Quit Smoking For Better Mental Health?By: Toni Matthews-El - February 16, 2014
A number of studies have been done regarding how smoking impacts the body. With the various toxic chemicals that are found within cigarettes, it’s often treated as the main focus regarding anti-smoking campaigns.
As smoking has fallen out of favor in the United States, we have seen campaigns telling people to not smoke or quit smoking for a variety of health related reasons. For instance, the possibility of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
However, what about the mental benefits? A new study has emerged which suggests quitting smoking may actually improve mental health.
Researchers reviewed information relating to 26 different studies that found individuals who had quit smoking saw a reduction in stress levels, depression levels, an improvement in their quality of life, and overall felt more positive.
The idea that a smoker will feel better when they quit flies in the face of common smoking logic, which is that smoking alleviates all of these negative mental symptoms. Smoking was thought to at least make the smoker feel good even if the act of smoking was physically harmful.
Researchers feel that the “feel good factor” associated with smoking is actually the treating of withdrawal symptoms associated with not having a cigarette: Irritability, anxiety, and even depression.
If individuals who wanted to quit smoking were to allow themselves to experience the withdrawal, this study seems to suggest that the negative mental issues will improve on their own.
If you are looking to quit for your physical health alone, consider the fact that smoking is more or less a short-term fix regarding your feelings. The problem with this short-term fix is that the long-term consequences can be especially harmful. A long-term solution is to quit smoking and allow yourself to benefit not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
Image via Wikimedia Commons