A new study from the Yale School of Public Health shows the mental health benefits of switching to vaping.
A team of researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have produced estimates from their study that providing patients with depression with the tools to quit smoking could save as many as 125,000 lives over the next 80 years. That number jumps to 203,000 when extended to people with depression who are not yet in mental health care settings.
The UK Government has acknowledged, “A third of cigarettes smoked in England are smoked by people with a mental health condition. Research has found that having a mental health condition is associated with current smoking, heavy smoking, and high levels of tobacco dependence.”
Worse, while smoking rates have fallen dramatically for the rest of the population, people with mental health conditions struggle to quit tobacco. The Royal College of Physicians has called on NHS mental health trusts to do more to promote the kind of vaping products stocked by E Liquids UK to their patients.
In “The Potential Impact of Widespread Cessation Treatment for Smokers With Depression”, the Yale academics have produced “the first known study to estimate the population health effects of integrating smoking cessation treatments with standard mental health care.”
The scientists used over ten years-worth of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to produce their predictive model. Then they took the model and projected how substances and vaping liquids sold at vape shops could form effective smoking-cessation treatments in the future.
The scientists stated: “Simulating the health benefits reveals that, at minimum, 32,000 deaths could be averted by 2100 if a significant number of patients with depression adopted any kind of cessation treatment. With 100% mental health service utilisation and pharmacological cessation treatment, the number of potential lives saved rose to 203,000.”
The figures published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine were for the United States, but similar benefits would be noted in the United Kingdom too.
Doctor Jamie Tam, the study’s lead author, said: “We’ve known for a long time that people with depression smoke more than the general population, and that mental health care settings often don’t have cessation treatment as part of standard care. Our study asks: what is that missed opportunity? What do we have to gain when mental health care and smoking cessation treatment is fully integrated.”
The study’s authors say that their results reflect what public health experts have long predicted if smoking cessation treatment were to become a routine part of mental health care. They believe that even if the real-world impact falls short of their best-case scenarios, there would still be “a sizable impact in the quality of life—and length of life—for patients living with depression.”
Doctor Tam added: “Beyond reducing the risk of early death, smoking cessation improves the quality of life and increases productivity. Decision-makers should remove barriers to mental health care and smoking cessation treatments for people with mental health conditions.”
Consumer charity The New Nicotine Alliance has previously called on the Government to do more to urge the NHS to commit to promoting vape shop products to mental health patients.