Sample Linguistics Essay Paper on Smoking and Mental Health

Smoking and Mental Health


        Smoking is of inhaling tobacco products which are usually in the form of smoke. These products are rolled in cigarettes, pipes, and pots. There are different types of smokers i.e. casual, those that occasionally smoke, passive smokers, who do not smoke directly but as a result of being close to an active smoker. Smoking has been popularly condemned for the effects it has on our body, for example, the most popular one of causing cancer. People actually fear what addiction does to the physical body but this document attempts to change this perspective. Smoking is not only harmful to our body but also our mental well-being. This document discusses some of the long-term as well as short-term effects of smoking on our mental health. The effects covered in this paper are; addiction, stress, and depression.


        Addiction is the condition that arises when one becomes completely dependent on a habit. Smoking can become a habit in which the smoker cannot survive without nicotine. Nicotine is the substance that helps this smoker relax and increase their concentration. It takes about ten seconds for nicotine to travel to the brain which then responds to it. The response of the brain is the subsequent relaxation of the nerves. When a person smokes severally then the brain somehow changes in a way that when the smoker tries to stop then they suffer from what is known as withdrawal symptoms. This is what is referred to as addiction.

         Dependence on nicotine causes the brain to be in some form of slavery which dictates to function best under the influence of nicotine. Addiction is a very serious mental problem that is why most addicts usually look for ways to stop the habit thus resorting to rehabilitation centers and other ways that can help them quit. Addiction is one of the mental effects of smoking to humans. Addiction is very harmful as it can in itself give rise to other problems both mental and non-mental (Nash, 2014). Addiction causes stress which is also a mental effect discussed in this paper and addicts always spend a lot of money buying cigarettes. They also spend money and time when the habit gets out of hand and so they look for the best way to stop it. This shows why before looking at the effects of smoking on our body and society it is better to first know its effects on our brains.

        Stress can be defined as a state of mental unease. When a person is stressed then their minds are troubled and are often unsure of how to deal with whatever challenge or problem that they face. Most smokers use nicotine to relieve stress because just like it has been explained above, nicotine reaches the brain and makes the nerves relax. It also increases concentration but interfering with the parson’s appetite. Smokers perceive smoking as a way to relieve stress not knowing that it also causes stress. When somebody is addicted to nicotine it means that they cannot do without it. When a person cannot have access to this nicotine then they may suffer from stress (McClernon and Gilbert, 2010).

         They become irritated and angry because they cannot get access to nicotine. It can, therefore, be said that nicotine is both the stressor and at the same time the cure for it. But we can look at it from a different perspective, there are a lot of factors that cause stress and as it has been explained, smoking is one of them. It is, therefore, true to say that without nicotine or addiction then this stressor would not be added to our bucket of troubles. Smoking in this way affects us mentally by causing the mind not to be at peace especially when it cannot get sufficient nicotine and this will lead to other problems both mental like anxiety to non-mental like poor social relationships.

         Another effect that smoking has on people is that it may lead to depression. As smoking increases, the level of a chemical known as dopamine which triggers the good feeling that smokers get. Nicotine stimulates the brain to release a chemical known as dopamine which is responsible for making them feel high. When people smoke a lot the levels of this chemical drop because the brain is forced to produce a lot of it with the help of nicotine rather than the normal amounts that should be produced. This chemical is always found to be low in people with depression. A research that was carried out in the UK for example, found out that depression was twice as high among adults who smoked compared to those who did not (Fergusson, Goodwin and Hordwood 2003).


        Smoking might have adverse effects on our bodies but we should also worry much about the effects it has on our mental well-being. People have, however, had different opinions on these effects. Some smokers justify their reasons for smoking by giving some positive effects they get from smoking while omitting the dangers and risks associated with it. This paper has made an attempt to shed light on the negative effects of smoking to our mental well-being. There are also a lot of myths associated with smoking such as; smoking improves our mental health (Laser, Boyd et al 2000). Smoking creates a state of temporary enjoyment but then the problems that come afterward outweigh the benefits if there is any, by far. For example, cases of lung cancer which is caused by smoking are always higher in people who suffer from mental illness.


Fergusson, D. M., Goodwin, R. D., & Horwood, L. J. (2003). Major depression and cigarette smoking: results of a 21-year longitudinal study. Psychological medicine33(08), 1357-1367.

Lasser, K., Boyd, J. W., Woolhandler, S., Himmelstein, D. U., McCormick, D., & Bor, D. H. (2000). Smoking and mental illness: a population-based prevalence study. Jama284(20), 2606-2610.

McClernon, F. J., & Gilbert, D. G. (2010). Smoking and stress. Stress Consequences: Mental, Neuropsychological, and Socioeconomic, 214.

Nash, M. (2014). Physical health and well-being in mental health nursing: Clinical skills for practice.