Smoking may cause depression in teenagers
- By: Siân Knight
As well as causing respiratory problems, smoking cigarettes may lead to depression in teenagers, according to a report published in Pediatrics (2000;106(4):748-55).
The study followed 15 000 United States teenagers over a year, and found that teenagers whosmokedwere morethan twice as likely to develop high depressive symptoms than those who were non-smokers (10.5% v 4.8%).
The heaviest smokers seem to be more at risk than those who smoke only occasionally. Twelve per cent of teenagers who smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day reported depressive symptoms after a year. The study also found that while sociodemographic factors, including age, gender, household income, and parental education, were not significantly associated with a progression to heavy smoking, race was. White teens were found more likely to become moderate to heavy smokers than other racial groups of the same age.
Most importantly, the study found that high depressive symptoms were not