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Smoking & Fatigue

By Mike Broemmel ; Updated August 14, 2017

Smoking contributes to fatigue, despite the fact that cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a stimulant, according to Smoking reduces the flow of oxygen through lung tissue and into the blood stream. One of the effects of this process is decreased energy levels.


In some cases, the onset of smoking-induced fatigue actually causes a person to increase the number of cigarettes she smokes, according to "Focus on Smoking And Health Research" by J. H. Owing. The smoker takes in more nicotine--a stimulant--to offset the fatigue. In some cases, a vicious circle occurs with increased fatigue leading to more smoking, resulting in continued fatigue.

Time Frame

The onset of fatigue may not occur immediately when a person takes up cigarette smoking. Initially, the intake of nicotine into a smoker's system offsets the impact smoking has on oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Over time, fatigue sets in--a condition that does not resolve directly upon quitting smoking, according to Although the time frame differs, the problem of fatigue may not resolve for weeks or even months after a person stops smoking.


Smoking-related fatigue ultimately becomes persistent. Even with a decent night's sleep, a smoker can awake fatigued in the morning and may not be able to fully resolve the problem without the use of stimulants--including coffee and additional cigarettes.


The most common misconception associated with smoking and the issue of fatigue is that no such issue exists. Many people conclude that smoking only stimulates a person's system and does not result in fatigue. The opposite, in fact, is the result, according to


Smoking fatigue leads to other problems. For example, fatigue from smoking renders people less attentive in the workplace and when operating motor vehicles. Although specific statistics are not available regarding the impact of smoking-related fatigue, the problem potentially impacts many different aspects of a person's life.

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