Quitting smoking improves happiness, quality of life

Washington: Planning to kick the butt? You may find motivation from a new study which claims that people who successfully quit smoking are more satisfied with their lives, and feel healthier than those who continue to smoke.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin looked at over 1,500 people participating a US smoking cessation trial. They assessed each participant`s smoking status and quality of life one year and three years after the smoking cessation trial.
"Our findings suggest that over the long-term individuals will be happier and more satisfied with their lives if they stop smoking than if they do not," the researchers were quoted as saying by LiveScience.
"This research provides substantial evidence that quitting smoking benefits well-being, compared to continuing smoking," they said. The study`s "quality of life" measures included the participant`s health, self-regard, philosophy of life and personal relationships.
"Smokers might believe that quitting will decrease life satisfaction or quality of life – because they believe it disrupts routines, interferes with relationships, leads to a loss of smoking-related pleasure, or because cessation deprives them of a coping strategy," the authors wrote in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
But despite such concerns, the researchers found that those who quit reported no such deterioration due to quitting. On the contrary, quitters scored higher on measures of overall quality of life, health-related quality of life and positive emotions, both one year and three years after cessation, compared with those who continued to smoke.
Successful quitters also reported that they felt they had fewer stressors by the third year, the researchers said. The new findings could be used by clinicians to educate and motivate people to stop smoking by helping them focus on the positive experiences of quitting, they added.