Development of major depression after treatment for smoking cessation

J. Y. Tsoh, G. L. Humfleet, R. F. Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A well-established connection exists between cigarette smoking and depression, and evidence has shown that some individuals who quit smoking, especially those with a history of depression, have a higher risk for developing a major depressive episode. This study investigated the incidence of major depressive episodes and symptoms and explored predictors of major depression in the 12 months after termination of smoking cessation treatment. The 304 subjects were recruited from a total pool of 348 smokers enrolled in 1 of 2 smoking cessation trials employing psychological group intervention; 1 trial also included treatment with nicotine gum, and the other included treatment with nortriptyline or placebo. The Inventory to Diagnose Depression was used at follow-up assessments during the 12 months after the end of treatment to identify major depressive episodes on the basis of DSM-III-R criteria. Of the 304 subjects, 14% (N = 43) reported a major depressive episode during the 12-month posttreatment period. As revealed by multiple logistic regression analyses, major depression after treatment was predicted by history of depression, Beck Depression Inventory score, college education, and age that smoking was started. No significant difference in the incidence rates of major depressive episodes was found between those who were and were not abstinent at the end of treatment. The authors conclude that, although history of depression influences the development of major depressive episodes in patients who quit smoking, smoking cessation itself does not lead to increased risk of major depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148
Number of pages1
JournalPrimary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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