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Adding a psychosocial mood management component to a standard smoking cessation intervention increases long-term cessation rates in smokers with both current and past depression, when compared with the standard intervention alone. This successful smoking cessation can lead to improved mental health.



Smokers with depression are more likely to be nicotine dependent, suffer from negative mood changes after nicotine withdrawal, have more relapse to smoking after quitting, and have a greater risk for smoking-related morbidity and mortality. Health professionals may encourage smokers with depression not to quit due to the belief that quitting may exacerbate depressive symptoms, However, evidence suggests that quitting smoking may improve rather than exacerbate depressive symptoms in those who are able to remain abstinent. Smoking cessation interventions which include an additional psychosocial mood management component have been found to result in an increase in long-term smoking cessation rates in smokers with both current and past depression, when compared with the standard intervention alone. A review also found that adding bupropion also resulted in significantly increased quit rates for those who had suffered from depression in the past. The point estimate in those suffering from depression currently was similar but the number of studies was smaller and a significant effect was not detected. In the one trial that tested it, varenicline significantly increased smoking cessation in smokers with stably treated current or past depression without exacerbating depression or anxiety.



van der Meer RM, Willemsen MC, Smit F, Cuijpers P. Smoking cessation interventions for smokers with current or past depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD006102. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006102.pub2.

Weinberger AH, Mazure CM, Morlett A, McKee SA. Two decades of smoking cessation treatment research on smokers with depression: 1990-2010. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2013; 15: 1014-31.

Taylor G, McNeill A, Girling A, Farley A, Lindson-Hawley N, Aveyard P. Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2014; 348: g1151.

Anthenelli RM, Morris C, Ramey TS, Dubrava SJ, Tsilkos K, Russ C, Yunis C. Effects of Varenicline on Smoking Cessation in Adults With Stably Treated Current or Past Major DepressionA Randomized Trial. Annals of internal medicine. 2013 Sep 17;159(6):390-400.

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