People with mental ill health are more likely to smoke than people from the general population and have a reduced life expectancy of up to 25 years as compared to other smokers.
Smokers will often say that smoking helps to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety but actually what we do know is that smoking can actually increase feeling of stress and anxiety. Smoking does not help with the underlying causes or reduce anxiety altogether. When people have a cigarette that feeling of relaxation is quite short-lived because soon withdrawal symptoms from nicotine and cravings give way.
One other good reason to give up smoking is that medication dosage are significantly reduced for people with mental ill health and this results in a reduction of side-effects from medication and increased self- esteem for the individual.
Quitting smoking is difficult, and may seem especially hard when you are suffering with mental ill health, but plenty of support is available. Two quitters experiencing mental health difficulties shared their stop smoking journey with us.