Smoking & Mental Health

stop smoking

*Image by Morgan, copyright protected.

March 11th is ‘No Smoking Day’ and many smokers will be using the day to break the habit. If you need inspiration and support… there will be plenty of it as we rally together for better mental and physical health.

It is commonly known that stopping smoking has great benefits for our physical health such as heart and lungs. However, many people find that smoking relaxes them and releases tension. Despite this, evidence suggests that in the long term smoking is detrimental to mental health. Latest research found that smokers are 70% more likely to suffer from anxiety & depression. Not to mention the link between mental and physical health; an improvement in one often leads to an improvement in the other.

With regards to mental health problems, the Mental Health Foundation say: “Heavy smoking does not necessarily lead to fewer symptoms of mental health problems in the long term. Any short term benefits that smoking seems to have are outweighed by the higher rates of smoking-related physical health problems”

If you decide you want to stop smoking or are in the process of quitting… I wish you well! It might be tempting to use ‘No Smoking Day’ as a starting point to just stop altogether or go ‘cold turkey’, but this may not be the best way to quit. Planning, finding support, looking for alternatives to coping with stress and choosing a time that suits you might be more fruitful. But the day offers a great opportunity to start your journey to a smoke free life.

I will be using the day to listen to and share stories from people who have quit smoking. It can’t have been easy but they did it and so can you!

For more support on quitting

For more on the relationship between mental health and smoking

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