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BMC Public Health

, 15:1150

First Online: 20 November 2015Received: 29 June 2015Accepted: 03 November 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12889-015-2473-z

Cite this article as: Taylor, G., McNeill, A. & Aveyard, P. BMC Public Health 2015 15: 1150. doi:10.1186-s12889-015-2473-z


BackgroundIt is possible that some people who quit smoking experience improved mental health after cessation and therefore remain abstinent, whereas other people who quit may experience worse mental health after cessation and therefore be more likely to relapse to smoking. Thus, in this study we aimed to examine the association between an enduring change in mental health following the cessation period and future risk of relapse.

MethodsA secondary analysis of prospective data pooled from five placebo-controlled randomised trials for smoking reduction conducted in Europe, USA and Australia. Change in mental health SF-36, scored 0–100 was measured from baseline to four months for those who were biologically-validated as point-prevalence abstainers at four month follow-up. Thereafter we assessed whether relapse to smoking by 12 months was more likely in those whose mental health had worsened between baseline and four months compared with those who saw no change or an improvement.

ResultsAfter adjustment for baseline mental health and other major covariates, there was no greater tendency to relapse at 12 months for those whose mental health worsened after cessation compared with those who had no change or an improvement. The odds ratio and 95 % confidence interval was 1.01 0.97 to 1.05.

ConclusionsPeople whose mental health worsens after smoking cessation are at no greater risk of subsequent relapse to smoking than those whose mental health stays the same or improves.

KeywordsSmoking cessation Tobacco Epidemiology Relapse Mental health AbbreviationsFTNDFagerström test of nicotine dependence

NRTNicotine replacement therapy

RCTRandomised controlled trial

SF-36 RAND-36Short-Form health survey

STROBEStrengthening The Reporting Of Observational Studies In Epidemiology

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12889-015-2473-z contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Gemma Taylor - Ann McNeill - Paul Aveyard


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