Smoking, stress
& you

Smoking doesn’t help you deal with stress. In fact, a nicotine addiction can increase your stress levels and make you feel worse. The trick is to find another way to combat stress.

How smoking increases rather than helps reduce your stress levels

Increased heart rate

To push the nicotine up to your brain quickly, your heart has to work harder and pump faster, increasing stress on it.

Dopamine levels decrease quickly

When the feel-good factor drops away, you feel worse than before you had the cigarette, and this makes you crave another one immediately.

Cravings cause withdrawal stress

You start getting nicotine cravings, this leads to withdrawal symptoms if you don’t smoke another cigarette.

A repetitive, negative cycle

You feel stressed because of nicotine cravings. While you get some relief when you do smoke, you crave another shortly afterwards and so start feeling stressed again.

Less oxygen to the body and brain

Because smoking restricts oxygen to the body and brain, you put an additional strain on your respiratory system, which in turn causes you more stress.

High blood pressure

Smoking doesn't directly cause high blood pressure but if you smoke and have high blood pressure, your arteries will narrow much more quickly, resulting in an increased risk from heart and lung disease in the future.

Help someone you care about quit today

Easy to do activities that can help alleviate stress without reaching for a cigarette

And stretch

Try some stretching and relaxation exercises or go to the gym. This can help you feel more relaxed.

Laugh

Laughing stimulates your feel good hormones and reduces the stress hormone. It also helps reduce tension and relax muscles.

Get a hobby

Doing something you enjoy will help you relax. A hobby will also give you something to look forward to, and is a way to forget about your stress.

Take a break

It’s easy to get caught up in stressful situations. If your stress levels start to rise, stop and take a step back. Spend a few minutes calming down and refocusing.

Breathe deeply

Long, slow deep breaths will help you to calm down when you’re feeling stressed, improving oxygen flow and relaxing your muscles.

Talk to a friend

You don’t have to suffer stress alone. You may find your friends have been in similar situations. Just talking out loud can be a big help.

Have fun!

Everyone has bad days. So make sure you focus on the good days. Don’t feel guilty for taking time off and doing something you love.

Get a good nights sleep

During sleep, your body regulates your hormone levels and will naturally relieve stress. And if you’re tired at work, you’re more likely to feel stressed.

Ask for help!

Stress affects everyone and can be difficult to deal with. If you feel yourself struggling with your feelings the good thinking website has some great tips, or contact your GP.


Help someone you care about quit today

Spend your money on something for you!

Stopping smoking won’t just make you feel better; the money you save can be spent on you! Treat yourself to new clothes or dinner at a great restaurant, a holiday, or a family day out. How much extra money will you have when you quit smoking?

In one week you could save

£38

That's new makeup or skincare product

or

For you gamers the latest game

In one month you could save

£154

That’s a fantastic dinner for two

or

New workout clothes

In six months you could save

£924

That's a week in the sun

or

A shopping spree

In one year you could save

£1,848

Treat yourself to that designer watch or jewellery

or

Start saving for something really special

In one week you could save

£70

That's a pair of designer shoes

or

A relaxing spa treatment

In one month you could save

£300

That’s a weekend in Europe, incl. flights

or

A new piece of tech

In six months you could save

£1,800

That’s a luxury holiday

or

A new luxury bed

In one year you could save

£3,650

That’s the deposit for a new car

or

A brand new kitchen

In one week you could save

£105

That’s your weekly food shop

or

An exciting experience day

In one month you could save

£450

That’s a night away in a luxury hotel

or

A new holiday wardrobe

In six months you could save

£2,700

That’s a trip to Orlando for a family of 4

or

Fly to NYC and spend a few days in the Big Apple

In one year you could save

£5,475

That’s an all-inclusive, month-long Caribbean cruise

or

A new and approved car

There are many ways to stop smoking, find the one that works for you

You are more likely to quit smoking by mixing and matching personal support like motivational support from a health advisor with NRT or a prescription medication and e-cigarettes.

What would work best for you?

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