Quitting Smoking Improves Happiness, Quality of Life

Findings could be used to motivate individuals attempting to quit

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- People who successfully quit smoking are happier and more satisfied with their lives than people who continue to smoke, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Megan E. Piper, Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues assessed subjective quality of life (QOL) indices among 1,504 participants in a randomized, placebo-controlled smoking cessation trial. The participants completed assessments (including the Quality of Life Inventory, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale, the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, and the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale) at baseline and at one and three years after smoking cessation.

The researchers found that, compared with continuing smokers, quitters showed improved global QOL and health-related QOL. Affect was improved at years one and three and a decrease in number of stressors was seen by year three. Smoking status was not found to influence marital relationship satisfaction.

"The current findings suggest that over the long term, individuals will be happier and more satisfied with their lives if they quit smoking than if they do not," the authors write. "Understanding relatively short-term (i.e., one year) and long-term (i.e., three years) changes in QOL measures may help clinicians motivate smokers to make quit attempts and help researchers to understand better the relations of smoking with other life factors."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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