The majority of smokers smoke cigarettes when they are stressed to help calm them down. The question is, does smoking help to reduce stress?
The answer is yes and no.
When you get stressed your whole body tenses up and blood is pumped into the muscles. This is in reaction to a survival program which gives you the option to fight, flight or freeze. When you take nicotine into your body it causes the blood vessels to constrict and this interferes with your blood circulation. This in turn adds to stress. Smoking cigarettes actually adds stress into an already stressful situation!
On the other hand smoking also helps to reduce stress. The hand movement and breathing of smoking a cigarette is the adult equivalent of sucking on a dummy. If you were to purchase a dummy and sucked on it whilst being stressed you would get the same stress relief as smoking a cigarette!
Smoking can reduce stress but the health consequences of smoking are severe. It makes more sense to quit smoking and to use another way of reducing stress such as deep breathing.
You will always have stress in your life but it makes sense to use a method to reduce stress that does not harm you.