This illustration was created in collaboration with Dr Gemma Taylor, who is an epidemiologist and behavioural scientist. We wanted to visualise her main areas of interest, which include: understanding the association between smoking and mental health, identifying therapeutic targets that utilise epidemiological methods, and applying these to addiction interventions used in NHS psychological services. Her research has identified the link between stopping smoking and improved mental health.
This sophisticated artwork displays the connection of smoking and mental health. The design's background shows multiple studies that have shown that smokers are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. The focus is on the conversation of a smoker and a psychologist, with the smokers words depicted as wisps of smoke emanating from his mouth. The artwork cleverly represents the idea of "escaping dialogues" through smoking, with the smoke serving as a metaphor for the exchange of thoughts and ideas. At the same time, it highlights the potential harm of this coping mechanism and the importance of seeking professional help for addiction and mental health concerns.