Smoking and Mental Health

Most people know the physical health risks associated with smoking cigarettes, but few understand the huge negative influence is has on your mental health. It is a common misconception that smoking helps relaxation and mindfulness. Smoking has the adverse effect, and increases depression, anxiety and tension. As a result, smokers are more likely to develop mental health issues than non-smokers.


A startling 42% of cigarette smokers are affected by some sort of mental illness at some point in their lives, showing that there is even greater risk with smoking beyond the physical health issues. Suffering from depression or anxiety can cut a person’s life by more than 10 years and the key reason to this, according to a 2016 report, is the effect of years of heavy smoking.


Years of using cigarettes as a form of self-medicating against mental health problems can make it particularly difficult for a person to quit, as well as dangerous, as they are substituting a healthy cure for toxins and poisonous chemicals. On top of this, smoking worsens your mental state, as you are not taking the proper action to seek help for your mental health. It can also affect your physical health, which in turn also negatively influences your mental well-being, as the physical and mental are interlinked. Below is a list of a few reasons why cigarettes might lead to mental health problems:




An individual’s financial circumstance can have a huge baring on their mental health, debt can be a huge burden, leading to lack of sleep, lower mood, anxiety, stress and negative effect on relationships with friends and families.


Nearly Half (46%) of people in debt also have a mental health problem, showing a direct correlation between the two. Further to this, 86% of respondents to a Money and Mental Health survey of nearly 5,500 people with experience of mental health problems, said that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse. On top of this 72% of respondents to Money and Mental Health’s survey said that their mental health problems had made their financial situation worse.


A pack of cigarettes in the UK can cost around around £10 a day, which over time can have a huge influence on an individual’s financial predicament. This equates to an annual expenditure of £3,650 – money that could be going towards paying off debt. 


Switching to an E-Cigarette like SMOKO could save you £8 a day, which works out to an incredible £2920 a year. Put towards a debit like credit card or mortgage, this extra disposable income could pay off a debit in record time, relieve some of the financial stresses and help to reduce anxiety and help you sleep better at night.




An individual’s perception of their physical appearance (body positivity) is known to be a huge factor in someone’s mental health. Negative comments by others or an individual’s thoughts around their image can lead to depression, anxiety or even Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Smoking cigarettes is well known to have an extremely adverse effect on an individual’s appearance such as:

  • Premature Aging of Facial Skin- collagen and elastin damage from toxins found in cigarettes, as well as vascular constriction caused by smoking
  • Sagging Skin- loss of skin elasticity due to smoking, especially in arm and breast area.
  • Tar Stains- years of holding cigarettes in your hand and mouth can lead to a discoloured yellowing of your fingertips and teeth.
  • Skin Tone- smoking can lead to uneven tone due to lack of oxygen to skin cells and hundreds of poisonous chemicals entering your pores.

On top of this it can lead to various appearance-based illnesses such as skin cancer (52% higher chances of getting skin cancer if you smoke), psoriasis (smokers are 2 times likelier to get it), Acne Inversa, Vasculitis and Telangiectasia.


Switching to e cigarettes or Vaping will combat such listed appearance-based problems, as brands such as SMOKO have no toxins, poisonous chemicals or tar in them. And the return of normal blood flow to skin cells will bring oxygen and nutrients back to your skin, leading to a healthier complexion.


Physical Health


Physical health difficulties significantly increase the risk of poor mental health, as they are interconnected. About 30% of people with a long-term physical health problem also have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.


Exercise is a great tool to fight against mental health issues. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that “running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%”. Physical exercise is also thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood and decrease stress.


Smoking has a massive impact on a person’s physical health and ability to exercise in various ways, such as:

  • Blood- carbon monoxide in cigarettes narrow arteries which reduce the flood of blood to your heart, muscles, and other body organs, making exercise extremely hard.
  • Lungs- tar in cigarettes coat your lungs, whilst the phlegm makes your lungs congested, as a result decreasing your lung capacity, damaging your ability to use oxygen and exercise properly.
  • Heart- smoking makes your heart do extra work due to an increase in resting heart rate, potentially elevating to dangerous levels. Additionally, cigarettes, harms blood vessels and reduces oxygen to the heart, making any intense exercise tremendously difficult.

Smoking can cause various diseases and physical health problems such as, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, stroke, dementia, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (also known as COPD) to name but a few.


Many of the health risks involved in cigarettes due to the toxins and chemicals can be eradicated when switching to electronic cigarettes or Vapes. Here at UK based SMOKO, we ensure that we only use the highest-quality ingredients that are all Made in the UK, so we know we are eliminating at least 99% of the chemicals and toxins that are found in traditional cigarettes.  As a result of quitting cigarettes, an individual’s arteries will widen allowing for normal blood flow again and increases oxygen movement within the body. Feeling better physically can foster a desire to participate in normal exercise, as well as reducing various potential long-term health problems.


Quitting smoking can be as effective as antidepressants


BMJ published a study of mood over time in smokers who either continued smoking or stopped. Results showed measures of anxiety, depression and stress all significantly decreased in people who quit compared with people who continued to smoke.


For anxiety, the average difference in symptom scores was a 0.37 decrease for quitting, compared with continuing smoking. While for depression the difference was a 0.25 reduction in symptoms, and for mixed anxiety and depression it was 0.31.


The study noted the summary effect size for depression was greater than effect estimates seen in previous studies of antidepressant medications in patients with mild-to-severe depression, which usually ranges from -0.17 to -0.11 decrease in symptoms.


On top of this, it also discovered significant improvements in mood and mental-health-related quality of life among quitters compared with ongoing smokers.


Kicking the Habit Can Improve Your Mental Health


There is so much evidence that links smoking with increases in Mental Health issues as well as the widely accepted physical health problems. Triggered by financial constraints and debt, perception of one’s physical appearance and reduced physical health can all foster negative psychological environments where serious mental health issues can grow.


Certainly, we are not suggesting that e cigarettes are some magic pill to solve all of our woes but finding a way to quit smoking that works for you can have so many incredible benefits to both one’s physical and mental states and overall enjoyment of life! 


Since we started, we have prevented over 150,000,000 cigarettes from being consumed and our customers have saved over £60 million of their hard-earned money from going up in smoke!  SMOKO provides a realistic smoking sensations and amazing flavours that are Made in the UK so you know it is quality you can trust!


So, if you have struggled with cigarettes and want to try something that has worked for thousands of people around the world, why not try a SMOKO E-Cigarette today!

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