Mental Health Awareness Week - Smoking and Anxiety

Published at 14 May, 2019 10:41.

Supporting image for Mental Health Awareness Week - Smoking and Anxiety

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and we're raising the awareness of how smoking effects a variety of mental health conditions, starting with anxiety!

It's often believed that smoking is a great way to calm your nerves and deal with feelings of anxiety. What if we told you this wasn't the case? Nicotine withdrawal symptoms actually cause anxiety symptoms to worsen, meaning you end up smoking more.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. It's completely normal to experience anxiety during stressful situations, such as a hospital appointment or an interview. In other cases, some people find managing feelings of anxiety difficult and they end up feeling anxious much more often and it starts to affect their daily lives.

Does smoking relieve anxiety symptoms?

In short, no.

Smokers experience immediate relief from their anxiety symptoms when they have a cigarette, so they believe that smoking eases their anxiety and that's the reason they continue to smoke.

When you're feeling anxious and you smoke a cigarette, you're actually relieving the nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which are very similar to symptoms of anxiety. This relief is only temporary, and you'll continue the cycle of feeling better and then feeling worse until you quit smoking.

In a few cases, it is the effects of smoking itself that have caused anxiety in the first place.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your anxiety!

If you're a smoker who suffers with anxiety, Yorkshire Smokefree are here to support you during your quit.

Call us on 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0300 660 1166 (free from most mobiles). You can request a callback with a member of our team at a time that suits you by entering your details here.