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Do cigarettes really relax me?

Abstaining from smoking a cigarette is actually a stress-reduction exercise. Many smokers claim that smoking relaxes them. In reality, nicotine addiction (while it does trigger relaxation AND stimulation signals in the brain) actually increases one's overall level of mental, emotional and physical stress. Increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, obsession with smoking breaks, etc, and nicotine withdrawal in between cigarettes all contribute to a state of constant tension. Any perceived relaxation from smoking is a result of re-dosing nicotine when effects of your previous cigarette are wearing off. 

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