People who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are much more likely than the rest of the population to take up smoking. But a new report out today from Duke University shows that kids who are treated consistently for their ADHD with stimulant medication are less likely to take up the habit.
Lead author Scott Kollins said nicotine often becomes a comfort for young people who are socially awkward or have trouble concentrating.
“The treatment for ADHD addresses a lot of these things,” Kollins said.
“It helps kids function better academically. It can help, in some cases, kids to function better socially. It can help address some of those specific symptoms that the nicotine might otherwise address. We think that those are all pathways through which treatment for ADHD might reduce the risk for regular smoking.”
Kollins said he hopes this will debunk the idea that stimulant treatment increases one's risk of smoking. He adds that research has a long way to go regarding the effects of stimulant medications on children.