As you approach your Quit Date you may experience an increase in anxiety. Even after you quit in the first weeks you may feel some anxiety about your ability to maintain your quit. This may give you the impression that smoking alleviates stress and anxiety.
BUT a 2013 Study by Oxford Unversity took a very close look at just this issue and they discovered that Smoking Cessation relieves stress and anxiety!
"The belief that smoking is stress relieving is pervasive, but certainly wrong. The reverse is true: smoking is anxiogenic (causes anxiety) and smokers deserve to know this and understand how their own experience may be misleading." the researchers wrote.
Successful quitters showed a drop in anxiety. The decrease in anxiety was particularly noticeable among the ex-smokers who used to smoke "to cope", compared to those who used to smoke "for pleasure".
In summary, stopping smoking reduces anxiety and the effect is larger in those who have a psychiatric disorder and who smoke to cope with stress. A failed quit attempt may well increase anxiety to a modest degree, but perhaps to a clinically relevant degree in people with a psychiatric disorder and those who report smoking to cope.
Smoking causes stress and anxiety!
Quitting alleviates stress and anxiety!
If you suffer from a mood disorder, please don't give up! In the long run you will gain relief from your symptoms!