top of page

Does tobacco reduce stress?

Many smokers claim that tobacco soothes them and helps reduce stress. It's actually quite the opposite. Their error would come from a confusion between the signs of stress and... the symptoms of withdrawal. How is it possible ? Smoking is a stressor. By lighting a cigarette, smokers cause their blood pressure to rise slightly, their arteries to narrow, and their heart rate to increase. Quite the opposite, therefore, of a peaceful state... Smoking: the lack and the desire to take a new cigarette This feeling that smokers have of a reduction in their nervousness stems from their confusion between “stress” and “withdrawal symptoms”. In heavy smokers, the craving and the urge to take a new cigarette generally occur less than an hour after the previous one. The longer they wait, the more the manifestations of lack (nervousness, irritation, concentration problems) are felt. Why this link between stress and tobacco? The "miracle", very relative, is that these manifestations disappear in a few seconds when a new cigarette is lit. This rediscovered feeling of fullness is therefore nothing other than a disappearance of withdrawal symptoms. Finally, this link between stress and tobacco is part of an “anticipatory belief”: smokers, when they are forced not to smoke, convince themselves that the next cigarette will do them good. Sources: * Interview with Doctor Claude Guillaumin, tobacco specialist and behaviorist in Angers, president of France Network of Behavioral Addictologists and Tobacco Specialists (Fractal); * Cancer Foundation, Belgium. Very nice day Damien

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page