3. Association of psychological distress with smoking cessation, duration of smoking abstinence and use of other nicotine-containing products: A cross-sectional population survey in Great Britain

Friday, 25 November, 2022 - 10:50 to 12:20


Tobacco smoking is strongly associated with poor mental health and smoking cessation with improvements in mental health symptoms. There is a lack of evidence on the relationship of these improvements with duration of abstinence and any differences by continued use of nicotine in other forms. Research questions: 1) Is there a difference in prevalence of past-month distress as a function of smoking status ((current, ex-smokers (<6 months, 6-12 months, >1 year), never smokers))? 2) Among ex-smokers, is there a difference in prevalence of past-month distress between those currently using non-combustible nicotine-containing products (e-cigarettes, NRT, heated tobacco, nicotine pouches) compared with those not using nicotine?

Data from monthly cross-sectional surveys in 2020/21 in Great Britain. Prevalence of past-month distress was calculated. 1) Logistic regressions using distress as outcome and smoking status as explanatory variable (n=21,503 adults), 2) Logistic regressions using distress as outcome and use of other nicotine-containing products as explanatory variable (n=7,480 adult ex-smokers). Both 1) and 2) adjusted for socio-demographics and ever diagnosis of a mental health condition.

1) Among current smokers, 43.4% experienced distress; prevalence was similar among ex-smokers of <6 months ((42.7%, adjOR (95% CI)=0.79 (0.59-1.06) and 6-12 months ((44.8%, adjOR (95% CI)=1.04 (0.79-1.37)); prevalence of distress was lower among ex-smokers of >1 year ((25.5%, adjOR (95% CI)=0.72 (0.65-0.79)) and never smokers ((27%, adjOR (95% CI)=0.68 (0.63-0.74)). 2) Ex-smokers who used nicotine-containing products were more likely to experience distress than those who were abstinent from nicotine ((37.8% vs 25.2%, adjOR (95% CI)=1.14-1.95)).

Improvements in psychological distress after smoking cessation may appear only after a substantial length of smoking abstinence. Causality and direction of any causality of an association between continued nicotine use after cessation with higher distress needs to be explored.


Presentation files

25 A7 1050 Leonie Brose.pdf529.08 KBDownload



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