Smokers Are At Higher Risk to Anxiety and Depression, Study Says

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

If you’re looking for more reasons to quit smoking – this might give you a little push: smoking may be an indication of mental health problems.

Contrary to the common belief, smokers are 70% at higher risk to anxiety and depression compared to non-smokers, a new British study says.


The research studied the smoking pattern and mental health of almost 6,500 volunteers above the age of 40 in the UK. The University College London and the British Heart Foundation discovered that 18% of smokers in the research are suffering from depression and anxiety, compared to 11% of former smokers, and 10% of non-smokers.

Smoking may be the cause of specific anxiety. The research also discovered that former smokers who kicked the habit of smoking for more than one year had similar depression and anxiety profile as those volunteers who never smoked. This suggests that quitting the habit of smoking may actually boosts your mental health.


The common belief that smoking help relieve stress is a misconception of what is really happening. What you’re feeling when you smoke is actually the early symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Those early signs of nicotine withdrawal are often interpreted as stress. Smoking relieves these symptoms by delivering the required amount of nicotine in your blood, thus you feel relived thinking that smoking made you feel better. And when the nicotine level in your blood drops again, you feel the same symptoms, you smoke, and the cycle goes on. This is the reason why almost 30% of smokers are hesitant to quit smoking.

Mental health specialists strongly discourage the use of addictive vices to address anxiety and depression as it actually yield the opposite. The key is developing healthier and productive behaviors such as regular exercise, and learning new sports.


The temporary relief you get from smoking is destructive to your health. You want to get that same “good feeling” you get from smoking from something that is healthier and does not cause deadly diseases.

This study is not the first to support the idea of quitting smoking for good. It causes 20 of every 100 deaths in the US every year. Smoking can also lead to heart disease, lung cancer, and other potentially deadly diseases. Staying away from cigarettes means a healthier and happier life ahead with you family and love ones. Quitting may not come easy, but the rewards are all worth it. Stay nicotine-free for good!

 


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