The very cigarette that you puff in an attempt to relieve stress may cause you more stress in the long run. We know the scenarios - a colleague declares the need for a smoke break after stressful client meetings, or your friend waits at the lobby to squeeze in a cigarette before heading in for a job interview.

Stressful situations like these trigger our fight or flight response, and smokers tend to reach for a cigarette for that fast relief. Here are five reasons how smoking could add to, rather than alleviate stress in your life.

Related: Understanding Stress

1. The Stress Relief Is an Illusion

The Stress Relief Is an Illusion 

While smokers may experience a temporary lift in mood, researchers have found that smokers in general, are more stressed than non-smokers, and quitting, in fact, reduces stress.

Smokers only experience that short reduction in stressful feelings because the brain's craving for nicotine is satisfied. When the cravings inevitably strike again, stress levels will also rise. Smokers will then need yet another hit for that short-lived relief.

Related: Stress-O-S! How Do You Cope with Stress?

2. Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money 

The price of cigarettes is constantly rising; a pack of 20 cigarettes cost, on average, $13 in Singapore.

This means that smoking one pack a day will work out to $91 a week, or $4,732 a year. With that same amount of money, you can watch seven movies a week, or take a comfortable holiday to the United States of America!

Imagine how much easier life will be with that extra change lining your pockets. Save the money and gain a peace of mind instead.

Related: What's Your Reason to Stub Out?

3. Blows Your Health Away

Smoking Blows Your Health Away 

Illness is stressful, no doubt about that. While an occasional cough and shortness of breath can be brushed aside, smokers are taking a gamble with more serious respiratory conditions.

Smokers have a greater risk of conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke and even impotence.

These debilitating and potentially fatal diseases not only affect your health and your quality of life, but also those around you.

Related: Questions on Smoking, Tobacco Use and Health

4. Strained Relationships

Strained Relationships 

Many youths first begin to pick up smoking due to peer pressure. Bonding over a smoke break builds relationships amongst friends and acquaintances. It feels good.

However, those who really have your best interests at heart - literally, the health of your heart - will likely disapprove of your bad habit.

True friends and a loving family will wish the best for you both in life and in health, so try to discern what really matters in life and appreciate those who are truly watching your back.

Related: Help Someone Quit Smoking

5. A Toxic Addiction

Smoking: A Toxic Addiction 

Like a toxic relationship, smoking is extremely hard to leave once you are hooked. You may try to quit or leave, but it takes a lot of effort, time and support to be truly free from its grasp.

And even then, you may occasionally be tempted. Why subject yourself to such unnecessary stress? Seek out healthier and more pleasurable past-times, like playing a sport, that reward you with real feelings of personal growth and accomplishment.

Related: 5 Quit Tips to Quit Smoking for Good

Healthier Ways to Cope With Stress

Healthier Ways to Cope With Stress 

Beyond work, family or even your house mortgage, there are healthier ways and strategies to manage stress. Furthermore, with new tobacco control policies in Singapore such as no-smoking zones and a ban on cigarette displays, it is now easier than ever to quit the habit. Your stress levels will thank you for it.

Still stressed out? Put away that cigarette and learn how to beat stress with more effective strategies such as exercise, positive thinking or meditation instead.

What's more, with new tobacco control policies in Singapore, such as no-smoking zones and a ban on cigarette displays, it is now easier than ever to quit the habit. Your stress levels will thank you for it.

For more strategies on beating stress, check out 10 Easy Ways to Manage Stress.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.

Read these next: