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Depression, a risk factor for nicotine dependence

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Smoking is associated with a wide variety of harmful effects on the body. While cancer is projected as one of the major effects of smoking, somewhat lesser importance is being given to the depression-nicotine dependence cycle.

Depression and smoking dependence are interrelated. While chronic smokers can experience depression on cessation of smoking, depression can initiate the habit of smoking in non-smokers. Thereby it becomes a vicious cycle which becomes difficult to break. Studies have reported that risk of major depression is double in nicotine dependent smokers when compared to nondependent smokers. Steps taken to counter depression plays a vital role in cessation of smoking in both nicotine dependent and nondependent smokers. The use of antidepressant medications or other therapies to counter depression can also prevent depressed individuals getting addicted to smoking.

Source: Burgermeister D. Understanding Nicotine and Depression. JNP. 2009; 5(7); 486-496.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: December 09, 2014