Smokers who successfully quit feel less anxious afterwards — despite the belief that smoking relieves stress, researchers say.
The British Journal of Psychiatry study followed nearly 500 smokers attending National Health Service Stop Smoking Clinics in England. It found a “significant” decrease in anxiety levels among the 68 smokers who had quit after six months.
The effect was greater among those who had mood and anxiety disorders than those who smoked for pleasure.
The researchers — drawn from several universities including Cambridge, Oxford and King’s College London — said the findings should be used to reassure smokers attempting to quit that concerns about increased anxiety levels were unfounded.