Teen Smokers Often Find Depression Follows Taking up Smoking

A commonly admitted reason teenagers have began smoking is that they are seeking a boost for their mood.

Canadian researchers surveyed teen smokers to determine how smoking actually affected their moods.

What they discovered was that smoking can actually depress and not enhance the teens’ mental state of being.

Teenage Smoking and Moods: The Study

The teens were divided into three groups. In one group were the teens who had never smoked. The other two were for teen smokers who smoked for self medicating reasons, and for teens smokers who smoked but not for self medicating reasons.

Using a scale, the participants were asked to rate the occurrence of several moods and depression symptoms, including lethargy, sleep disruption, feelings of sadness or depression, feelings of hopelessness, feeling nervous or tense, and bouts of worry.

Symptoms of Depression

The researchers found that the teen smokers were much more likely to experience depressed moods that the teens who were non-smokers. Furthermore, the teens who reportedly started smoking as a method to increase their moods experienced more frequent depressive symptoms than the teen smokers who did not using smoking as a form of self medication.

Beyond Physical Harm: Emotional Consequences of Smoking

The physical health consequences of smoking are widely known: coughing, difficulty breathing, decreased immunity, increased chance of lung disease or lung issues, increased heart problems or occurrence of heart attack—even increased chance of death as a culmination of these symptoms.

What this study allows us to see are the effects of smoking on emotional health and well being, too. While symptoms of depression do not necessarily lead to the disease depression, they certainly put people at a higher risk. The teenage years can be trying for most adolescents, whether or not smoking is an addiction that is picked up.

Reference: Smoking Seems to Backfire on Teens Hoping for a Lift: http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=642605

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