Smoking cigarettes may increase risk of schizophrenia, study showsBMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3773 (Published 10 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3773
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In the 1970s, when at Charing Cross Hospital migraine clinic, I was asked to see inpatients with headaches in the psychiatric ward. That was difficult because most patients were smoking and the ward was filled with tobacco smoke! As smoking was the main cause of headaches in men, it seemed extraordinary that anyone could believe that smoking could ever benefit patients with any mental illness.1-5
Unlike use of progestogens and oestrogens or ergotamine, smoking caused more tension headaches than severe migraine attacks. Therefore many smokers and ex-smokers were also addicted to prescribed benzodiazepines.
There are thousands of toxic chemicals including nicotine and cadmium in cigarette smoke. Toxic DNA adducts, especially cadmium from cigarette smoke, are common in autistic children. It is sad that, decades later, epidemiological studies do not include relevant and revealing biochemical investigations.
1. Gurillo P, Jauhar S, Murray RM, MacCabe JH. Does tobacco use cause schizophrenia? Systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Psychiatry 10 July 2015;doi.org/10.1016/52215-0366(15)00152-2.
2 Grant ECG, Clifford Rose F. Smoking and migraine. In Smoking and Arterial Disease Ed Greenhalgh RM, Pitman Medical 1981 pp29-34.
3 Grant ECG. Allergies smoking and the contraceptive pill .In Biological Aspects of Schizophrenia and Addiction.1982.Ed Hemmings G, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester pp263-72 .
4 Grant ECG. The harmful effects of common social habits, especially smoking and using oral contraceptive steroids, on pregnancy. Int J Environ Studies 1981;17:57-66.
5 Grant ECG. Environmental and pollutional effects on the learning skills of young children. Dyslexia Review 1982;5:29-31
Competing interests: No competing interests