Smoking and mental health

Posted 28 Oct 2016.


Our Make Smoking History Priority Settings Coordinator, Emily Box recently visited 6PR with Tracie, who didn’t let her bipolar stop her from kicking a 40 cigarettes a day habit. Tracie is now enjoying the benefits of being smoke-free, listen to how much it has improved her life here



The impact of mental health on a person’s overall wellbeing should not be overlooked. Positive mental health incorporates the ability to maintain relationships, cope with stress, contribute to the community and enjoy life.

It can be influenced by a complex mixture of internal and external factors, which means people can often go through periods of good and bad mental health throughout their lifetime. In fact, one in five Aussies will experience some form of mental illness each year, and of these, three out of ten will be seriously affected.

Smoking is a highly addictive behaviour that can have a negative impact on our mental health.


However, quitting smoking is associated with a number of mental health benefits, including:

• Significant reduction in depression, anxiety and stress

• Improvement in positive mood and psychological quality of life

• Enhanced capacity to cope with life stressors

• Ability to socialise anywhere – not just where smoking is permitted


Misconceptions about smoking and stress relief

It is a common misconception that smoking relieves stress. However, smoking actually increases feelings of stress and anxiety as the body swings between nicotine and withdrawals. The apparent feeling of stress relief that smokers may experience is actually due to nicotine cravings being temporarily satisfied.

Find out more about smoking and mental health here.


Are you thinking of quitting?

Make Smoking History has some great tips to help you stay on track here, along with some tips for dealing with nicotine withdrawal here. You can also call the Quitline on 13 78 48 for advice and recommendations to help you through.


Found in:  News - 2016 | View all news