Study Focuses on Stress and Smoking reports Smoking Section

Those who smoke to relieve stress see best anxiety decrease when they quit smoking

San Francisco, CA- The latest study out of Oxford university research is showing that those who quit smoking successfully see significant reductions in their anxiety levels. That news is contrary to the widely-held belief that smoking can help relieve stress levels.

The results of the study, which were carried out by the academics from universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and King’s College London, were obtained by handling analysis of data that took into account person’s experiences of quitting smoking. That measuring included anxiety levels, both before and after smoking, as well as the feeling of general anxiety during smoking.

Researchers discovered that of those who smoked to cope with their stress saw large decreases in anxiety after quitting. The research also noted that those who failed to quit successfully dealt with the highest levels of stress.

Dr. Paul Aveyard, who was the Oxford academic that participated in the research, noted that he was surprised by the results. He stated: “Other studies have had the same outcomes and when you look at lab studies you find no evidence that either cigarettes or nicotine is a stress-reliever, despite what is commonly believed.”

The analysis of the effects of quitting attempts, both in success and failure, was the first of its kind when it came to smoking. The work allowed researchers to identify those who smoked to relieve stress as those with the greatest benefit when it came to lowering stress. Dr. Aveyard stated that the findings should rightly be associated into the NHS support schemes. He noted, “People should be told that they may feel bad for a few weeks – we call this withdrawal – but after that they will be less anxious and depressed.”

Dr. Aveyard did stress that the complexity of the issue is not a cut-and-dry scenario.

“Lots of people want to give up smoking and this is another good reason to do it. Most people have many more reasons to stop smoking than to carry on with it, but when they try to stop they find it difficult and in most cases they don’t succeed.”


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