University of OtagoDuring a lifetime an individual undergoes various mood swings including depression. A study commenced by the University of Otago, Christchurch revealed that smoking probably heightens the risk of depression. The investigations explained that people dependant on nicotine seem to be more than twice as likely to have symptoms of depression as those who were not nicotine dependent.

“Our findings are consistent with the conclusion that there is a cause and effect relationship between smoking and depression, in which cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing symptoms of depression. The reasons for this relationship are not clear. However, it’s possible that nicotine causes changes to neurotransmitter activity in the brain, leading to an increased risk of depression,’’ affirmed Professor David Fergusson, lead author of the study.

The study encompassed 1000 individuals who were questioned about their smoking habits and if they had symptoms of depression at the age of 18, 21 and 25. Statistical data enabled the authors to conclude that smoking possibly elevates the risk of developing depressive symptoms. The study authors cautioned that smoking does not lead to depression but may increase the risk for the same.

The study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.