CAN NICOTINE REDUCE ANXIETY?

Smoking addiction is one of the leading problems that people are placing globally at present. Smoking has become one of the leading causes of many diseases, including but not restricted to lung cancer, blood clotting, blockages in the heart and emphysema. Smoking is not a cause that affects a particular part of the body. It affects all the organs of the body in some way or the other.

The shocking fact about this is that, even though people know that smoking is injurious to health, that it deteriorates your body at a rate that is faster than any other disease and that the final destination to chronic smoking addiction is death, people still do it. People should really think this through, does nicotine help anxiety or solve any other problems in their lives?

Seeing signs on the pack of cigarettes that says, smoking kills, advertisements before any movie screening that show how serious and irreversible the effects of smoking are, and more than that, their own knowledge on the subject has still not been able to affect people and make them stop smoking.

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The most annoying part about this is the fact that smokers not only risk their own lives, but they also put the lives of people around them in danger too by the phenomenon known as passive smoking. Passive smoking is smoke that non-smokers inhale unintentionally while smokers are smoking. It is one of the leading causes of bronchitis and asthma, especially in children from a very young age.

Does Smoking help in releasing stress?

Despite the efforts that have been put up by people to reverse the trend of smoking, it seems to be getting bigger every year. Every warning about how smoking affects one’s health is being ignored and the number of smokers is increasing day by day. Why is this the case? If we analyze and try to find an answer, one that jumps up in our faces is anxiety. Why do people smoke? Because smoking helps in releasing tension.

Anxiety is a state of mind, where the person tends to worry excessively about matters that do not need as much attention. Anxiety makes one’s nerves jump up at abnormal and irregular times and people try to find and easy way out to come out of the tense state. What is the answer? Smoking.

Smoking and drinking lead to calming down the nerves. However, this is a short-term solution. It releases stress for a short amount of time, and what people fail to understand is that the anxiety will return, and it will hit them in an even worse way.

As people don’t understand that smoking is not a permanent solution, they resort to continuing their practice and don’t even realize when that habit becomes an addiction. This is what people have to understand. Does nicotine help anxiety? Thus, before dealing with how to stop people from smoking, knowing the root cause of why people smoke can help a lot in addressing this issue.

How does Nicotine work?

Cigarette-smoking delivers a highly dangerous and addictive chemical called nicotine to the brain. When the brain responds at first to this nicotine intake, it lightens the mood, enhances concentration, makes you forget about all your worries. It releases all the stress that you have and transforms you into a peaceful and relaxing state.

Nicotine and anxiety

Thus, people think that smoking a few cigarettes a few times is no big deal. They think that it’s helping them to deal with stress. What they don’t know is that regular doses of nicotine lead to transitions in the brain. If the nicotine intake varies or reduces, it leads to nicotine-withdrawal. Furthermore, this condition leads to the person smoking even more so as to fight back with the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. And this is how they get addicted to and dependent on nicotine. Nicotine doesn’t help anxiety. It escalates it.

Besides this biological fact, there are many other sociological and physical factors that affect smoking. Peer pressure and the need to look cool are some of the leading causes of the increasing rate of smokers all over the world. Along with this comes anxiety and stress. Handling workload, social obligations, and future security is very difficult and sometimes that gets to a person. That is when immediate and quick stress release is needed and people resort to smoking.

But does nicotine help? No, it does not. It just helps to remove immediate stress. The underlying problems are just aggravated and then there comes a time when coming out of this vicious cycle of anxiety and nicotine becomes impossible.

Nicotine intake just increases the chances of anxiety and depression as it is only a temporary stress-buster. Nicotine creates a calming sense of relaxation which people take as a help for anxiety treatment. They don’t realize that nicotine does not help anxiety. It escalates the effects of anxiety and makes a person’s life even more miserable. The major problem with this type of smoking cause is that it is even more difficult to quit smoking.

Smoking becomes a last resort and easy way out for people suffering from anxiety disorders and the addiction to nicotine becomes even more aggressive. The short-term release from mental stress is overcome by the long-term problems caused to physical health. Diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases like blood clotting and multiple blockages in the heart are the long-term effects of smoking whose symptoms can again lead to more anxiety.

Nicotine and mood are interconnected, which means that just like the mood of a person changes randomly and irregularly, nicotine does help anxiety in the first place but it increases the chances of anxiety disorder and stress even more.

Along with these mental health issues, it brings in physical problems as well. Unless the root cause of what is causing anxiety is dealt with, anxiety will continue to be a problem in the long run and nicotine will always seem like a viable option. People should always try to take up smoke-free ways to deal with anxiety.

Natural ways to become stress-free:

Exercising, doing yoga and meditation, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, avoiding alcohol intake and excessive caffeine intake, Aromatherapy is some of the ways to deal with anxiety and stress. Not only is smoking a chronically damaging habit, but it also compromises health and money as well. As cigarettes are expensive and buying them becomes a necessary evil, a lot of money is spent on buying the packs. This leads to the person worrying more about their expenses and again, as a result, increasing anxiety and stress.

Conclusion

Smoking might seem like an easy way out and the easiest method of self-medication but does nicotine help anxiety. No, it only leads to adverse health consequences. However, if one has already gotten addicted to dealing with anxiety by smoking, the first step should be resolving the anxiety issues. Dealing with the cause of your stress and finding out alternatives to deal with them is the smart approach before the person tries to quit smoking. This is because quitting smoking is not an easy task.

It takes a lot of effort and patience on the person’s part to overcome the nicotine withdrawal symptoms and stop smoking altogether. Talking to family about your problems also helps. They can make you understand how injurious smoking is, and they can help you cope with your stress and stand by your side on your journey to quit smoking.

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