Quitting smoking reduces anxiety

It is the third of January and for those individuals that have decided that 2013 is the year to give up smoking, here is an added incentive that should boost motivation and perseverance to achieve the goal.

A research team from Oxford and Cambridge Universities and experts from Kings College London have collaborated to complete study which has found among the many other benefits of quitting smoking, kicking the habit may also have a positive impact on anxiety levels.

The authors of the study have explained that contrary to public belief that suggests giving up smoking leaves individuals feeling on edge and that smoking help to relieve stress, this latest research has found that smoking could actually be causing anxiety.

For the study, 491 individuals who had signed up to the NHS stop smoking program which includes weekly meetings and the prescription of nicotine patches.

The individuals were surveyed for their anxiety symptoms before and after the study, they were also questioned about their motivations to smoke. In addition, they were asked about any pre-existing mental health conditions.

21 percent of the individuals in the study had previously been diagnosed with mental health problems; these were namely anxiety and mood disorders.

The results of the study found that of the individuals who successfully managed to quit smoking, there was a marked improvement in symptoms of anxiety, this was particularly the case for individuals who had previously said that they smoked to cope with the pressures and strains of everyday life.

The results of this research is contradictory to some other studies that have looked at the impact of nicotine on anxiety and stress levels, but is encouraging for individuals with a New Year’s resolution to kick the habit.

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