"Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth" [David Bowie]
Back in 2008 the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich highlighted the link between young smokers and suicide. Thoughts about suicide and attempts to commit suicide were four times more frequent for German teens aged 14-24 that smoked.
In the U.S a year later Ronald Kessler and his fellow Harvard University colleagues provided data that smokers were about two or three times as likely to have thought about or attempted suicide in the past year than non-smokers. The more you smoked the more you thought about ending your life.
This result backs-up a ‘mass’ study done involving 300,000 U.S smoking/non-smoking military employees over the period 1987 to 1996.
Suicide and Smoking are unequivocally linked.
These studies however concentrated exclusively on the act of killing oneself on the spot, rather than taking the long route via lung cancer etc.
So what about smokers who don’t take overdoses of pills, place a gun to the forehead – are they too suicidal, just too ‘chicken’ to jump off a bridge?
All smokers know they are deliberately ending their lives early, yet they are perfectly happy exchanging a shorter life for what they consider ‘a pleasure’.
Most smokers dismiss outside advice to quit the habit with the quip “You have to die some-way”.
I’m sure you’ve heard the dismissive barb before, more than once.
Is this simply a form of the philosophical doctrine of fatalism: death is inevitable so live your life to the fullest doing whatever spins your wheels?
This could be the case were it not a fact smoking is strongly linked with suicide of the immediate kind.
Repeat: the more you smoke the more you think about suicide.
Similarly it’s a fact, smokers as a group end their lives earlier than non-smokers and they largely don’t care, remain almost defiantly proud of this sad stat.
For all intents every smoker is manifesting suicidal tendencies, most opting to take the long-way out.
For this demographic, if it wasn’t smokes it would be some other health impinging vice.