Quitting smoking has been scientifically proven to benefit mental health by lowering levels of depression and anxiety after complete cessation. The NHS advises switching to e-cigarettes as a less-harmful alternative. This would be a great way to celebrate Stress Awareness Month.
Smokers tend to consume more tobacco when stressed or anxious in order to calm down and relax. However, although satisfying cravings, there is evidence to suggest that it is the effects of smoking that can cause these very symptoms, and so the smoking addiction is cyclical.
There is also data to suggest that once a smoker has quit, positive feelings and mood increase by 40 percent and the symptoms of mental illnesses can lessen considerably. For example, feelings of stress and depression are said to decrease by 27 percent and 25 percent respectively.
Dr. Paul Aveyard, a professor of behavioural medicine, explained:
“For clinicians like myself, when we see people who smoke who also have mental health difficulties, there’s often a feeling that we are depriving them of a way to deal with the stress, but in fact we are helping these people to get better.”
A study Dr. Aveyard was involved in found smoking-cessation to be just as beneficial to depression and anxiety symptoms as prescribed anti-depressants which are known to interact with sleeping patterns.
Not getting enough sleep is the third most frequently cited cause of stress in the UK.
Switching to e-cigarettes does not only improve symptoms of mental illness.
As the most common reason for feelings of stress relates to money, making the switch benefits smokers economically and can substantially relieve financial strain. It was found the average vaper spends half as much as smokers every month.
The fifth major cause of stress for Britons is their health. Countless reports and studies have concluded that e-cigarettes are a safer and effective alternative to smoking tobacco, including Public Health England who declared vaping 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
Don’t believe common misconception that smoking is a short-cut to relieving stress. Instead, relieve physical, mental and financial stress this April by making the switch.