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Can Smoking Lead To Depression? Here What Recent Research Has To Say

A study found that smoking can lead to depression and that smokers are 2-3 times more likely to have clinical depression as compared to those who never smoked. Read here to know more.

Can Smoking Lead To Depression? Here What Recent Research Has To Say

Smoking can harm both physical and mental health


  1. Smoking is one of the most common causes of cancer
  2. It can increase risks of heart disease
  3. Smoking can lead to depression and anxiety

Effects of smoking on physical health are known to one and all. But, do know how this toxic habit affects mental health? A new study explored the link between smoking, depression and anxiety. Published in PLOS ONE, the study found that there may be hints in existing research that talk about smoking as a predisposing factor to depression. Depression has been found to be twice as likely in people who smoke as compared to those who do not, but it is not clear whether depression causes smoking or vice versa. A few researchers, however, believe that smoking can lead to depression.

Other studies have found people who don't smoke to have better health-related quality of life and less anxiety and depression.

Professor Hagai Levine (from Hebrew University Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem, Israel) is the senior and corresponding author of the study paper.


Smoking can put you at risk of depression
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Also read: Diabetics, Here Are 5 Dangerous Ways Smoking Is Harming You

The link between depression and smoking

The study included date from two cross-sectional studies which collected information from University of Belgrade and the University of Pristina. The former had around 90,000 studies and the latter had around 8,000 students. Of the total, 2,138 students were enrolled.

All of the 2,138 studies went for regular health check-ups between April and June 2009 at the University of Belgrade, and between April and June 2015 at the University of Pristina.

The participants provided information about their place of birth, social status, age, parents' condition and any already existing chronic condition. They also spoke about their lifestyle and habits like exercise, physical activity, eating habits, smoking status and alcohol intake.

Also read: People Who Don't Drink Alcohol Still Suffer Because Of Alcohol

People who smoked at least one cigarette in a day or 100 cigarettes in a lifetime were categorised as smokers in the study. In order to asses their health-related quality of life, the participants were asked to fill a questionnaire which comprised 36 questions across eight dimensions of health. The questions were based on body pain, vitality, general health, physical functioning, role functioning (physical and emotional), social functioning and mental health.

A score between 0 to 100, for each of these parameters, was taken by participants to see how they perceived their own mental and physical health. Researchers, on the other hand, also used Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) for assessing depressive symptoms in students.

The BDI comprises 21 items, each with a score from 0 to 3. A final score of 0-13 was for no or minimal depression; 4-19 for mild depression; 20-28 for moderate depression and 29-63 for severe depression.


Quit smoking today to get rid of the health hazards associated with it
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Try These Self-Help Methods To Fight Depression

Tobacco was found to have a negative impact on health

Having a higher BDI was associated with smoking. Students who smoked were found to be 2-3 times more likely to have clinical depression as compared to those who never smoked.

Study authors concluded that findings of the study highlight the need of further research on the link between smoking, mental health and quality of life.

Well, all the more reason to quit smoking instantly, isn't it? To keep cancer away, to lose weight more effectively, to feel less stressed and to keep heart disease away, quit smoking or cut down on it starting today.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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