Stress appears to represent a variety of response manifested as anxiety, emotional tension, frustration, anger, and inability to adjust to a situation, or difficulty with judgment and decision making process. It can be temporary, recurrent, or continual; recurrent and continual types can lead to physiological and psychological exhaustion (Lazarus, 2000). Originally, stress is traced to Selye’s (1936) work who defined it as the non-specific response of the body to any demand made upon it; such response may manifest in a specific syndrome consisting of all the non-specific changes including changes within a biological system, making the body to make re-adjustment of some sort. Empirical evidence shows that stress can lead to hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, etc, serving as a paradigm shift from the hitherto scientific position that illnesses were caused by different pathogens (Selye, 1936).
Stress is conceptualized as a threefold process: first, it is an excessive rate of wear and tear in the body and occurs whenever the rate of breakdown exceeds the rate of repair. Second, it is the non-specified stereotyped response of the body to any demand interpreted a threat to physical or emotional homeostasis. Lastly, it is a specific syndrome (Selye, 1936). Stress has also been viewed as the adjunctive demand made upon the individual, due to the problem in living with which the individual must cope; especially if his needs are not met (Muthuveloo & Rose, 2005). Sarros et al. (2001) therefore described stress as a negative experience, which depends a lot on people’s perception of a situation and their real ability to cope; noting that mental health problems, poor physical health, financial strain, single-parenting, hosting of some positive events and occasion, examinations/interviews, and bereavement could serve as stressors.
Studies have found relationships between stress and smoking; Greenberg, et al. (2012) found positive relationships between all clusters of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cigarette smoking. Harling et al. (2009) found a complex interrelationship between psychosocial stress. demoralization and the consumption of psychotropic substances among practicing veterinary professionals. Empirical investigation showed occupational stress factors were associated with lower levels of nicotine dependence (Schmidt et al., 2010). Also, Redonnet et al. (2012) reported that tobacco smoking, alcohol, cannabis, and poly-substance use are common behaviour among adults who experienced socio-economic disadvantages.