That Cigarette You
Smoke to Relieve Stress May Be Causing You the Stress!
Show Tobacco Use Does Not Alleviate Stress But Actually Amplifies It!
- If you smoke to reduce stress, you are only adding to your stress,
according to a new review of psychological studies in the October
issue of the American Psychological Association's American
Psychologist. Psychologist Andy Parrott, Ph.D., of the University of
East London says the evidence shows that the apparent relaxant effect
of smoking only reflects the reversal of the tension and irritability
that develop during nicotine depletion. Far from acting as an aid for
mood control, nicotine dependency seems to increase stress.
reviewed studies on the smoking/stress relationship, first in adult
smokers, then in novice adolescent smokers and lastly during smoking
cessation. For adult smokers, the research shows that the positive
mood changes experienced during smoking may only reflect the reversal
of unpleasant abstinence effects. "Regular smokers, therefore,
experience periods of heightened stress between cigarettes, and
smoking briefly restores their stress levels to normal," said
Professor Parrott. "However, soon they need another cigarette to
forestall abstinence symptoms from developing again. The repeated
occurrence of negative moods between cigarettes means that smokers
tend to experience slightly above-average levels of daily stress.
Thus, nicotine dependency seems to be a direct cause of stress."
Article: "Does Cigarette Smoking Cause Stress?" Andy C. Parrott,
Ph.D., University of East London, American Psychologist, Vol. 54, No.
Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs
Office or at