The prevalence of smoking has remained fairly stable over the past decade after declining sharply for many years. To determine whether an increase in certain barriers to successful cessation and sustained abstinence may be contributing to this slowed decline, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed changes in the prevalence of depression among current, former and never smokers in the U.S. 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 full study findings are published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
The research team, led by Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology, analyzed data from the National Household Survey on Drug Use, an annual cross-sectional study of approximately 497, 000 Americans, ages 12 and over. The prevalence of past 12-month depression was examined annually among current (past 12-month), former (not past 12-month), and lifetime non-smokers from 2005 to 2013. The researchers further analyzed the data by age, gender, and household income.