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STOP SMOKING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

We all know that quitting smoking improves physical health.

But it's also proven to boost your mental health and wellbeing: it can improve mood and help relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Smoking, anxiety and mood

Most smokers say they want to stop, but some continue because smoking seems to relieve stress and anxiety.

It's a common belief that smoking helps you relax. But smoking actually increases anxiety and tension.

Smokers are also more likely than non-smokers to develop depression over time.

Why it feels like smoking helps us relax

Smoking cigarettes interferes with certain chemicals in the brain.

When smokers haven't had a cigarette for a while, the craving for another one makes them feel irritable and anxious.

These feelings can be temporarily relieved when they light up a cigarette. So smokers associate the improved mood with smoking.

In fact, it's the effects of smoking itself that's likely to have caused the anxiety in the first place.

Cutting out smoking does improve mood and reduces anxiety.




The mental health benefits of quitting smoking

When people stop smoking, studies show:

  • anxiety, depression and stress levels are lower

  • quality of life and positive mood improve

  • the dosage of some medicines used to treat mental health problems can be reduced

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