Work-Related Stress Lowers Nicotine Dependence

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Surprisingly, smokers who experience stress at work are less likely to be dependent on nicotine.

The Study

German researchers looked at 197 smokers in order to examine the relationship between work-related stress and nicotine dependence. Contrary to the researchers' hypothesis, smokers who experienced stress at work were found to have a lower dependence on nicotine than those under less pressure. The study results found that employees under pressure actually smoked less than they otherwise would, possibly due to working long hours and strict employer smoking regulations.

Other factors found to be associated with lower nicotine dependence were being religious, being married, and attaining a higher level of education.

Why Is This Important?

Most people assume that stress is a factor leading to more smoking and can make it more difficult to quit. In fact, even the researchers in this study initially hypothesized that work-related stress would be associated with increased nicotine dependence among employed smokers. The actual results of the study--that work pressures lower nicotine dependence--challenge these assumptions and suggest that our long-held assumptions about stress and smoking may not be true.

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