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Am J Psychiatry. 1997 Feb;154(2):263-5.

Major depression following smoking cessation.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia, University, New York, NY, USA.



The authors examined the incidence and predictors of major depression following successful smoking cessation treatment, with special attention to the influence of past major depression.


Three-month follow-up data were obtained from 126 subjects who successfully completed a 10-week smoking cessation program.


The 3-month incidence of new major depression following treatment for nicotine dependence was 2%, 17%, and 30% among subjects with histories of no major depression, single major depression, and recurrent major depression, respectively. A history of major depression and persistent withdrawal symptoms independently predicted posttreatment major depression.


Continued patient care beyond the 2-4-week period associated with the nicotine withdrawal syndrome is indicated when abstinence is attempted by smokers with prior major depression.

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