If you need more reason to quit smoking, here’s one: it is possibly making you more miserable.
Smoking doesn’t always relieve stress. In fact, it might be doing the exact opposite. New research shows that smokers have a 70% increased risk of depression and anxiety when compared with non-smokers. After studying nearly 6,500 people over the age of 40, the researchers discovered that 18.3% of smokers were suffering from depression and anxiety, as compared to the 10% of non-smokers and 11.3% of ex-smokers.
The British Heart Foundation is encouraging smokers to join No Smoking Day on March 11, to bust the common myths associated with smoking.
“There is a belief from many smokers that smoking reduces anxiety and stress, which is in turn causing many smokers to put off quitting. Yet, instead of aiding people to relax, smoking increases anxiety and tension,” explains Dr. Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director of British Heart Foundation.
“When smokers light up, the feeling of reduced stress or relaxation is temporary and is soon replaced by withdrawal symptoms and cravings. While smoking temporarily reduces these cravings and feelings of withdrawal–which are similar to feeling anxious or stressed–it does not reduce or treat the underlying causes of stress.”