The Press: Smoking ‘doubles depression risk’

Rebecca Todd writes in The Press about recent research from the University of Otago showing that smoking doubled a person’s risk of developing depression.

The research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, made it clear that it wasn’t the case that depressed people were more likely to be smokers, but that there was a causal link between smoking and depression, possible due to the effects of nicotine on certain neurotransmitters.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Lead researcher Professor David Fergusson said it was not the case that people who were more likely to get depression were also more likely to smoke, but that smoking increased people’s chances of developing depression.

“The Christchurch study involved more than 1000 people who were asked at ages 18, 21 and 25 about their smoking habits and whether they had symptoms of depression.

“Smokers spoken to in Christchurch yesterday were surprised by the study’s findings and said the link with depression was “scary”.”