Depression Linked to Increased Smoking
According to a Psych Central article on depression and smoking, “Depression is associated with an increased frequency of smoking. Addicted smokers are characterized by preoccupation with smoking, abnormal attachment to cigarettes and anticipation of brain reward from the drugs in cigarette smoke. Attempts to quit smoking often lead to a decreased level of pleasure and undesirable mood swings. Thus, once the brain has adapted to the daily dose of the drug, it seems abnormal to the brain if the user attempts to abstain. Individuals with underlying or current depressive symptoms are more likely to experience mood disturbances when they attempt to quit. Furthermore, it appears that smoking may mask an underlying depression in some smokers”.
Health professionals have studied the link between depression and cigarette smoking and used it in a recent study on cessation. The study found that smoking cessation interventions that include psychosocial mood management component could help these people quit for good.
The Science Daily reports more on the study:
“The researchers studied 49 randomized controlled trials, including 33 trials that focused on smoking cessation with a mood management element for those with current or past depression. The analysis compared both smoking cessation programs using psychosocial interventions, like counseling or exercise, and those using bupropion, an antidepressant to standard non-smoking programs.
When psychosocial components were added, smokers were able to stop smoking for longer periods. While bupropion was effective for those with a history of depression, it was not found to be effective for smokers with current depression.
Gregory L. Kirk, M.D., director of Rocky Mountain Psychiatry Consultants, LLC in Denver, who agreed with the review’s findings, emphasized that smokers with depression, past or present, have more medical problems from smoking and higher death rates from smoking-related illnesses.
“In a standard smoking cessation program, people with depression are more likely to have negative mood changes from nicotine withdrawal, but the non-depressed group can experience mood states as well. But when depressed smokers quit, depression symptoms may actually improve. This makes it all the more critical to understand this high-risk group of smokers and what helps them quit tobacco,” he said.
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Sources: https://psychcentral.com/library/depression_smoking.htm , https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130919154307.htm