Dear Professor Neuberger,

Your letter was forwarded to me by János, because I’m one of the psychiatrists who held a lecture in the section about the link between smoking and psychiatric disorders.

To your request I provide a list of relevant recent articles (with different methodologies) about the association between depression (and/or suicide) and smoking. The majority of them suggest that smoking - even in the form of environmental smoke exposition - is an independent risk factor for depression and suicide as well, and smoking cessation – in contrast to the public opinion – is associated with a decreased risk (or at least not an increased risk) of depression in the long run.

Legleye S, Beck F, Peretti-Watel P, Chau N, Firdion JM. Suicidal ideation among young French adults: association with occupation, family, sexual activity, personal background and drug use. J Affect Disord. 2010;123:108-15.

Kang E, Lee J. A longitudinal study on the causal association between smoking and depression. J Prev Med Public Health. 2010;43:193-204.

Clarke DE, Eaton WW, Petronis KR, Ko JY, Chatterjee A, Anthony JC. Increased risk of suicidal ideation in smokers and former smokers compared to never smokers: evidence from the Baltimore ECA follow-up study. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2010;40:307-18.

Juan W, Xiao-Juan D, Jia-Ji W, Xin-Wang W, Liang X. The associations between health risk behaviors and suicidal ideation and attempts in an urban Chinese sample of adolescents. J Affect Disord. 2010;126:180-7.

Pedersen W, von Soest T. Smoking, nicotine dependence and mental health among young adults: a 13-year population-based longitudinal study. Addiction. 2009;104:129-37.

Flensborg-Madsen T, Bay von Scholten M, Flachs EM, Mortensen EL, Prescott E, Tolstrup JS. Tobacco smoking as a risk factor for depression. A 26-year population-based follow-up study. J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jul 12.

Torres LD, Barrera AZ, Delucchi K, Penilla C, Pérez-Stable EJ, Mueoz RF. Quitting smoking does not increase the risk of major depressive episodes among users of Internet smoking cessation interventions. Psychol Med 2010; 40: 441-449.

Hamer M, Stamatakis E, Batty GD. Objectively assessed secondhand smoke exposure and mental health in adults: cross-sectional and prospective evidence from the Scottish Health Survey. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010; 67: 850-855.

McClave AK, Dube SR, Strine TW, Kroenke K, Caraballo RS, Mokdad AH. Associations between smoking cessation and anxiety and depression among U.S. adults. Addict Behav 2009; 34: 491-497.

Pasco JA, Williams LJ, Jacka FN, Ng F, Henry MJ, Nicholson GC, Kotowicz MA, Berk M. Tobacco smoking as a risk factor for major depressive disorder: population-based study. Br J Psychiatry. 2008 Oct;193(4):322-6.

I also attach my recent review about smoking and neuropsychiatric disorders. In this article there are two chapters which can be interesting for you: one of them recapitulates the results about the association between suicide and smoking, and the other one deals with the association between smoking and depression.

Your sincerelly:

Péter Döme