In further bad news on smoking, a British study has found smokers far more likely to experience depression and anxiety than non- or former-smokers (those who have quit for 12 months or more).

The study, the first of its kind, found that 18.3 per cent of smokers experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety, compared to 10 per cent of non-smokers and 11.3 per cent of former smokers.

The findings have prompted the conclusion that quitting tobacco helps improve both mental and physical health.

The British Health Foundation said the study refutes the notion that smoking alleviates anxiety and stress: the temporary feeling of relaxation is soon replaced by withdrawal symptoms and cravings, leaving the underlying causes of stress untreated.