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The common thinking is that smoking makes people calm and eases anxiety. Put a smoker in a stressful situation and they will want to smoke. But according to new research (and some established methods of stopping) the best thing for stress is to actually stop smoking. For the research, 491 smokers were recruited from NHS smoking clinics. Their anxiety levels were were tested while still smokers, then after six months, the 14% of smokers who had succeeded in stopping were then tested again. Those who had stopped were found to have anxiety levels 10% lower than when they were smokers. Those who failed to stop smoking had actually become more anxious, by 3%.
Interestingly, those who gave their reason for smoking as “coping with life” were the ones who showed the biggest reduction in anxiety. Those either interested in the psychology of smoking or in stopping may find “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” by Allen Carr an interesting read. If you are really serious about stopping then the Allen Carr Clinics have the highest success rate.