Depressed Smokers Less Likely to Quit
TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers trying kick the
addiction are less likely to be successful if they're depressed,
says a new study.
Researchers surveyed callers to the California Smokers' Helpline
and found that 24 percent had major depression and 17 percent had
mild depression. More than half of the smokers had made an attempt
to quit smoking after calling the hotline.
After two months, the rate of success of smokers with major
depression was far lower than that of smokers who were mildly
depressed or not depressed. Of those who tried to stop smoking,
around one in five with major depression had been able to quit and
stay smoke-free, compared to nearly one in three people in the
other two groups.
The findings appear online and in the January 2011 print issue
American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
It was already known that mild depression reduces smokers'
chances of quitting. This study suggests that major depression has
an even greater impact. But most smoking hotlines -- also known as
quitlines -- do not evaluate smokers for depression, the
More than 400,000 smokers in the United States call smoking
quitlines each year. Based on their findings, the study authors
estimated that up to 100,000 depressed smokers are not receiving
the targeted treatment they require.
"Assessing for depression can predict if a smoker will quit successfully, but the assessment would be more valuable if it were linked to services" that address both smoking and depression, lead author Kiandra Hebert, of the University of California at San Diego, said in a Center for Advancing Health news release.
The American Cancer Society offers a
guide to quitting smoking.
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