Gambling and smoking

Do you smoke and gamble? Find out more about the relationship between smoking and gambling.

How is gambling related to smoking?

Many people who gamble also smoke. Research suggests that the smoking rate is high amongst gamblers.

Many smokers say that they find smoking relaxing and that it helps them to feel better, particularly when they feel stressed out. For some people, worrying about a gambling concern or relationship issue can lead to smoking more.

For some people, the stress of spending more than planned may lead to increases in smoking.

How common is smoking and gambling?

Research has consistently found that many problem gamblers are also smokers. A long term study in Queensland has shown high levels of smoking amongst gamblers with moderate and problematic gambling behaviours.

Watch the pattern

Have you ever noticed that when more time and money is spent gambling, the number of cigarettes smoked also increases?

This could be a sign of life being unbalanced.

It is worth watching the pattern between when you gamble and when you smoke. It might be that when you spend more money than planned, you feel stressed and the smoking increases. For some people worrying about a gambling concern or relationship can lead to smoking more.

For others smoking, like gambling, can become a habit.  Habits are challenging to change.  Becoming aware is the first step.

Next steps 

If you are concerned about the relationship between gambling and smoking, you can

  • Think about how much you smoke and when. Write it down.
  • Identify times when you smoke more and try cutting down. Limit yourself by taking fewer cigarettes with you.
  • Take regular breaks. When you are smoking and gambling you can try to set yourself limits. Write it down before you leave the house.
  • Go for a walk. Some people find that exercising, even very lightly, reduces the urge to smoke.
  • Close your eyes and take a few breaths.

Everybody is different, so it is good to find strategies that will work for you. Check out the National Quit website for information, support or referral to services in your own State.