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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Depressive Symptoms Delayed Quit Attempts and Shortened Abstinence in Young Smokers of the Hong Kong

Thursday, March 17, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
David C. N. Wong, Sophia S. C. Chan, Tai-hing Lam
Depressive Symptoms Delayed Quit Attempts and Shortened Abstinence in Young Smokers of the Hong Kong Youth Quitline.
Nicotine Tob Res (2016) 18 (3):251-258.doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv065 

Young smokers often report depressive symptoms while receiving smoking cessation counseling. This study examines time patterns in the quitting process among young smokers with or without notable depressive symptoms. The quitting trajectories of young smokers aged 12 to 25 (n = 578) who called the Youth Quitline in Hong Kong between March 2006 and May 2011 were recorded and analyzed through multiple telephone sessions over periods of up to 6 months. The time patterns of young smokers who had or did not have notable depressive symptoms were compared using nonparametric Kaplan–Meier methods with log-rank tests.
 
Among young smokers with low levels of nicotine dependence, those who had notable depressive symptoms were less likely to initiate a quit attempt within 28 days after their baseline telephone intervention (probability = .38 vs. .60; P value = .04). Furthermore, young smokers who had notable depressive symptoms were less likely to remain abstinent from smoking for 2 days after starting a quit attempt (probability = .50 vs. .64; P value = .012). Young adults aged 18 or above were more likely to relapse into smoking (adjusted HR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.01, 2.22). Depressive symptoms may delay young smokers from initiating quit attempts and shorten their abstinence. A baseline screening process is suggested for identifying youths with co-occurring depressive disorder and nicotine dependence. Further studies should examine a collaborative model of smoking cessation that involves both counselors and physicians in preventing young smokers from rapid relapses after they make quit attempts.

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