Half (50%) of all smokers say they “frequently” experience stress in their daily lives, compared with just 35% of those who once smoked and have now quit and 31% of those who never smoked, according to a Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey. The finding raises as many questions as answers. Does it mean that the kinds of people who smoke are more pre-disposed to stress than those who have successfully quit the habit or never taken it up? Does it mean that the stress relief smokers get while smoking doesn’t last once they don’t have a cigarette in hand? Or might it mean that the whole idea that smoking relieves stress is illusory? Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.