How Quitting Smoking Can Improve Your Mental Well-Being

How Quitting Smoking Can Improve Your Mental Well-Being

Giving up smoking is not as straightforward as some people may suggest. Going cold turkey often doesn’t work. Even people undergoing nicotine replacement therapy or NRT still struggle with kicking the habit.

To make things more complicated, the more cigarettes a person smoked, the harder it’s for them to stop the addiction. It doesn’t help that many smokers believe that they can no longer relax after meals or can't properly think if they don’t have one or two cigarettes.

Another reason why people are afraid to give up smoking is because of possible withdrawal symptoms. It’s not a baseless assumption because quitting a longstanding habit could bring about some withdrawal side effects, especially if they have been chain smokers for many decades.

To minimise such adverse reactions, some doctors usually prescribe the use of devices like nicotine vaping products (NVPs) as part of an inhaled nicotine replacement therapy (INRT) treatment. These devices are battery-operated and designed to mimic smoking but without the deadly chemicals found in tobacco. NVPs are some of the prescribed smoking alternatives by Smokefree Clinic Australia that may help smokers quit the habit.

However, even with the help of prescribed vaping products and other methods, it’s always best to start your journey with a solid determination to stop smoking for good. One compelling reason for you to give up the habit is to improve your mental health. Here’s how ditching cigarettes could boost your mental well-being:

  1. Helps Ease Stress and Improve Mood

As mentioned earlier, many people believe that smoking helps them relax. It may feel that way the first few times you smoke. However, nicotine is a stimulant that can raise your blood pressure, heart rate, and alertness. So, you may feel calm when smoking, but it has the opposite emotional effects. The more you smoke, the more tension and anxiety you feel.

Some people end up being chain smokers because they’re chasing a false sense of relaxation that their minds equate with smoking. After a time, finishing one stick will no longer suffice, and you tend to light up more cigarettes frequently to achieve the desired calmness.

When you give up smoking altogether, you’ll start to improve your mood, be less anxious and tense, and even sleep better. With the help of a healthy diet and regular exercise, you’ll reap more physical and mental health benefits by kicking out cigarette smoking from your life.

  1. Enhances Efficacy of Mental Health Treatments

Some studies show that people suffering from behavioural health conditions are more prone to smoking than those who don’t have mental health problems. Experts also believe that more than 50% of deaths in this demographic may be attributable to smoking. Additionally, some studies show that smoking can worsen the symptoms of psychological disorders and make the treatment of such problems more complicated.

If you’re already suffering from clinical depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other mental health issues, it would be best to stay away from smoking for good. Like other addictive substances, tobacco could affect the dopamine receptor functions in the brain, which may be an underlying reason for aggravated symptoms of mental disorders.

Worsening symptoms could mean more dosage and increased varieties of prescription drugs to manage your behavioural problems. Thus, your mental health will tremendously benefit when you quit smoking because you’ll avoid more drugs to treat your condition.


  1. Helps Regain Confidence in Intimate Relationships

Sexual inadequacy is one of the physical adverse effects of smoking that can cause stress, loneliness, and poor self-confidence in entering sexual relationships. This habit affects proper blood circulation in the body, particularly the genitals, resulting in erectile dysfunction in men. In women, smoking affects oestrogen levels that could also affect sexual desire and the ability to bear children. 

The good news is these sexual conditions are just temporary if they’re related to smoking. Once you quit, you’ll see an improvement in your blood circulation and the return of vital hormone levels. With these positive changes, you’ll be less depressed, and you’ll also start to have confidence in your ability to enter intimate relationships.

  1. Boosts Self-Esteem 

Many people are aware that smoking could affect an individual’s physical attributes. This habit could damage teeth and gums, cause wrinkles, promote age spots, and generally make you look older than your actual age. Furthermore, smoking also gives you bad breath and sometimes even foul body odour.

Fortunately, quitting could assist in reversing these effects on a smoker’s physical appearance. Once you no longer smell like an ashtray, your teeth are not stained, and you’re not developing more wrinkles and sagging skin, you’ll feel better with your physical appearance, which, in turn, could boost your self-esteem.

Bottom Line

Not many are aware that smoking can have detrimental effects on the mental well-being of smokers. But the silver lining is that quitting smoking could help improve mental health in the long run. With your doctor’s guidance and the help of prescribed devices, turning your back on tobacco will not be as hard as it should be.

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