Busting Off the Myth: Smoking Causes Relaxation

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking, side effects, stress

The 3 Week Diet

3 Reasons why Smoking Isn’t Really Relaxing AT ALL


It was a tough day at work. Your boss just gave his litany for almost two hours and you’ve almost quit your job. Your muscles are so tensed you can’t move properly. It’s passed 9 and you just got home. You’re too hungry to even get the plate and prepare your meal. Good thing your dear wife did it for you. But your noisy 4-year-old and 7-year-old children haven’t gone to sleep yet and they’re adding to the pang that you feel. You just want some peace of mind, some sort of relaxation. So after dinner you prepared some coffee, went to the veranda, and… you light up. As soon as you inhaled the smoke, everything starts to become calm. So relaxing… So comforting…



Stress and smoking have always been intertwined. People are made to believe that smoking helps a person calm down and relax. But few smokers attempted to know whether it is true. They believe, from the very bottom of their hypothalamus glands that smoking makes them more relaxed. But ask them why, they don’t have a single clue.

If you’re a smoker who believes cigarettes are relaxing, here are the reasons why it’s not, absolutely not.

  1. Tobacco is a stimulant. For your body to stay relaxed, it needs some sort of depressant, not a stimulant. Before you smoke today, check your pulse rate. Just feel it with your fingers. Then after smoking, feel it again. You’ll notice a slight change in your pulse rate. If you smoke one cigarette immediately after the other, you will notice your pulse rate increases significantly.
  2. It relieves withdrawal symptoms. The most valid, proven reason why smokers find it hard to quit is that they are hooked not to the act of smoking but to the nicotine. Nicotine doesn’t stay long in your body. Within a few hours of abstinence, it goes away, leaving your brain in the state of longing (as it no longer feels the pleasure nicotine brings). What’s left is the headache, craving, and so on. So you light up because you’re too afraid to feel the withdrawal symptoms. Part of the lies that they make us believe is that withdrawal is hard that if you quit smoking now, expect to undergo depression, irritability, increase in weight, etc. But the truth is, these symptoms are not just true with smoking but to any kind of habit as well – good or bad.When you’ve formed the habit of watching a TV program, you feel sad, annoyed, even depressed if you missed even a single episode. If you had a partner for years and you broke up, the withdrawal pang is much more irresistible. The truth is – we have all been going through withdrawal symptoms all our life but we only fear the symptoms associated with smoking, even if they’re not that debilitating as missing your favorite show or losing a lover. Here’s the thing. They have made us believe that quitting smoking is hard. The commercials, adverts, even the studies that were supposed to support anti-smoking campaigns.
  3. It makes you more irritable. Many people associate smoking with stature. We see them smoke – professionals, executives, celebrities, elite athletes, car racers, and the rich and the famous. They say those who have difficult jobs tend to smoke because it’s the best way to cope with stress. But if smoking really makes you feel relaxed, why does it make you feel more irritable?

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