Does smoking reduce stress and anxiety

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To observe either smoking reduces stress and anxiety. Like mostly smokers said that when they are under stress or anxiety and they smoke a cigarette then their stress relieved and they feel fresh and relaxed. In my research I would like to find either this is true or not.

To observe person's psychological condition with smoking habit. In many studies it is shown that smoking habbit is also related to mental condition. I would like to find that students who smoke, what's their perspectives for smoking.

To observe does smoking affects the general health of a person. I would like to find out whether the students who smoke have some health problem or not. Are they having any health problem after they starts smoking?

Smoking is to inhale smoke of burning tobacco in the form of cigarettes, cigars etc. Some people occasionally smoke to relief their stress but smoking, as a habit is a physical addiction. Habitual smoking is also called psychological addiction by health experts. In the whole world, almost in every nation there is a warning written on every packet of cigarette that it is injurious to health. In spite of that lot of people find smoking is quite attractive. In UK approximately 120,000 people died every year due to smoking. Smoking is the major reason for sickness and early deaths. On an average non smokers live 10 yrs more than the smokers ( a smoker dies 10 yrs early as compare to a person who never smoke in his life. Tobacco contains more than 4000 chemicals, 69 of which known to produce cancer.90% lung cancer deaths are due to smoking. Main three components of tobacco are-nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar. All three of them cause diseases. Nicotine absorbs in blood stream and effected brain in 10 seconds. If a person is habitual smoker, whenever the level of nicotine drops in blood, withdrawal symptoms like craving, anxiety, restlessness, headaches arises. These are relieved when the person smokes. That's why person smokes regularly to keep these symptoms away. Otherwise the smoker becomes anxious and irritable because of the withdrawal effect of nicotine. Tar contains many contents which produce cancer. Tar contains irritants which damage the lungs which are a major vital organ of human body; by constricting the bronchioles and destroying the cilia's which protect lungs from dirt and other infections. Smokers do not sit long hours for doing their work, they need a cigarette break. With this, they feel relaxed and energetic to do their work. People usually smoke at different times in a day .Smokers thought the situations which are not positive; they made them less stressful with smoking a cigarette. Smokers feel pleasure in smoking. But smoking produce critical health risks for smokers and the persons surrounding them. Because the family members and friends of a smoker who breathe second hand smoke also harm their general health. In this proposal we discuss about the smoking and it's perceptions among university students. We discuss the facts that why students attract towards smoking. Does smoking really help to reduce the stress in students? Does smoking affect their general health? These all we discuss in our research proposal.

Literature Review

According to Stephen J. Heishman (1999), the 3 factors which influences smoking or are influenced by smoking habit, are stress, weight gain and performance. Addiction of nicotine is very complex process which includes biological, psychological and other factors also. If nicotine addicted person withhold nicotine, his attentional and cognitive abilities would be diminished, but these are reversed if nicotine is given to that person. In stress, smoking is eminent, but there is not any specified evidence that smoking reduces stress. In average the weight of smokers is 3-4kgs less than peoples who don't smoke and after quitting smoking weight gain is also in same manner.

According to Carol Brown (2004) the use of tobacco is high in people having mental health problems. Use of tobacco is one of the preventable causes of bad health and early deaths in Scotland. According to Scottish Executive (2000), nearly 13,000 persons died each year from diseases occurs due to tobacco like diseases of heart and cancers of different parts of body (Callum, 1998).According to ASH Scotland (2004), there are many critical health risks related to passive smoking. In Scotland, sickness related to smoking costs the National Health Service around £ 200 million per year. According to McNeill (2001), smoking risk is more among persons with mental health problems as compare to other people. According to Meltzer et al. (1996), surveys shows smoking rates were higher in people having mental problems like in people suffering from psychosis than general population.

According to Wendy Wang and Paul Taylor(April8,2008),when smokers asked for their habit of smoking they usually say ,it relives our stress, but 50% of them experience stress frequently as compare to others who never smoke or smoke once and now quits. The survey also shows that smokers are more sad and unhealthy as compare to non smokers or persons who quit smoking.45% of smokers said that they are healthy as this percentage was63%in non smokers and little less in former smokers. Six out of ten current smokers satisfied with their family life whereas this ratio was seven in ten in non smokers. Satisfaction in job is also low in current smokers.

According to Andy C Parrott (1999), smokers oftentimes say that smoking helps to relieve their stress whereas the level of stress is quite more in smokers. Dependency on nicotine looks as to modify stress. This resulted irregular mood pattern shown by smokers, during smoking they have good moods and bad otherwise when not smoking. The smokers require nicotine for feeling normal.

According to Piasecki (2006) addiction rate is very high in tobacco smoking. Likewise withdrawal of nicotine, tonic desire is basic reason for ex-smokers, who were struggling to maintain abstinence. If a person strike again and again with high stress levels his smoking habbit also raised(Steptoe,et al. ,1996) and stressful activities were essential risk factors for chances of relapse in former smokers(Cohen and Lichtenstein,1990;Mckee,et al.,2003).Study in human laboratories shows that exposure to stress or imagination of provoked markers raises the desire of smoking in smokers who are habitual(Perkins and Grobe,1992;Erblich,et al.,2003).

According to American Journal of health behaviour (2006) vol.30 (3), the usage of tobacco in US is highest in adults between 18-24 yrs of age. Most of them are college students. Use of cigarette smoking increased by 28% in the year between 1993-1997. Around 50% of college students tried smoking within that previous year and around 1/3rd are using tobacco currently. Approximately 70% of students of colleges tried tobacco in their life. A recently done study of 224 students of college showed the tendency to take risk, depression, self efficacy were decisive of smoking behaviour. Other study of 636 adult students shows that the college students using tobacco shows lower physical activities and raised depression symptoms as compare to non smokers. Moreover young adults who are in depression use tobacco for improvement in their mood.

According to Wegner, Schneider, Carter and White (1987) numerous studies shows inhibiting negative or indifferent thoughts having a rebound effect. So if a person suppresses a single thought he may think about, that thought comes in his mind more quickly. For example people usually attempt to discontinue smoking by avoiding thinking about smoking. Whereas this strategy rises his thoughts of smoking and makes quitting difficult. According to Salkovskis and Reynolds (1994) study, in which contestants decrease or give up smoking by observing their thoughts about smoking. The study shows suppression, raised thoughts of smoking comparison to monitoring. However these results show that thoughts suppression made quitting much challenging. But in this study they were not said that suppression raises smoking.

According to Heath &Martin (1993); Chassin et al. (1994, 1996) ,Kendler et al.(1999) so many studies done in past two decades suggested that people with the history of smoking in their close relatives were continual smokers than other ones who had no history in their family. Several studies showed that persistent smoking habbit definitely had heritable element. For e.g. Heath& Martin (1993) found heritability approximately of 0.53, whereas Kendler et al. (1999) found it as 0.72. These studies show the value of environmental and hereditary factors in habbit of persistent smoking but this did not clarify mechanism that shows relationship of family history and persistence.


Smokers thought that smoking reduce stress.

Smoking plays a chief role in mood elevation of a person.

Generally if the parents smoke, their adult children are more attract towards smoking habit.

The family members and friends of a smoker, who breathe the secondhand smoke, also harm their general health.



This is a Quantitative study of smoking habit and it's perceptions among the university students. It is in the form of questionnaire.

Dependent Variable:

Stress, Psychological status

Independent Variable:

Age, Gender, smoking habit


The participants are mostly the students of University of Bedfordshire who belongs to different religions and different nations. There will be 25 participants, in which 20 would be male participants and 5 would be female participants. The age of the participants is between 20-40yrs.


Each student gives a full questionnaire in which options are there and they have to tick the best option according to their choice and they are requested to give answers wisely. Questionnaire is given to each participant personally and told him or her the purpose of test. Before the participants fill the questionnaire, total information regarding the purpose of study and other related information will be given to each participant. This information is also given to the participants that this data remains confidential. This collected data will be used only for study and research purposes and not given to any other organization.

After the general introduction regarding name gender etc. the participants asked to select the category of smoking-smoking in the present time, or smoking in the past years and now quitted. Then they start the main Questionnaire.

Data analysis

The data is collected from students of University of Bedfordshire and analyzed by SSPS.

Either a significant relation exists in between the variables is studied by ANOVA.

Ethical Consideration

The university has accepted the request of survey in their campus. The participants are clearly mentioned about data protection and told them that this data will be used for study and research purpose only. The participants are clearly mentioned that they are free to ask any type of question before the data collection. This is clearly told to the participants if they have any problem during the research they can withdraw any time .The data collected from the students is not given any other party.