnesses have an overall poorer physical health. Also, they have a much shorter life expectancy than those with no mental ailments. Unfortunately, the addiction of these people to nicotine is much more severe. Therefore, it is harder to get them to quit.

Thus, several public health experts tried to find a solution. They suggested that bipolar people should use electronic cigarettes as an alternative to smoking real tobacco. This proposal was published in a study in the Australian New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

“Additional approaches are urgently needed to reduce the devastating consequences to physical and mental health in those who are unable or unwilling to quit with conventional treatments. One novel option is switching to long term use of electronic cigarettes.”

They argue that replacing tobacco cigarettes with electronic cigarettes might help them improve their health substantially. Also, this might help them overcome the social and financial gap these people are struggling with.

Are e-cigarettes a viable solution?

Still, there are people who doubt that e-cigarettes would help bipolar people. For instance, the Cancer Council Australia does not agree with the fact that electronic cigarettes are healthier than tobacco cigarettes.

Paul Grogan, their director of public policy, declared that a series of randomized trials proved that the same treatments mentally healthy people used could be as effective for people struggling with mental illnesses. Moreover, e-cigarettes need to be approved as therapeutic before being recommended to such people as an alternative to tobacco.

However, this might not happen too soon. Liquid nicotine is still listed as restricted poison. Thus, electronic cigarettes might not be the solution the experts are looking for.
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