Those who smoked to reduce stress and quit saw largest reduction in anxiety
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/14/2013 -- Smoking may be a culprit of anxiously clouded vision according to new studies coming out of the United Kingdom.
The new research shows that smokers who have found success in quitting and broken their habit have found significant reductions in their general anxiety levels. The finding is a result of a King's college London work, in collaboration with the universities of Southampton, Oxford, and Cambridge. Their findings were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Almost any smoker asked will answer that they do it, at least in part, because it relieves stress. One reason they often state they cannot quit is because when they do they are 'on edge'. The conclusion reached is that the smoking helps relieve the stress, and yet the opposite appears to be true.
“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.
The study noted that those who are able to quit smoking saw 'marked reduction in anxiety. This was in direct contrast to those who attempted and failed to quit, who saw a rise in anxiety.
Nearly 500 smokers was the sample size, with 106 persons having a diagnosed mental health problem that pertained to anxiety disorders. Each individual with a disorder was assessed for general levels of anxiety before the start of the research.
The research discovered that significant difference between the anxiety between those who quit and those who relapsed.
Those who were able to quit had the decreased anxiety, and those who use to use smoking as a coping mechanism for stress had increased anxiety compared to those who previously smoked for, in their words, pleasure. Those smokers who relapsed saw the exact opposite results.
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