Smoking a habit that can have dire effects on the body, as we well know, but did you know there’s actually a connection between self esteem and smoking? Smoking affects mental health in a way that can leave you feeling down about yourself, which can cause further problems when left for too long unaddressed. 

Some studies have even found that low self-esteem can push people toward the smoking habit, among other bad habits like drug use and alcoholism. So, what exactly is the relationship between Self Esteem and Smoking ? Let’s look closer at the two.

Self Esteem Explained

The difference between Self Esteem and Smoking is : Self-esteem is essentially how you view yourself. We all see ourselves in a certain light, and for people with low self-esteem, that light is usually quite dim. Low self-esteem can make you feel bad about who you are, what you like, and what your future might be. It can even go as far as to affect appetite, sleep patterns, and personal relationships. You begin to feel as though you don’t deserve to be happy or have nice people around you.

There are dozens of factors that can affect your self-esteem, from the environment you live in to the habits you take part in to your own mental health conditions. Conditions like generalized anxiety and depression can cause a serious self-esteem problem, and when you don’t value yourself, you can get into some pretty bad habits.

Nicotine Addiction

Cigarettes are a highly addictive product and are even more so than they were fifty years ago. Tobacco companies have actually genetically engineered their tobacco plants to contain twice as much nicotine as 50 years ago, so the first time you smoke, you’re much more likely to want to pick it up again.


This is, of course, on purpose so that you’ll continue buying the product and boosting the tobacco companies’ profits. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, so it’s very difficult to shake the addiction once you’re in its grasp. That’s why tobacco alternatives like Black Buffalo have become so popular.

Addiction in itself can have an effect on a person’s self-esteem, and nicotine addiction is no different. Being chemically addicted to any substance can make you feel poorly about your self-image because you’re helpless to stop it, and feeling powerless to make change can make anyone feel terrible.

The Link

Now that we understand nicotine addiction and self-esteem better, let’s take a closer look at the link between smoking and self-esteem. Several studies have been conducted on smoking and self-esteem, particularly among adolescents. Though many studies have failed to find a correlation between the two, what is clear is that lower self-esteem seems to increase the likelihood that a teen will pick up the habit; even more so for females over males.

Does that mean anyone with low self-esteem will wind up smoking? Of course not, as everyone reacts differently to mental health challenges. However, those with low self-esteem are certainly more prone to dangerous behavior and habits. People with low self-esteem tend to self-destruct because they don’t care about themselves enough to stop.

If you don’t care enough about your health and well-being, smoking seems like nothing. Even while the chemicals are wreaking havoc on your body’s internal systems, whatever mental health condition makes you feel so low prevents you from quitting. People with low self-esteem feel like they don’t deserve to be happy and healthy.

What Can Be Done?

There have been thousands of campaigns, funded studies, and entire organizations against smoking that have popped up over the last five decades. Smoking has become nothing less than a public health crisis that affects everyone, not just the smokers themselves. Secondhand smoke is actually linked to cancers and ailments in non-smokers, which means even the very act of sharing the same space as a smoker can put you at serious risk.

What we haven’t addressed properly is the mental health problem. In the US, it’s estimated that about one in five adults lives with some kind of mental health condition. That’s 20% of the entire American population, and yet, mental health is still stigmatized and not taken seriously. Mental health resources don’t get the proper funding they need, stereotypes still exist, and thousands die yearly from suicide brought on by mental health conditions.

We can address the smoking problem from a hundred different angles, but if we don’t look closer at the mental health issues, we’ll never fully expunge the problem.

Final Thoughts

Self Esteem and Smoking is a terrible habit that can bring about serious health complications, further your low self-esteem, and even kill you given enough time. There’s nothing healthy or ok about inhaling 7,000 chemicals and heavy metals. Get the help you need today by addressing the issue at its core and figuring out where the low self-esteem comes from. From there, you can sever the ties with your nicotine addiction and move on with life. Good luck!