New research published in the Lancet Psychiatry links smoking to the higher potential for developing schizophrenia, and at a younger age. A team at King’s College London analyzed 61 separate studies involving mental health, mental illness, and smoking. While further investigation is necessary, the team found that “57% of people with psychosis were already smokers when they had their first psychotic episode; daily smokers were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as non-smokers; smokers developed schizophrenia a year earlier on average.”

Although smoking and psychosis have long been tied together, many assumed that nicotine was used as a coping mechanism for dealing with the voices that schizophrenia presents. Now, researchers will begin further research to better understand if nicotine could be altering the brain in this way.

Click here to read the full article by James Gallagher for BBC.