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Smoking, exposure to passive smoking, and mental health -- a focus on gender differences.

Nakata A; Irie M; Takahashi M
Research focus on smoking and women's health. Tolson KP, Veksler EB, eds. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2008 Sep; :93-138
Smoking and mental health problems are, individually, major public health issues in modem societies. Accumulating evidence shows a close relationship between smoking and mental health disorders/symptoms. Given that women are 2-3 times as likely as men to develop mental health disorders during their lifetimes, it is of a great importance to assess gender differences in mental health reactions to active and passive smoking. This study examined the association of active and passive smoking with mental health among 156 female and 567 male white-collar workers in a commercial industry. We introduced multiple mental health indicators, i.e., General Health Questionnaire, Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale, sleep habit questionnaire, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to evaluate mental health status of participants. Smoking status was identified as current, former, and never smokers, and exposure levels to passive smoking were assessed separately at work and at home as no, occasional, or regular exposure. Multiple logistic regression analysis adjusting for multiple confounders and correlational analysis were carried out for statistical data analyses. The results revealed that: I) women had poorer mental health status than men irrespective of smoking status, 2) both female and male current smokers had a greater chance of developing poor mental health status than never smokers, but women indicated a stronger association, 3) in former smokers, men were more likely to have poor mental health than women, 4) poor sleep was more common in current smokers but smoking women suffered from various sleep disturbances more than smoking men, 5) current smoking was weakly associated with reporting low self-esteem in women only, and 6) exposure to passive smoking in never smokers was correlated with poor mental health in men while difficulty awakening in the morning was correlated with passive smoking exposure in both women and men. We conclude that smoking has a negative impact on various aspects of mental health in both women and men, but women suffer from mental health issues more often than men. Exposure to passive smoking may also be a possible factor that correlates with poor mental health status. Although the small sample size suggests a need for replication, current results highlight the importance of the relationships between smoking and exposure to passive smoking with mental health, especially in women.
Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Respiratory-system-disorders; Humans; Women; Lung; Cancer; Tobacco; Tobacco-smoke; Smoking; Risk-factors; Mental-health; Men; Questionnaires; Epidemiology; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Analytical-processes; Statistical-analysis; Author Keywords: Smoking; Passive smoking; Mental health; Psychiatric morbidity; Depression; Sleep disturbance; Self-esteem; Gender difference; Women
Abnori Nakata, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, MS-C24, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
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Tolson KP; Veksler EB
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Research focus on smoking and women's health
Page last reviewed: December 4, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division