Tobacco smoking and major depression

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Tobacco smoking and major depression

From 2006 to 2019, tobacco smoking rates among US individuals with significant depression and/or substance use disorder (SUD) decreased at a faster rate than those without major depression and/or SUD (NIDA).

Tobacco smoking and major depression
Tobacco smoking and major depression

There is evidence that tobacco prevention and cessation programs can reach high-risk populations, according to a study published this week in the journal JAMA.

In spite of this, NIDA researchers found that persons who suffer from psychiatric problems continue to smoke at a higher rate than those who do not.

It is clear from this study that people with psychiatric conditions can reduce their tobacco use and that smoking cessation should be prioritized alongside treatment for substance abuse, depression, and other mental health disorders, according to NIDA Director Nora Volkow, MD, the study’s co-author, in a press release.

People with psychiatric problems may benefit from concurrent treatment for more severe mental health symptoms by reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and increasing general mood and quality of life through the use of smoking cessation therapies.”

More than 558,000 people over the age of 18 who took part in the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) between 2006 and 2019 were analyzed as part of the NIDA investigation.
In spite of the fact that those with major depression, SUD, or both were more likely to smoke cigarettes, the quitting rates of these populations improved during the study period.

Smoking rates fell by 13.1% between 2006 and 2019 among persons who had experienced a major depressive episode within the previous year (the decline was 8.2 percent for those without a major depressive episode).
SUD smokers’ past-month smoking dropped by 10.9%, while non-smokers saw their smoking drop by 7.8%.
13.7 percent of the participants who had both major depression and SUD saw a decrease in past-month smoking compared to 7.6 percent of those without the co-occurring conditions.

There is a “public health success tale,” according to Dr. Volkow.

Health care practitioners must address all of a patient’s medical problems, not just their depression or drug use disorder at a particular time, according to her. As a result, smoking cessation therapy must be included in current behavioral health treatments.”As a result, everyone can expect to enjoy longer, healthier lives.


Han B, Volkow ND, Blanco C, Tipperman D, Einstein EB, Compton WM. Trends in prevalence of cigarette smoking among US adults with major depression or substance use disorders, 2006-2019. JAMA. 2022;327(16):1566-1576. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2022.4790



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