Quitting Smoking Can Improve Mental Health

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

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There are many people who want to quit smoking but, only few of them succeeded. Many can’t stop because they believed that smoking helps reduce anxiety and stress. However, it is really a myth. Smokers can most likely acquire anxiety disorder or depression in the long run than non-smokers. Removing cigarettes from your system produces a huge improvement not just to your mood but to your mental health as well.

Smokers with or without mental health concerns mistakenly believe that they feel better when smoking. Studies show it is because smokers confuse the cigarettes’ capacity to eliminate nicotine withdrawal as a helpful effect on their mental health. People who smoke tend to feel down, anxious and irritable when they have not light up a cigarette and these unlikable cravings are momentarily reversed when they smoked. This creates the impression that smoking has enhanced their mood, when indeed smoking is the cause of their psychological disturbances.


Quitting smoking can lessen doses of anti-psychotic medicine and also reduced mental health problems. People who smoke are usually diagnosed with mental health problems like depression, schizophrenia or anxiety. They tend to smoke a lot than others. A smoker having mental health problems also have a short life expectancy than the non-smokers, as the negative effects of smoking. If you want to avoid mental health problems, do not smoke. Smokers’ depression, stress and anxiety levels are lower after they quit smoking when compared with those who don’t stop. Their mood and quality of life improves too because the levels of oxygen in their body is better compared to smokers.


With or without a mental health problem, you may apply these tips to help you quit smoking:


  • Understand the benefits of quitting smoking. You can find lots of articles in the internet that will help you understand the benefits of not smoking as well as discover how harmful smoking is.
  • Look for quit smoking treatments which will suit your needs. Most quit smoking treatments are difficult; always remember that it is part of the process.
  • If you want to quit smoking and usually take anti-psychotic medicines, it is very advisable that you consult a psychiatrist. The description of drugs should be studied and monitored by your physician or psychiatrist.
  • Avoid taking psychoactive drugs or drinking alcohol when you quit smoking in order for you to succeed.
  • People with mental health problems generally find difficulties to stop smoking. They tend to experience stronger withdrawal craving and symptoms. Exercise, avoid triggers, and divert your attention are some of the ways to cope with cravings.
  • Since some people used smoking as a way of coping with mental health problems, it is very necessary to look for other means of handling stress. You have to build your emotional strength; find good people with positive outlook in life, and learn to take control of your situation.
  • Do not pressure yourself if you gain weight when you quit smoking. Just focus on your health, eat nutritious food and maintain an active life, eventually through hard work you will achieve what you desire.


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