Smoking Restrictions Linked to Reduced Suicide Rates


Smoking laws and cigarette taxes have strong links to suicide rates, according to psychiatrists from Washington University in St. Louis. Previous studies have presumed that links between smoking and suicide related to high smoking rates among people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders; however, in a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, state-level data from 1990 to 2004 show that when states adopted aggressive tobacco-control policies, their suicide rates decreased. “Our analysis showed that each dollar increase in cigarette taxes was associated with a 10 percent decrease in suicide risk,” said psychiatrist Richard Grucza in a press release. “Indoor smoking bans also were associated with risk reductions.”

“The opposite was true in states with lower cigarette taxes and more lax policies toward smoking in public,” continued the press release. “In those states, suicide rates increased up to 6 percent, relative to the national average, during the same time period.”

Smoking May Contribute to Suicide Risk (Newswise Press Release from Washington University in St. Louis, July 15, 2014)

Probing the Smoking–Suicide Association: Do Smoking Policy Interventions Affect Suicide Risk? (Grucza, Richard A. et al. Nicotine & Tobacco Research (2014) doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu106)


  1. Someone should do a study on the increase of violence in inpatient psychiatric units that banned smoking. Anyone who has worked or been a patient prisoner

    Bad enough getting stripped of all civil and human rights inpatient, now psychiatric inmates have to endure the pain of nicotine withdrawal even though 999 out of 1000 grab a cigarette less than an hour of getting out and start smoking again anyway.

    What about those patches and nicotine gum ? Every smoker knows those things have little effect on cravings for a real cigarette and success rates for quitting prove it.

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    • I know people who get extremely aggressive if they can’t get their cigarette in time. It’s just another way to control people in these institutions: you’re told when you sleep, when you wake, when and what you eat and if you can smoke and basically everything. It’s totally inhumane and degrading.

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  2. Wow, so back when I was a kid and it seemed like everybody smoked suicide rates were through the roof?

    Do the number of storks in Copenhagen still effect the birth rates as well?

    I love it when a policy is wanted by certain people, and they then go out and produce the data they require to support their agenda.

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      • Used to be Francesca, blissfully happy, up until the day I got introduced to ‘forced psychiatry’, and not a day of my life has been worth living since.

        I have heard it said that it is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, that open ones mouth and confirm it. The same is true of this sort of research. Each time they publish this stuff they are merely confirming what a bunch of liars and deceivers they are. I think we can safely add Mr Grucza to the list.

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