Change in anxiety following successful and unsuccessful attempts at smoking cessation: cohort study

Author Affiliations

  1. Máirtín S. McDermott, PhD, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London; Theresa M. Marteau, PhD, Gareth J. Hollands, PhD, Psychology Department (at Guy’s), Health Psychology Section, King’s College London; Matthew Hankins, PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton; Paul Aveyard, PhD, Primary Care Clinical Sciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK.
  1. Correspondence: Máirtín S. McDermott, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8WA, UK. Email:
  • Declaration of interest
    P.A. has done consultancy and research on smoking cessation for pharmaceutical companies.


Despite a lack of empirical evidence, many smokers and health professionals believe that tobacco smoking reduces anxiety, which may deter smoking cessation.
The study aim was to assess whether successful smoking cessation or relapse to smoking after a quit attempt are associated with changes in anxiety.
A total of 491 smokers attending National Health Service smoking cessation clinics in England were followed up 6 months after enrolment in a trial of pharmacogenetic tailoring of nicotine replacement therapy (ISRCTN14352545).
There was a points difference of 11.8 (95% CI 7.7–16.0) in anxiety score 6 months after cessation between people who relapsed to smoking and people who attained abstinence. This reflected a three-point increase in anxiety from baseline for participants who relapsed and a nine-point decrease for participants who abstained. The increase in anxiety in those who relapsed was largest for those with a current diagnosis of psychiatric disorder and whose main reason for smoking was to cope with stress. The decrease in anxiety on abstinence was larger for these groups also.   To read on click here.

12-Steps to Creating Motivation When Depressed

Creating motivation when feeling depressed can be one of the most difficult things a person can do. An episode of depression can be physically and emotionally draining. The simplest of tasks seem to take maximum effort, and sometimes even beyond maximum. Some may feel lethargic. It may be tough make meals, or clean up at home, or take showers, or even get out of bed.

Navigating motivation when depressed can be tough because the instinct is to wait for the energy to return. People who are depressed often fall into the trap of trying to wait it out — that if you give in to the urge to stay in bed for a few days, that you’ll be re-energized and recharged, believing you’ll have exorcised the depression demons by just “going with it”.

Unfortunately, it’s not usually as simple as this. If everybody tried to wait out their depressive episodes, some people would be in bed for 20 years, realizing somewhere along the way that depression actually tends to breed depression if it’s not actively confronted. That’s right, catering to our depressive urges actually reinforces them. To read more, click here.

Wellness Benefits You Should Be Taking Advantage of

January 25, 2013
And what you can do if you don’t have wellness benefits

By Ashley Kascak
Understanding your workplace benefits plan can often feel like navigating your way through a time-sucking labyrinth. As painful and daunting as it may appear, you could be missing out on opportunities that provide discounted access to both personal and family support. Here are a few wellness benefits you should be taking advantage of and tips for finding affordable support if you don’t have them.
Fitness Program
Fitness programs can include anything from subsidizing gym memberships or may be integrated into a wellness spending account, so you can receive reimbursement for your exercise of choice. This is a great benefit, as the more you enjoy your physical activity, the more likely you’re going to stick with it.
If you don’t have fitness benefits, get creative. Start a fitness challenge competition amongst employees, request your employer bring in small exercise equipment or arrange lunchtime runs or walks with your colleagues. Click here to read more.

New Study: Yoga May Offer Greater Relief from Depression than Walking

Numerous studies indicate that exercise may be up to 95% as effective as prescription drugs for relieving depression. And while the effect of anti-depressants often takes months to kick in, people report relief from depression within only the first four weeks of adopting a physical activity program. However, a recent study reveals that yoga for depression may be even more effective at offering relief for depression than other forms of exercise.
Conducted by researchers Chris C. Streeter, MD and associates at Boston University School of Medicine, the study analyzed the mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels  (which directly correlate to emotional health) of 34 participants over the course of 12 weeks.
The participants were divided into two groups: a yoga for depression group and a metabolically matched walking group. Each group practiced their prescribed form of exercise for 60 minutes, three times a week. Researchers measured mood and anxiety scales for all participants at the start of the study and at weeks 4, 8, and 12.  Participants also received magnetic resonance spectroscopy scans to measure their GABA
(γ-Aminobutyric acid) levels.
At the end of the 12 weeks, researchers found that not only had the yoga practitioners’ GABA levels gone up, but that those in the yoga for depression had also experienced greater improvements in both anxiety and depression than those in the metabolically-matched walking group. Click here to read on.