In the past decade, it has been widely reported that the rate of smoking has steadied, but according to new numbers, that is changing. New research shows the slowing in smoking cessation is related to “the prevalence of depression among current, former, and never-smokers in the U.S.”
You might ask, what does depression have to do with smoking rates? Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health aimed to answer that question.
From data analyzed from the National Household Survey on Drug Use (an annual cross-sectional study of approximately 497,000 Americans ages 12 and over), “depression increased significantly, from 16 percent to 22 percent, among current smokers aged 12 to 17, and the prevalence was consistently more than twice as high as that of never smokers.”
The team found that “depression appeared to have significantly increased in the U.S. from 2005 to 2013 among smokers, as well as among former and never-smokers. While the prevalence of depression is consistently highest among smokers, the rate of increase in depression was most prominent among former and never-smokers.”
The startling numbers highlight the need for increased public health efforts aimed at decreasing the prevalence of smoking by taking depression and mental health into account.
Researchers also noted that the examination of “factors that may be leading to increases in depression in the U.S. population among both smokers and non-smokers” is a worthy cause, being that scientific evidence continues to show a correlation between the two.