The nation’s dwindling band of smokers, skulking outside office doors, already resent being treated as pariahs. The suggestion that they may be dotty, too, will only enrage them further. But the argument is not as daft as it seems. It is a matter of statistics.
While smoking has declined overall it has not declined among those with mental disorders. Hence they account for a growing proportion – at least one in three – of the smokers that remain.
Faced with those figures doctors would be remiss if they did not consider whether a patient’s fag habit disguised an untreated mental disorder.