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Adolescent mental health as a risk factor for adolescent smoking onset

Authors Hockenberry J, Timmons E, Vander Weg M

Published 27 February 2011 Volume 2011:2 Pages 27—35


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jason M Hockenberry1,2, Edward J Timmons3, Mark W Vander Weg2,4,5
Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, IA, USA; 2Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation Center (CADRE), Iowa City VA Medical Center, IA, USA; 3School of Business, Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA, USA; 4Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, IA, USA; 5Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, IA, USA

Abstract: Smoking continues to be a leading cause of preventable deaths and rates of trying cigarettes and progression to daily smoking among adolescents continues to remain high. A plethora of risk factors for smoking among adolescents has been addressed in the research literature. One that is gaining particular interest is the relationship between adolescent mental health and smoking (both initiation and progression). This paper reviews the evidence for adolescent mental health as a risk factor for cigarette smoking. We focus on the specific mental health conditions that have been more thoroughly addressed as possible risk factors in community-dwelling adolescents. We discuss the multiple hypotheses that have been posited as to the nature of the relationship between adolescent mental health and smoking, as well as detailing so called third factors that may account for the observed relationship. We highlight the contribution of the existing studies to the body of knowledge on this topic, as well as the limitations and open questions that remain as a result. We conclude with discussion of a broad research agenda going forward.

Keywords: depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, nicotine, adolescents

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