Smoking and Stress – Debunking the Myths

The 4th of November marks ‘National Stress Awareness Day’.

Most smokers tend to believe that their smoking is a stress relief, with some using it as a self medication to cope with times of anxiety or tension. But according to NHS Choices, this is a complete myth, and smokers are actually more likely to develop depression or anxiety disorders than non-smokers.

So why would anyone falsely believe smoking improves their mood?

Scientists think it’s because they confuse the ability of cigarettes to abolish nicotine withdrawal as a beneficial effect on their mental health.

Smokers tend to feel irritable, anxious and down when they haven’t smoked for a while and these unpleasant feelings are temporarily reversed when they light up a cigarette. That creates the impression that it’s the smoking that has improved their mood, when in fact it’s smoking that caused the psychological disturbances in the first place.

Studies show that people’s anxiety, depression and stress levels are lower after they stop smoking when compared with those who carry on smoking and that their quality of life and mood improves. Also, the improved levels of oxygen in the body means that ex-smokers can concentrate better.

There really is no better way to take action against stress than to stop smoking, and the good news is that Sefton SUPPORT are here to help you.

Sefton SUPPORT are the local NHS Stop Smoking Service and have helped thousands of people to quit and live longer healthier lives. Their drop-in clinics run across the borough 6 days a week, and offer a chance for smokers to get specialist NHS support to quit smoking. To find your local clinic here at the Healthy Sefton website, or call Healthy Sefton on 0300 100 1000.

Follow Sefton Support on Twitter by clicking here, and Facebook by clicking here.

You can join the conversation on National Stress Awareness Day  by searching the hashtag #NationalStressAwareness Day on Twitter and Facebook.