Craving for cigarettes can elevate stress levels


When I was a student, some of my friends use to smoke.  Whenever, we had conversation regarding their quitting or at the very least reducing the amount of cigarettes they smoked, the answer was that they were under a lot of stress.  Somehow, smokers believe that smoking reduces stress and a scientific study reveals that smoking does not help in relieving stress, rather it increases it.  For those dependent on smoking, the only stress it relieves is the withdrawal between cigarettes.

About the study
The study was conducted at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.  The study involved 469 people who tried to quit after being hospitalized for heart disease.  The subjects had similar level of stress at the beginning of the study and they were under belief that smoking can help them cope up with stress.

Results of study
The study reported 41% of subjects managed to stay abstinent after a year. After controlling for several factors, the scientists found that

  • the abstainers had a significantly larger decrease in perceived stress,” ~20% drop.
  • continuing...

    smokers showed little change.

Reason for decrease in stress in abstainers
The leading hypothesis for the observed behavior was that continuing smokers were under stress due to constant craving between cigarettes multiple times a day.  Although abstainers were under stress due to withdrawal, but eventual freedom from nicotine craving significantly reduced stress level.


There have been other studies that have shown similar correlation between stress and smoking.  Smoking increases risk for many diseases including heart disease, lung, cancer, it would be in benefit of you and your family that you consider quitting smoking.

Source: newyorktimes



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