Depression Rates Spike in Teen Smokers

Depression Rates Spike in Teen SmokersDepression Rates Spike in Teen Smokers

Today’s teen smokers have experienced a spike in depression in recent years, according to a new study. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that among smokers ages 12 to 17, the percentage who had depression increased from 16.0% in 2005 to 22.4% in 2013. The study looked at rates of depression among current smokers, former smokers and people who had never smoked, ages 12 and older, reported. The high rate of depression among teen smokers may make it harder for them to quit the habit, because depressed mood is known to pose a challenge to successfully stopping smoking, researchers said. The findings suggest that it may be useful to consider whether a teen smokes when screening him or her for depression. In addition, “public health efforts aimed at decreasing the prevalence of smoking must take depression into account,” because treating a person’s depression may boost the chances that he or she will successfully quit smoking.


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