Quitting Smoking Linked To Better Mental Health

We all know that smoking cigarettes is pretty disastrous for our health, leading to all sorts of problems, ranging from cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung diseases… the list goes on.

These are all, of course, excellent reasons to give up as soon as you can, but you may also find that your mental health improves significantly after you ditch the cigs, as well.

New research from the University of Bath has just revealed that smokers who quit can actually feel these positive benefits within a few weeks of going smoke-free, finding that reductions in depression and anxiety among quitters is at least as great as for people taking antidepressants.

The Cochrane review found that people who quit for at least six weeks were less depressed, less anxious and less stressed than those who carried on smoking. The quitters also reported more positive feelings and better psychological wellbeing.

Dr Gemma Taylor from the Addiction & Mental Health Group at the university said: “Smokers often believe that cigarettes are the crutch they need when they feel low, but there is good reason to think that smoking is actually making them feel worse.

“The daily cycle of waking up with cravings, satisfying the cravings through smoking only to be back wanting another cigarette within hours has an understandable impact on how people feel. But get past the withdrawal that many smokers feel when they stop, and better mental health is on the other side.”

If you’re struggling to quit, taking up vaping as an alternative can prove really useful, since you inhale nicotine in vapour rather than in smoke. No tobacco is burned and no tar or carbon monoxide produced, which are the two most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.

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