A study was published which aimed to demonstrate the link between smoking and depression. It also tested the level of abstinence in smokers who took up vaping as a quit aid. The results of the study have been compiled below.
While the link between depression and smoking is largelycurrently unclear, the connection is suspected to be down to a coping method in a bid to “medicate depressed mood.” Also, though smoking cessation tools available have been shown to be effective in weaning smokers off cigarettes, the study claims that “smoking is a very difficult addiction to break; especially for people suffering from depression and the need for novel and effective approaches to smoking cessation interventions for this special population is unquestionable.”
In addition, withdrawal symptoms may include depressed mood, anxiety and fatigue and the study states that those suffering with acute signs of these symptoms are much less likely to quit than those suffering from less severe mood disturbances.
During this case study, the university team reviewed two heavy smokers who have an “established history of depression” and who have been undergoing repetitive treatment for nicotine dependence at the clinic. At the university, these cessation programmes consist of a specialised team of psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists and physicians who each have at least 3 years of experience in their field of work.
Results showed that despite failing the universities cessation programmes, both of these heavy smokers managed to successfully quit smoking traditional cigarettes through the use of an electronic cigarette.
In April 2006, the clinic enlisted a 51 year old engineer who suffered from acute nicotine dependence. On average, the male got through 30 cigarettes per day and had a significant historyand past diagnosis of major depression. During the times of April 2006, September 2007, July 2008 and May 2009, the patient underwent intensive treatment for his nicotine dependence.
Throughout his treatment, the male was prescribed with a combination of patches and bupropion. He was also offered a course of cessation counselling throughout the time of the programme however, the last relapse of smoking for this patient was reported in 2009.
At the start of 2010, the patient said that he had successfully giving up smoking through a trial of an electronic cigarette during a telephone follow-up. The male is said to have told the clinic that he began his trial of the device in August 2009 and a few weeks later was able to quit smoking completely. Following the discontinuation of tobacco cigarettes, the patient then reported that he used the device for a few more months before ceasing use.
The university reports that the patient reported no relapse during the 6 months he quit however have no further evidence of how the patient coped following this period of time. On a final note, the patient also reported no adverse effects of using the device.
A 50 year old housewife was enlisted at the clinic in June 2007 and was reported to have suffered from acute nicotine dependence and major depression. On average, she smoked around 20-30 cigarettes per day and was treated for her dependence in June 2007, October 2007 and January 2009. During these times, she was offered counselling for her addiction and was provided with a combination of patches and bupropion. According to the report, the last relapse was reported in February 2009.
In January 2010, the university got in touch for a routine follow-up call and the female reported that she had quit smoking through the use of the electronic cigarette. She told the clinic that she began her trial of the device in April 2009 and three months following the start of use reported that she had ceased the use of tobacco cigarettes. She also said that she had been using the device at the same high nicotine concentration for another month before switching to “mentholated cartridges.” During the time of the report, she mentioned that she still used the device on a regular basis at social events.
Also, she reported that she had been cigarette-free for approximately 7 months following the trial of the electronic cigarette with no reported relapse throughout this period of time. The female reported no adverse effects aside from an occasional dry cough.
While the papers have no further information on these two patients in terms of smoking cessation and future success, it has been made clear that the electronic cigarette combined with high concentration eliquid could be the answer many smokers have been searching for.
The papers reported, “The most important message from this case series is that these individuals were able to quit and to remain abstinent for at least 6 months after taking up an electronic cigarette.”