Smoking cessation can help smokers reduce depression, says study
“When it comes to smoking, quitters are the winners.” This statement holds true because smoking cessation brings in healthy social life, a positive outlook, reduced risk of diseases and a better quality of life. Now, better mental health can also be added to the list of rewards of a smoke-free life.
According to a recent study, funded by the Cancer Research U.K. and published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine in December 2016, patients suffering from depression experience a considerable improvement in the symptoms after bidding adieu to cigarette smoking. Smoking can reduce the life expectancy by 10-20 years, says the study by the Kings College London and the Charles University in Prague.
According to the National Household Survey on Drug Use (NSDUH), the prevalence of depression among current, former, and never smokers have witnessed a steep rise in the United States. The occurrence of depression among current smokers aged 12-17 years has increased from 16 percent to 22 percent during 2005-2013. Throughout this period, the prevalence of depression among current smokers was two times, compared to the people who never smoke.
Correlation between smoking and depression
The study aimed at understanding whether there was a relationship between depression and abstinence from smoking over a period of one year and whether abstinence can help alleviate depression. The participants of the study were smokers undergoing treatment for depression at the Centre for Tobacco Dependence during 2008-2014.
According to the study, people with depression who stayed away from smoking for over one year of review period experienced continuous improvements in depressive symptoms. However, the symptoms troubled those who continued to smoke during the same period.
The researchers studied the correlation between depression and smoking cessation in people visiting a stop smoking clinic in the Czech Republic. As researchers had expected, the results suggested a positive association between quitting smoking and improvement in depressive symptoms. Around 66.3 percent smokers with moderate or severe depression reported no or minimal symptoms during a one-year follow-up after quitting.
Senior author of the study Dr Leonie Brose, a Cancer Research U.K. fellow based at King’s College London, said, “Our study shows that stop smoking services can be very effective at supporting people with depression, and that increased visits greatly improve the success of quit attempts. The findings also suggest that giving up smoking may improve depressive symptoms, improving mental as well as physical health.”
In another related study, researchers from the universities of Birmingham, Oxford, and King’s College London conducted a comparative analysis of mental health of active smokers and the ones who had stopped smoking long ago. The research team derived convincing evidences in favor of the beneficial effects of smoking cessation on mental disorders, including depression, stress, anxiety, stress and positivity.
Lighting up the hope
The latest study clearly indicated the potential benefits of smoking cessation with respect to depression and other mental health concerns. Therefore, effort should be made by the public health system to reduce the prevalence of smoking, which is indeed a modifiable barrier in the treatment of depression.
In addition, the researchers found that specialist support, adherence to medication and follow-up meetings at depression treatment clinics played an important role in helping smokers quit the habit. The frequency of treatment sessions attended was also a strong determinant of abstinence in depressed smokers.
If you or your loved one is struggling with depression, contact the Texas Depression Treatment Help to enquire about depression treatment centers in Texas. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-827-0282 or chat online for more information and support. One should not delay the treatment to avoid things getting out of hand.