The reality? Not so much... according to a recent study conducted at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, highlighted in the NY Times.
This study and others like it support that smoking actually causes higher levels of long-term stress, and that the only stress a cigarette actually relieves is the withdrawal that people experience between cigarettes.
Stress is the oldest and most often recited reason in the book used to justify smoking... as well as to justify not quitting. The findings in this study seem to stump that claim, which is pretty significant.
There is something to be said about the fact that quitting is really stressful at first... but in the long-run, not smoking seems to cause the amount of stress in one's life to fall.
Read more about this study in the NY Times.
Read more blogs about smoking, and its particular significant in LGBT communities.