Link Between ADHD Meds and Smoking Still Unclear

Link Between ADHD Meds and Smoking Still UnclearThe link is still unclear between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medicines and smoking, according to a recent health article. Researchers are still uncertain whether ADHD drugs may help keep kids off cigarettes or whether they actually make young children with ADHD more likely to start smoking.

The new report may show some signs pointing to the former. However, researchers do acknowledge this evidence is pretty weak. Dr. Paul Hammerness with Harvard Medical School in Boston led the recent research.

Hammerness says the idea that ADHD treatment may affect the risks for another condition is quite interesting but there is still some conflict with this thought. There are nearly three million children or teens in America that are on ADHD stimulants such as Adderall, Concerta and Ritalin.

Studies done on rats indicated that giving them stimulant might just increase their appetite later on for cocaine. There have been some mixed findings on this link however between smoking, stimulants and substance abuse in humans.

This new study was funded by Janssen, the creator of Concerta, Hammerness and other colleagues. They put over 150 adolescents diagnosed with ADHD on Concerta for about two years.

After a 10 month average period of treatment, nearly seven percent of pre-teens or teens reported cigarette smoking. That rate was about 20 percent lower than the comparison group of ADHD adolescents who weren’t taking any stimulants when questioned about their cigarette smoking habits.

Hammerness said there are no strong conclusions from this study but he does have ties to several ADHD manufacturers. He also stated that the gold standard is using placebo-controlled studies but these are tough to do because it may be considered immoral.