By Charles Duhigg,L.A. Times Staff Writer
Despite all the evidence, why do some still smoke? Smokers suffer more depression and other mental disorders, studies show, yet nicotine may actually help them cope.
When millions of Americans abandoned smoking in the 1980s, many health experts and social scientists thought they had tobacco on the run. But in the '90s progress began to slow: From 1990 to 2003, according to federal figures, only 3% of Americans gave up their cigarettes.
Smokers are more depressed and suffer a higher rate of anxiety disorders and other psychological maladies. At the same time, nicotine may provide a mental boost that helps them cope. These findings help explain why some people won't quit, experts say.