Facebook Pixel

Smoking Can Lead to Depressive Symptoms Long-Term

By HERWriter
Rate This

“Feel good” activities like smoking cigarettes can actually lead to depressive symptoms instead of the desired happiness and relaxation long-term, according to recent research.

A Science Daily article Friday stated that “smoking can increase depressive symptoms in teens.” The research came out of the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal.

The teens had used smoking as a way to feel better, but they ended up being more depressed long-term.

This isn’t necessarily new research – a study published in 2008 also found that “women who smoke are at greater risk of developing major depressive disorder.”

It can be tempting to smoke because it can feel relaxing temporarily, but it can also be related to more stress. A Pew Research Center report found that smokers “frequently experience stress in their daily lives” more often than non-smokers, though it is not completely certain if people who prefer to smoke are predisposed to stress and overall are just finding ways to self-medicate. However, the smoking doesn’t appear to be alleviating anything long-term.

For example, I smoke hookah occasionally and I still have depression, stress and some anxiety. However, during the time that I smoke, I do feel much more relaxed. I don’t smoke hookah generally to feel more relaxed – it’s a social thing and I enjoy the taste. Hookah and cigarette smoke are slightly different, but still comparable.

Although there are other causes of depression in women, according to the National Institute of Mental Health – genetics, chemicals and hormones, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, postpartum depression, menopause and stress – other unhealthy behaviors like drinking alcohol, avoiding exercise, sleeping and eating poorly can also be linked to depression.

Some of the above may be surprising. For example, according to www.kidshealth.org, alcohol is a depressant but “in very small amounts, alcohol can help a person feel more relaxed or less anxious.” A Science Daily study then suggests that alcohol abuse may lead to more depression, instead of depression leading to self-medication involving alcohol.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

As a teenager I would smoke cigarettes and pot all weekend, and then come home and feel like rubbish. The come-down from all that nicotine and whatever else definitly had an affect on the "brain chemistry" and I would be very prone to suicidal depression. There were other factors which influenced the condition, but certainly smoking didnt help.
Nowadays I use an e-cigarette because theyre much better, and thanks to God I no longer am depressed as I once was. I am concerned though about nicotine maybe causing some problem, as there is nicotine in the e-cig.. Maybe I should use the nicotine-free liquid instead?
(Content edited by moderator to remove website link)

August 31, 2010 - 7:18pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Depression Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!