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Smoking and mental health

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People with mental health problems are more likely to smoke than other people. They also tend to smoke more heavily. Over half of smokers with mental health problems want to give up. We can help you quit.

Get the support you need to stop smoking

When you sign up to a Quit Plan, you get personalised support that's right for you. It includes one-to-one help from a trained stop smoking adviser, as well as daily texts and emails if you want them.

Find your local stop smoking clinic -they can also provide one-to-one and group support. You can also get help and advice from your mental health support team (GP, nurse, psychiatrist).

Prepare yourself to quit

Everyone who quits smoking has to deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your GP before you try to quit, especially if you're on medication for your mental health.

Related topic

Cravings and withdrawal when you stop smoking

Dealing with difficult feelings

If you're feeling angry, low or anxious after you quit smoking, remember that this is normal. These feelings can happen to anyone trying to quit - regardless of whether or not you have mental health problems. It really helps to find ways of coping that work for you.

You could try:

  • distracting yourself (for example, with a book, music or television)
  • going for a walk or doing another form of exercise
  • calling or meeting up with a friend
  • turning negative thoughts into positive ones
  • focusing on what's good about you and your life
  • talking to someone who understands you

Lots of people smoke to deal with stressful situations. Our advice on how to cope when you want to smoke can help you find other ways of calming yourself down.

Most people find that difficult feelings get easier every day. Talk to your GP if things don't get easier for you.

John, 51 from Sligo shares his story:

"I'd smoked since I was 9 years old. My whole life was smoking. When I was diagnosed with depression when I was 20 years old, I turned to cigarettes for comfort. They became my best friend. They helped me cope with my low moods, or so I thought. But to be honest, since I quit, I think my moods are better.

I'm not gonna lie and say it was easy. It wasn't - and it still isn't. But I wake up in the morning with a new energy I thought I'd never have. I feel great, like a new man. Who'd have thought that after 40 years of smoking I could give it up?"

Related topic

Information and support for your mental health and wellbeing

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page last reviewed: 27/03/2019
next review due: 27/03/2022

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