Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Daily Tobacco Use Declines, but Not Uniformly for All Groups

Individuals with substance use disorders or major depressive disorder and Native Americans reported higher rates of past-year daily tobacco use than the general population, according to a study that appears this month in Psychiatric Services (February 2013).
Using data from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey, conducted in 1991–1992, and the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, conducted in 2004–2005,  researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute examined changes in the prevalence of daily tobacco use in the United States between 1991–1992 and 2004–2005 by sociodemographic characteristics and psychiatric disorders.

They found that although the overall prevalence of past-year daily tobacco use decreased significantly, the reduction was not uniform across all segments of the population. In both surveys, past-year daily tobacco use was higher among respondents with a drug use disorder, an alcohol use disorder, and major depressive disorder and among individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Declines in use were slower among individuals with a lifetime alcohol use disorder or major depressive disorder. The prevalence of past-year daily tobacco use did not decrease among Native Americans.

These findings suggest the need to emphasize specific interventions for these groups. “Health care providers should consider encouraging patients who have significant depressive symptoms or depression histories to seek smoking-cessation services that include both typical smoking-cessation treatments and behavioral mood anagement,” the researchers write.

“Trends in the Prevalence of Tobacco Use in the United States, 1991–1992 to 2004–2005” is posted here. For more information about smoking and mental health, see Psychiatric News here.

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