Depression and nicotine withdrawal associations with combustible and electronic cigarette use

Michele L. Pergadia, John W. Newcomer, David G. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Depression is a risk factor for nicotine use and withdrawal. Population level epidemiologic studies that include users of either combustible or electronic cigarette (NICUSER) could inform interventions to reduce nicotine dependence in vulnerable populations. The current study examined the relationship between depression diagnosis (DEPDX), NICUSER, and lifetime rates of DSM-V nicotine withdrawal (NW) symptoms in a nationally representative sample of US adults (N = 979), who answered related questions in surveys administered through GfK’s KnowledgePanel. Over 42% of the sample reported lifetime ever combustible cigarette use, 15.6% electronic-cigarette use, and 45.9% either (NICUSER). Weighted logistic regression analyses (controlling for age and gender) found that DEPDX was associated with 2.3 times increased odds (ratio (OR); 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.5–3.5) of being a NICUSER. Regarding risks of NW symptoms among NICUSER, models that additionally controlled for frequency of nicotine use found that DEPDX was significantly associated with increased odds of concentration problems (OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.3–4.5) and depressed mood (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.1–4.1) when quitting or cutting down on nicotine use. Results highlight the consistent comorbidity between depression, nicotine use, and symptomatic nicotine withdrawal in a population-based sample of combustible and electronic cigarette users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9334
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2 2020


  • Depression
  • Nicotine
  • Withdrawal symptoms


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