Smoking for Stress Relief? Not So Fast.

New research from the United Kingdom suggests that smokers are at a 70 percent increased risk of anxiety and depression compared to non-smokers.

The study included about 6,500 people older than 40 who were asked questions about their smoking habits and mental well being. More than 18 percent of smokers reported symptoms of depression and anxiety versus 10 percent of non-smokers and 11.3 percent of ex-smokers.

The authors posit that quitting smoking may actually help improve mental health  and suggest that their findings contradict the common belief that lighting up can provide stress relief.