Stop smoking and reduce your anxiety

Posted By: Staff | Jan 10 2013

As the smoke clears it is now becoming clear that cigarette smoke may be clouding our beliefs over its efficacy as a stress reliever. New research coming out of the United Kingdom is revealing that smokers who have successfully quit smoking and broken the habit have significantly reduced their anxiety levels. This finding is a result of research conducted by King’s College London in collaboration with the universities of Southampton, Oxford and Cambridge. Their findings were recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Ask any smoker why they smoke, and many will answer that they do it because it helps relieve stress, and one reason why they can’t quit is that whenever they stop smoking they feel more ‘on edge’. The conclusions reached as a result of this research, however, directly contradict this common myth. ‘The commonly held belief that smoking helps relieve stress is almost certainly wrong. Smokers need to understand how their experience of smoking affects them, and that in many people, smoking actually increases levels of anxiety,’ explains Dr Máirtín McDermott, lead author of the study from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry’s Health Psychology section. He is also currently a researcher at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London.

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