Anxious Smokers Find It Harder To Kick The Habit

27/10/2010 11:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

If you're finding it difficult to give up smoking it could be because you're too anxious, say experts. According to a study, people with anxiety problems are less likely to quit than other smokers.

Giving up smokingAnxious smokers find it harder to quit (Stock.xchng, gklinek)

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention studied around 1,500 smokers, a third of whom had experienced at least one anxiety disorder. Those who had suffered from the mental health problem had a much harder time giving up smoking than others who didn't have a history of anxiety, they found.

The experts discovered that the people who were suffering - or had suffered - from anxiety had higher levels of nicotine dependence than the other smokers, plus they had more severe withdrawal symptoms. Either way, it's not particularly encouraging news if you have an anxious personality and you're trying to quit.

Along with depression, anxiety is the most common form of mental health disorder among people living in the UK, with almost 9% of the population affected, says the Office for National Statistics.

Anxiety is part of the body's natural response to threats (or the thought that something bad might happen). Normally the feeling doesn't last long, but when you feel anxious more than not, it can really affect your ability to eat, sleep, work and generally enjoy life.

Dealing with anxiety could be as simple as learning to relax more, or by using mindfulness techniques. Other therapies, such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy, may be useful for harder-to-shift anxiety.

Has an emotional problem stopped you from quitting?

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