Smoking or Vaping and How It Affects Mental Health

Smoking or Vaping and How It Affects Mental Health2

It’s not a mystery that smoking harms our physical health. But many smokers and vapers are unaware of the habit’s impact on their mental well-being. Can it be the cause of a mental disorder? Can it worsen already existing psychological condition? Let’s shade light on these questions.

What Statistics Says

In general, people who have any type of mental health problems smoke or use vapes. 90 percent of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia are smokers. The percentage of smokers among those with depression, anxiety, bipolar and panic disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder is also very high. Estimates range between 30 and 50 percent of cigarettes sold annually in the US to be purchased by people with mental issues.   

One study found out that people who suffer from mental disorders are also the primary consumers of the nicotine delivery devices. They are twice more likely to try an e-cigarette and three times more likely to vape regularly than those without mental problems. The reasons for using different types of vapes (Vapingdaily gives more information) are the same smokers have – to minimize potential harm to their health and to break the tobacco habit.

Nicotine Dependence or Why People Smoke/Vape

I bet you’ve used this as an excuse for keeping smoking or vaping: “It helps me relax and cope with stress.” It’s partly true.

Nicotine promotes the production of serotonin and dopamine that boost the feelings of calmness and joy. Studies have shown that it can suppress the symptoms of such conditions as depression, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit disorder.

This may be old news, but we can’t overlook that. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. In the beginning, its consumption can really relax your muscles, decrease anger and stress, and improve mood.

But regular doses cause changes in your brain. Once your brain doesn’t get the chemical it’s used to, you start to experience withdrawal symptoms. These include enhanced irritability, anxiety, and depression. That’s why it’s so hard for people with a history of mental disturbances to break this vicious cycle.

Smoking, Vaping, and Mental Health

Nicotine and stress

Stress is quite a common problem. It affects us when we feel unable to deal with unwanted pressure. Its major symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and irritability.

You already know that if your brain gets something it’s addicted from, it calms down for a short time. In the state of stress, smoking or vaping can act as a soothing therapy. But its effect fades too fast. That’s why some people start to smoke more cigarettes in such situations. It only deepens their nicotine addiction.

Nicotine and anxiety

Long-term stress can lead to anxiety. The effect of smoking or vaping on your psychological condition is the same as during stress. Nicotine helps you to reduce tension. But it deals effectively neither with the symptoms of anxiety nor with the underlying causes.

Nicotine and depression

The attempts to stop smoking are tougher for smokers with depression as they experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. The level of dopamine that is responsible for positive feelings is low in depressed people. As you already know, nicotine stimulates the release of this chemical.

There’s one biggest disadvantage of smoking or vaping in this case. With time, the brain starts to make less and less dopamine which is especially rough for those suffering from depression. That’s a sure way for heavier tobacco consumption.

Nicotine and schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia smoke or vape in order to ease some of the symptoms associated with their mental states and reduce some of the side effects of their medication. There’re no proven facts that these habits can be solely responsible for developing schizophrenia or other mental illness.

However, it can have a short-time negative effect. But it is not caused by nicotine. The following situation may be familiar to you.

You’re at work and decide to have a break. You take your best vape, go outside, and start to blow the clouds of vapor enjoying the moment of relaxation. Suddenly, someone loudly complains that they don’t want you to vape around them. The arguments start from the harm you make to people and may sometimes end with personal verbal attacks. Some are too rude to mention here. Even explaining to the offender that vaping is not as harmful as they think doesn’t always help.

Such intolerant attitude can shock even a person without a mental disorder. And if your emotional condition is unstable, you can be very vulnerable. As a result, your mood is spoiled and you can’t concentrate. Another bad day, you might conclude.

Let’s just summarize. Many people with psychological conditions claim that smoking and vaping reduce their symptoms, but they usually pick up the habits before these problems appear. And while nicotine can relieve the symptoms temporarily, it doesn’t bring any positive outcome in the long run. In fact, it can lead to serious physical conditions, such as lung cancer that is common among smokers with mental health problems.

Tips on quitting

  • Go cold turkey. Quitting abruptly through willpower alone is considered the least effective way. But what if it will work for you?
  • Find new ways to overcome stress. You’ll be amazed at how many of them there are – meditation, breathing exercises, regular exercise, anti-stress massages, sticking to a proper diet, etc.
  • Seek support from family and friends. Ask those of them who smoke to do it discreetly from you. Your non-smoking close people can encourage you and share the ways they deal with stress.  
  • Avoid triggers. Remove all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays from your home. Avoid places where you usually light up, like bars or clubs.
  • Consider vaping. The best vapes on the marketwon’t expose you to the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. You can gradually reduce the amount of nicotine in your e-liquid until it reaches zero. A study conducted at the University of Catania, Italy, showed that e-cigarettes could reduce schizophrenic patients’ regular cigarette consumption without a negative effect on their schizophrenic state.
  • Use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to deal with nicotine cravings.
  • Take advantage of talking therapies. Group, individual, or telephone counseling can enhance your progress

Are you a slave to cigarettes? Remember, it’s never too late to quit. Make the right choice for your physical and mental health!

Smoking or Vaping and How It Affects Mental Health2

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

— Follow Us —

Up Next

What to Expect from Generative AI In the Fintech Industry

Generative AI In the Fintech Industry

The FinTech sector is on the cusp of a revolution, spearheaded by the integration of generative AI development solutions. This transformative technology is set to redefine the landscape of financial services, offering unprecedented levels of personalization, efficiency, and security. Generative AI capability to analyze and generate data-driven insights presents a great opportunity for FinTech companies to innovate beyond traditional boundaries.

Geniusee is at the forefront of this technological advancement. It has positioned itself as a pioneer in leveraging generative AI to create sophisticated solutions tailored to the FinTech industry. With a deep underst

Up Next

Opioid Effects on Mental Health

Opioid Effects on Mental Health

The opioid epidemic emerges as a growing challenge, casting profound shadows across the mental landscapes of individuals affected.

This narrative explores an insight into the deep psychological consequences of opioid dependency, weaving through the complex relationship between substance abuse and mental health. It’s a quest for awareness, understanding, and, ultimately, a pathway to healing.

The Hidden Connection: Opioids and Mental Health

Opioids, often perceived as a remedy for physical discomfort, conceal a darker truth beneath their surface. The solace they provide is fleeting, unveiling a terrain scarred by psychological strife. The journey into dependence is a quiet one, laden with promises of relief that gradually en

Up Next

How Exercising With Your Dog Improves Your Mental Health

How Exercising With Your Dog

In the intricate landscape of mental health management, the integration of physical exercise with canine companionship emerges as a distinguished method for augmenting psychological wellness.

This scholarly discourse aims to elucidate the complex mechanisms through which engagement in physical activities with a dog serves not only as a catalyst for improved physical health but also as a significant boon to mental and emotional well-being. Through a detailed exploration of this symbiotic relationship, we uncover the nuanced benefits that canine-assisted exercise bestows upon human psychological states, thereby offering a refined understanding of its value in a comprehensive mental health strategy.

Up Next

From Therapy Room to Boardroom: 10 Steps for Psychologists Transitioning to HR

Steps for Psychologists Transitioning to HR

So, you have done your time in the therapy room, and you are now considering applying the training and knowledge you’ve acquired as a psychologist to the field of Human Resources. It is a big, brave and possibly scary step. Therefore, we reckon you might welcome a bit of guidance.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in HR, it’s important to understand what skills, experience and qualifications employers are looking for. Therefore, knowing how best to transition from your current position to one in human resources will go a long way towards helping you to secure job interviews and more confidently embark on your new career path.

In this guide, we’ll shine a spotlight on the human resources industry, highlighting some of the advantages of transitioning to a role in this field, and revealing ten of the best pathways to make your career change as succ

Up Next

A Beginner’s Guide to Sigmund Freud’s Theory of Dream Interpretation

Sigmund Freud's Theory of Dream Interpretation

Freud is more than the oddball father of psychoanalysis we know him as but has become a cultural phenomenon. Everyone has heard of Freud, from the stranger to psychiatric science to the Master of Mental Health graduate, and with good reason. Before Freud, most psychotherapy simply consisted of getting the mentally ill and psychotic out of the way of “normal” society. This involved shipping them off to asylums where they were largely ignored and left to degenerate. It was Freud’s works and early studies of psychoanalysis that paved the way for the modern therapy and counselling we have today. Among the most famous, was Freud’s contribution to dream analysis, as published in his 1899 work “The Interpretation of Dreams.”


Up Next

Exploring a More Natural Approach to Mental Health Treatment

Natural Approach to Mental Health Treatment

When we’re experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions, we can take prescription medication to feel better. Many options available worldwide are recommended by healthcare professionals.

However, not everyone wants to rely on pharmaceutical companies to feel more positive about their future. If you’re interested in exploring more natural options to improve your mental health, you may like to explore the following: 


Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance found in some mushroom types. It’s commonly known as magic mushrooms. You might be eager to try psilocybin products like Neau Tropics af

Up Next

Culinary Comfort: How Cooking Soothes the Soul

Cooking Soothes the Soul

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding peace and comfort can often be a challenging endeavor. However, almost every home has an unexpected sanctuary – the kitchen. Cooking isn’t just about preparing meals; it’s a therapeutic journey that nurtures both the body and soul. Whether you enjoy vegan soul food or learning to bake, there are endless possibilities for your inner chef to explore. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the soothing effects of culinary creativity that can lead to a more tranquil and satisfying life. 

A Creative Escape

Cooking is a great way to show your creativity and express yourself. It’s not only about following a recipe but also about making something new by chopping,