Quitting Smoking Actually Reduces Anxiety Despite the fact that many believe smoking helps them deal with stress By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jan 2, 2013 8:36 AM CST 4 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – If your New Year's resolution involves finally kicking the habit, don't stress: A new study finds that quitting smoking actually reduces anxiety, even though many smokers fear that giving up cigarettes will increase it. The British Journal of Psychiatry study looked at about 500 smokers in England who were trying to quit, and found that 68 of them had managed to do so after six months. Those 68 experienced a "significant" decrease in anxiety, the BBC reports. The results were more pronounced among people with mood and anxiety disorders. The study also found that, for people with such disorders, a failed attempt to quit did increase anxiety levels a bit. But for those who simply smoked for pleasure, a relapse didn't mean higher anxiety levels.