Stress in its many forms and the desire to relieve stress are common reasons for people to smoke. Early on most smokers experience relief of stress and anxiety but regular use of cigarettes shortly leads to brain changes that actually make it harder to experience relief of stress. Within a short time virtually every smoker experiences increased stress and psychological distress with increased anxiety and feelings of depression as a direct result of continued smoking and dependence on nicotine. A recent study of healthy young adult smokers showed that they actually experienced more perceived stress and had less well developed coping skills compared with other healthy adult nonsmokers approximately the same age.
The message from this study and many others is very clear: If you want to reduce the levels of stress you feel and improve your overall mood, the best way to do that is to quit smoking. For sure, there will be moments early on in the quitting process where stress levels feel increased, but getting support to help through this early time will result in a better, lower-stress you in the end.
Want to de-stress, cope better and develop a more positive take on life? Then get help and support to quit smoking, and keep trying until you are successful.