Mental health – Make Smoking History

Skip to main content.
Make Smoking History logo
Start of main content

Why it feels like smoking helps you relax

Many people think smoking helps them to relax. But in fact, smoking increases the stress, tension, and anxiety that you feel.

When you haven’t had a cigarette for a while, the craving for another one makes you irritable and anxious. These feelings are temporarily relieved when you smoke. Not long after reliving these cravings, your body will start to crave another, making you feel irritable and anxious again.

Scientific studies show that people’s stress levels lower after they stop smoking. And it can take just six weeks for quitting smoking to improve your mood and mental health.

The stress cycle of smoking

The mental health benefits of quitting smoking

When people stop smoking, studies show:

  • anxiety, depression and stress levels are lower
  • quality of life and positive mood improve
  • the dosage of some medicines used to treat mental health problems can be reduced

Top tips for dealing with stress

  • get the right help and support to take the stress out of quitting
  • know your triggers and how to avoid them
  • stay positive and take it one step at a time
  • write down your reasons to remind yourself why you’re quitting

Stopping smoking can be as effective as antidepressants

People with mental health conditions are likely to feel much calmer, more positive and have a better quality of life after giving up smoking. Evidence suggests the beneficial effect of stopping smoking on symptoms of anxiety and depression can equal that of taking antidepressants.

If you take antipsychotic medicines or antidepressants, talk to your GP or psychiatrist before you stop smoking. The dosage of these medicines may need to be monitored and the amount you need to take could be reduced. This is because smoking can reduce the levels of some medications in the blood, so you may need a lower dose when you quit.

Quitting smoking can make a big difference to how you feel in just a matter of weeks. Get support and find the right quitting aid for you to help ease your cravings.
Quitting smoking proven to boost wellbeing Arrow pointing right

More reasons to quit


How to quit

There are many different ways to quit, so it's all about what works best for you. Let us show you some of the ways you can achieve a smokefree life.
Explore how to quit Arrow pointing right

Quit support

It can be tough knowing where to start or how to deal with setbacks. We can help you plan your quit journey, keep you on track and set you up for success.
Quit Support Arrow pointing right

Real Stories

There are many ex-smokers who have are now enjoying smokefree lives. Find out how they did and get inspired.
Real Stories Arrow pointing right