Smoking to Relieve Tension or Improve Mood

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Overview

Smoking is not a long-term solution for dealing with stress, tension, or depression. The relief you get from smoking comes from the act of taking time out to smoke and from the actions of nicotine in your brain. If you return to the stressful situation after you finish smoking, it doesn't take long before the tension comes back. And then you need another cigarette.

  • Ask yourself questions about why you smoke.

    Ask yourself these questions to see whether you smoke to relieve stress, tension, and irritability or to improve your mood:

    • Does smoking a cigarette automatically come to mind when you are frustrated, angry, or sad?
    • Does smoking a cigarette calm you when you are upset?
    • Do you smoke more cigarettes when you're under stress?
    • If you tried to quit smoking in the past, did you miss smoking cigarettes the most during times of stress?

Credits

Current as of: November 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine




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