Smoking and Emotional Health
Find Out How Smoking Can Affect Your Emotional Wellness
Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products are thought to have detrimental effects on physical health, including causing cardiovascular disease, cancer and much more. However, smoking can have serious affects on emotional health and well-being in addition to the effects on physical health.
The first time you smoke a cigarette, the presence of nicotine increases the levels of dopamine and epinephrine in your brain. Dopamine plays a major role in reward and pleasure centers, which helps us identify rewards and take action to move towards them. Epinephrine or adrenaline, increases cardiac output, and raises glucose levels in the blood to prepare for a “fight or flight” response. These two hormones are what produces the nicotine buzz that comes along with your first few cigarettes. This high comes along causes lightheadedness, elevated mood and pleasure, which is what makes people want to keep smoking. However, this high will not come again after the first couple of cigarettes because the nicotine raises the brain’s expectations of what pleasure should be. A person becomes reliant on cigarettes because their brain is chasing that feeling of pleasure that they once had.
If a person never starts smoking, their brain will be able to feel pleasure without cigarettes, and that nicotine high. Additional emotional benefits of not smoking are:
- Easier time falling asleep at night
- Less stress and anxiety
- Less feelings of depression
- Reduce affects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Smoking can worsen the affects of any emotional wellness condition, which is why not smoking is the best approach to managing your emotional health. Keep your hormone levels where they are, so you can experience feelings of happiness without help from nicotine!
Check out Health & Wellness' Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 16th from 4-6:30pm.