Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Studies show that smoking is associated with an increased experience of chronic pain.  Smokers often wrongly assume that smoking only affects lung health. The reality is that smoking affects many aspects of a person’s health, including tissues that contribute to ongoing pain. Nicotine, found in cigarettes, is known to decrease sensitivity to pain in the short term, however, these pain-decreasing effects quickly wear off and the pain experienced may actually worsen due to the damaged smoking does to the nervous system. Nicotine also decreases the amount of oxygen delivered by the blood to body tissues and causes inflammation. Inadequate blood flow reduces the body’s natural ability to heal and repair itself.


The benefits of quitting smoking are:

  • Reduced risk of experiencing chronic pain
  • Improvement in the level of pain experienced
  • Reduced levels of inflammation
  • Reduced risks of osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  • Reduced risks of spinal disc deterioration
  • Reduced levels of depression, stress and anxiety and improving mood and outlook on life.


To learn more about the effects of smoking on chronic pain:

  • Journal Article:  Effects of smoking on patients with chronic pain: a propensity-weighted analysis on the Collaborative Health Outcomes Information Registry (link here)
  • Journal Article:  Pain, Nicotine, and Smoking: Research Findings and Mechanistic Considerations (link here)
  • Journal Article: Smoking and Pain: Pathophysiology and Clinical Implications (link here)
  • Journal Article:  Associations Between Pain, Current Tobacco Smoking, Depression, and Fibromyalgia Status Among Treatment-Seeking Chronic Pain Patients (link here)
  • Journal Article:  Smoking Cigarettes as a Coping Strategy for Chronic Pain Is Associated With Greater Pain Intensity and Poorer Pain-Related Function (link here)
  • Journal Article:  The effects of depression and smoking on pain severity and opioid use in patients with chronic pain (link here)
  • Journal Article:  The relationship between cigarette smoking and chronic low back pain (link here)
  • Article:  The Interaction of Chronic Nicotine and Chronic Pain (link here)
  • Article:  Why Smoking Will Worsen Your Chronic Pain (link here)
  • Article: Unravelling the psychological mechanism behind smoking and chronic pain (link here)
  • Article: Smoking and Chronic Pain (link here)


For help in quitting smoking visit Quit Now, call Quitline on 13 7848 or talk to your GP.


Some useful resources: