Toronto: Some teenagers smoke to puff away their blues, but it may actually end up worsening their depressive symptoms.
"Smokers who used cigarettes as mood enhancers had higher risks of elevated depressive symptoms than teens who had never smoked," says study co-author Jennifer O`Loughlin, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Montreal.
As part of the study, 662 high school teenagers completed up to 20 questionnaires from grades 7 to 11 about their use of cigarettes to affect their mood, reports the journal Addictive Behaviours.
Secondary schools were selected to provide a mix of French and English participants, urban and rural schools, and schools located in high, moderate and low socio-economic neighbourhoods, said a Montreal release.
Participants were divided into three groups: never smokers; smokers who did not use cigarettes to self-medicate, improve mood or physical state; smokers who used cigarettes to self-medicate.
Depressive symptoms were measured using a scale that asked how often participants felt too tired to do things; had trouble going to sleep or staying asleep; felt unhappy, sad, or depressed.
The study found that instead of lifting their mood, smoking increased symptoms of depression among teens.