A sign saying where cigarettes can be purchased is shown last November in Zgorzelec, in southeastern Poland on the border with Germany. (Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

New Study Finds Correlation between Smoking, Impaired Mental Health (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Smokers among Serbian university students found to have lower mental health scores in such spheres as vitality, social functioning

By Lawrence Rifkin / The Media Line

A researcher in Jerusalem has co-published the findings of a study that indicate smoking might pose a risk to our mental health, and not just our physical health.

The study was conducted by Prof. Hagai Levine of Hebrew University’s Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine together with Assistant Professor Tatjana Gazibara of the University of Belgrade in Serbia, and Marija Milic, a PhD student at the University of Pristina in Kosovo.

The team surveyed some 2,000 students at Serbian universities and found that smokers were two to three times more prone to clinical depression than non-smokers. In addition, no matter what their socio-economic background, smokers also had higher rates of depressive symptoms and lower mental health scores in such spheres as vitality and social functioning.

The findings were published on January 8 in PLOS ONE, an open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal.

To learn more, The Media Line spoke with Prof. Levine.

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