How does stress impact on smoking?

Let’s face it, life can be stressful, and we all deal with stress in different ways.

Stress is very common, it can have an impact on how the day plays out and can overspill onto our mood, sleep, relationships, health and wellbeing.

Stress is a common trigger that can often lead back to smoking. Some people believe smoking can help reduce their stress, but the truth is smoking actually increases stress and anxiety levels.

Tobacco contains many chemicals, poisons and toxins as well as Nicotine. Nicotine is addictive and can give the smoker a ‘false feeling’ of relaxation. Once the nicotine begins to wear off, cravings and the desire to reach for another cigarette start to creep in.

The good news is there are different ways you can manage stress without having to rely on tobacco and making a clean break from smoking is key.


Here are a few practical and fun ways you can manage stress without smoking:

Talk: talking to a friend, family member or a trained professional can help unload how you feel, and the results can almost be instant. For further information you can visit:

Breathe: There are so many benefits from taking several deep breaths: it helps to release toxins, relieves negative energy and tension, improves blood flow and boosts your mood.

Get active: Dust off your trainers and find something you enjoy doing. You don’t have to run a marathon, it could simply be going for a walk, riding a bike, yoga or even dancing in your front room.

Develop your skills: Think about some skills you would like to develop: have you ever wanted to write a novel? Develop your painting skills? Improve your baking recipes? Learn an instrument or another language? Now is the perfect time.

Enjoy life: Don’t forget to take a step back and enjoy life, do something you enjoy and challenge yourself.

You don’t have to go it alone

The Stop Smoking Service is there to offer you the guidance you need. There’s lots of FREE support on offer and by using the help that’s right for you, you’ll be boosting your chance of quitting for good. Please call 0800 013 0553 or to refer yourself via the website please click here

FREE My Quit Route App

 Not ready to speak to us just yet? Why not download out free My Quit Route app. Its free to anyone who lives or works in Milton Keynes, Central Bedfordshire or Bedford Borough. The app will guide you through a set of questions to help you decided what support is right for you. It has a range of self-help activities to manage cravings, stress and day to day triggers around your smoking. Available from Apple and Google Play


Claire Peter-Daly – Public Health Officer, Stop Smoking