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The relationship between smoking status and serious psychological distress: findings from the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

  • Shanta R. DubeEmail author
  • Ralph S. Caraballo
  • Satvinder S. Dhingra
  • William S. Pearson
  • Annette K. McClave
  • Tara W. Strine
  • Joyce T. Berry
  • Ali H. Mokdad
Original article

Abstract

Objectives:

To examine the associations between smoking and quit attempts with psychological distress and also by socioeconomic groups.

Methods:

Using data on 172,938 adult respondents from the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System we used the Kessler-6 scale to assess psychological distress among never, former, some-day, and everyday smokers and smokers attempting to quit.

Results:

Everyday smokers and attempting quitters had higher mean levels of 30-day psychological distress than never smokers. Compared with never smokers, the odds of having serious psychological distress (SPD) were: former smokers, 1.3 (95 % CI: 1.1–1.6); some-day smokers, 2.5 (95 % CI: 2.0–3.1); and everyday smokers, 3.3 (95 % CI: 2.8–3.8). As for unsuccessful quit attempts, the odds were highest for current smokers (3.3 [95 % CI: 2.8–3.8]) versus never smokers. Among current smokers, persons with less than high school education, income less than $ 50,000, or who were unemployed or unable to work had the highest odds of reporting SPD.

Conclusions:

Given the association between current smoking behaviors and psychological distress, future tobacco prevention and control efforts may benefit by including components of mental health, especially for low SES populations.

Keywords:

Smoking Smoking cessation Smoking and psychological distress Smoking and mental health Depression and smoking Low SES groups 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shanta R. Dube
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ralph S. Caraballo
    • 1
  • Satvinder S. Dhingra
    • 2
  • William S. Pearson
    • 2
  • Annette K. McClave
    • 1
  • Tara W. Strine
    • 2
  • Joyce T. Berry
    • 3
  • Ali H. Mokdad
    • 4
  1. 1.National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adult and Community HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Health Metrics and EvaluationUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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