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Depression associated with nicotine use.

New York Psychiatric Institute: Major depression has been found to be prevalent among smokers in contrast to nonsmokers.

A study by Alexander H. Glassman, M.D., of the New York State Psychiatric Institute used data collected as part of a national survey to determine the occurrence of psychiatric illness. Depression and nicotine were proven to be clearly linked. The anxiety-related diagnoses of phobia, panic and obsessive-compulsive disorders, however, showed no significant relationship with smoking. (Editor's note: Does this revelation lend further credence to the supposition that these anxiety diseases are genetic while the nicotine-depression relationship may be chemical?)

Another question raised by the study is how great a role does depression play in the dynamics of smoking? Depressed smokers are 40% less likely to quit than those who aren't smokers, another study concludes. (Robert F. Anda, M.D., of the Division of Chronic Disease Control.)

Dr. Glassman also theorizes that smokers may use tobacco to medicate depression. If failure to stop smoking relates to depression, he says, antidepressant drugs might be used to prevent these symptoms common to nicotine withdrawal.
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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