It is common to think that smoking is a way to calm your nerves and deal with feelings of anxiety. But the truth is, nicotine can cause anxiety symptoms or make them worse.
Nicotine and mood are connected. Researchers know that nicotine in cigarettes affects your brain, including your mood.
Anxiety is feeling frightened, nervous, or panicky. Most people feel anxiety from time to time in difficult situations, but feel better when the situation ends. Anxiety can be a problem if it continues. You might feel sad or depressed and have trouble sleeping or concentrating. Your heart might race or you could feel faint or have stomach problems.
Some regular smokers believe smoking eases anxiety and they report this is a reason they continue to smoke. However, that’s because smoking relieves their nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This relief is only temporary. Unless they deal with what’s bothering them, anxiety is likely to return and the cycle will continue.
There are many smokefree ways to handle stress and anxiety. Explore these ways to find one or more that works for you.