Mental Health Awareness Month and tobacco cessation

BLOOMINGTON – Tobacco isn’t the answer for those looking for relief from the effects of stress and anxiety on their mind and body.

Tobacco can make these symptoms worse, so start your tobacco cessation journey this May as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Kristen Terry

“Tobacco users may not realize that the stress they’re feeling a few hours or minutes after their last cigarette or other tobacco product can be a symptom of withdrawal,” said IU Health Community Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Kristen Terry. “When you feed that addiction, the rush of relaxation is a temporary smokescreen that reinforces your dependence on tobacco.”

Terry knows that dealing with tobacco withdrawal is hard, especially when you’re dealing with stress and anxieties, but there are other options for addressing these issues.

She suggests:

  • Taking a short walk
  • Use breathing exercises
  • If possible, remove yourself from the stressful situation
  • Talk to a healthcare provider about managing stress and anxieties
  • And when the temptation to use tobacco gets strong, remember that you can always turn to your support system.

“Tobacco cessation works so much better when you have a good support system,” Terry added. “Friends, family members, healthcare professionals, and cessation resources like the free quit line can help made the journey easier.”

Call 1.800.Quit.Now for help from a trained quit coach and get started on your plan. You can also call this number for free, evidence-based tobacco cessation support. Visit to learn more.

For local tobacco prevention and control efforts, visit the Tobacco Free Coalition of Monroe County on Facebook.