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Facts about Tobacco Use

Smokers with mental and behavioral health care issues are as motivated to quit as smokers without these issues.

Tobacco cessation is associated with reduced depression, anxiety, stress, and quality of life. 

Smokers with mental and behavioral health care issues are able to quit, especially when offered effective treatment. 

Half of all people in substance abuse recovery die from their tobacco use - not from their abuse of other substances.

Banning tobacco use in residential settings will not lead to increases in aggression or treatment noncompliance.

Smoking and Mental Health:

Five Things Every Health Care Provider Should Know - See PDF for more information! 

Myths about Tobacco Use

Myth #1: “Tobacco helps me deal with my anxiety and stress. If I quit smoking, they will get worse!”


This is probably the most common myth about smoking! Smoking cigarettes is very harmful to our bodies and can actually make anxiety much worse. And while it’s true that smoking a cigarette might give you the feeling of temporary relief from anxiety, it’s not a long-term way to deal with anxiety.


Of course, it’s natural to feel anxious when it comes to quitting tobacco and anxiety is the most common symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine replacement therapy helps reduce anxiety caused by nicotine withdrawal. When you quit tobacco, talk to your health care professional about nicotine replacement therapy and other healthy ways to cope with anxiety, like exercising or deep breathing

Myth #4: “If nicotine is in tobacco products, why would I use medication that has nicotine in it? Won’t that give me cancer too?”

The nicotine in tobacco causes addiction. Other than being addictive, nicotine has few negative health effects. It may raise your heart rate and blood pressure a little, but other than that, it doesn’t really harm your body. Nicotine does not cause cancer. The thousands of other chemicals found in tobacco are what’s harmful to your health.


Nicotine replacement therapy helps reduce withdrawal symptoms, which makes it easier to quit. There’s only a small chance someone will become addicted to nicotine replacement therapy.

We know quitting tobacco is hard and may feel overwhelming. But with the right resources and support, you can do it.

Myth #3: “I am trying to recover from drug or alcohol abuse. I shouldn’t quit smoking now, it might make my recovery harder to achieve.”

We know how much hard work it takes to recover from substance addition. Did you know that quitting smoking actually increases your chances for long term sobriety by 25%? Continuing to smoke can act as a trigger or temptation for other substance use and can make your recovery harder. So, quitting smoking at the same time you’re recovering from substance addiction can actually make recovery easier.

Myth #2: “I’m too old to quit. I’ve already done too much damage to my body so there’s no use to quitting now.”

You are never too old to quit smoking and it’s never too late to quit. Remember, there are many health benefits to quitting smoking. You’ll even start to notice health benefits within a day of smoking your last cigarette, like lower blood pressure and lower levels of carbon monoxide in your bloodstream. Be sure to watch the video on “Benefits of Quitting” to learn more about the many benefits of quitting smoking.

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