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Depression Rates Spike in Teen Smokers
Posted On - 14:Mar:2017 07:48:36 PM
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Today's teen smokers may have worse mental health than teen smokers of years past: The group has experienced a spike in depression in recent years, according to a new study.

Researchers found that, among smokers ages 12 to 17, the percentage who had depression increased from 16.0 percent in 2005 to 22.4 percent in 2013. That was the biggest increase in depression seen in the study, which looked at rates of depression among current smokers, former smokers and people who had never smoked, ages 12 and older.

The findings suggest that it may be useful to consider whether a teen smokes when screening him or her for depression, the researchers said. The new findings also suggest that increases in depression among certain groups, such as teens, could be contributing to the stability of smoking rates, they said. (Smoking rates declined substantially from 1965 to 1990, dropping from 42 percent to 25 percent during that time. But since then, the decline has slowed, and about 18 percent of people identified as smokers in 2014, the researchers said.)

Originally, the researchers said that conditions such as depression may be contributing to the slower decline in smoking quit rates that's been seen in recent years. Finally, the researchers said more research is needed to look at factors that may be leading to the current increase in depression among the U.S. population as a whole.

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