Panic Attacks More Common In Smokers

Family History A family history of anxiety and panic attacks can increase a person’s risk of experiencing symptoms. suggests that genetics may play a role in the development of these disorders. Stress Significant life stress can trigger anxiety and panic attacks. According to, some possible stresses include the death or serious illness of a significant person and major life changes such as adding a baby to the family. The increase of stress hormones during these situations creates a sense of emergency within a person’s body that can induce anxiety and trigger a panic attack. Abuse and Trauma According to, having a history of physical or sexual abuse can increase the likelihood of developing anxiety and panic attacks. Experiencing a traumatic event, such as an accident, rape, a house fire or burglary, can also trigger the onset of anxiety and panic attacks.
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In an interview seeking objective comment, clinical psychologist Benjamin Fialkoff, PhD, tells WebMD that the study findings appear to be in line with his experience in treating patients with panic disorder. “It doesn’t surprise me in view of the findings that smoking increases stress,” he said. “What we have in a panic response is the body’s stress response going full out. … In general, you don’t feel a soothing, calming feeling after you have a cigarette.” Fialkoff says he prefers a combination treatment for patients with panic disorder. He refers those patients willing to take medications to a physician for a mild tranquilizer and an antidepressant.
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