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WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Work stress may actually lower smokers' nicotine dependence, finds a study that contradicts the popular belief that job pressures boost levels of smoking.
German researchers used an internationally recognized and validated nicotine dependence test to assess the smoking habits of 197 employed participants in the Cologne Smoking Study.
The study found that workers who experience job-related stress are likely to smoke less than they normally would, and so have a lower dependence on nicotine. Long working hours and strict company smoking rules may explain the unexpected findings.
"Heavy workload may drive employees to smoke only in their spare time," study leader Anna Schmidt, of the University of Cologne, said in a news release.
The researchers also found that nicotine dependence was less likely among people who were married, religious and had a higher level of education.
The study was published April 12 in the journal Tobacco Induced Diseases.
The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia explains nicotine addiction and withdrawal.