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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996 Aug;64(4):791-8.

Depression and smoking cessation: characteristics of depressed smokers and effects of nicotine replacement.

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Department of Oral Health and Epidemiology, School of Dental Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Previous research has linked depression to difficulties in smoking cessation. The authors followed 269 smokers who attempted to quit smoking for 3 months. Participants were given nicotine gum (2 or 4 mg) or placebo gum and brief counseling. The study found that 34% of the smokers met the criterion for current depression using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Depressed smokers relapsed significantly earlier than the nondepressed. Nicotine gum was significantly more effective than placebo gum among all smokers. The benefits of nicotine gum were particularly apparent among the depressed. Only 12.5% of depressed smokers quit successfully with placebo gum for 3 months, whereas 29.5% quit with nicotine gum. Depressed smokers reported more stress, less coping resources, more physical and psychological symptoms, and more frequent smoking in the presence of negative affect than did the nondepressed.

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