Life without cigarettes is not all doom and gloom. In fact, successful quitters are more satisfied with their lives and feel healthier, both one year and three years afterwards, than those who continue to smoke. That's according to new research by Dr. Megan Piper, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in the US, and her team. Their work, which looks at whether quitting smoking can improve psychological well-being, is published online in Springer's journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
There is no doubt that giving up smoking improves health and saves lives. What is less clear is how quitting smoking affects ex-smokers' quality of life.
Smokers hold strong beliefs about how stopping smoking will reduce their quality of life. Positive experiences of smoking cessation, including improved well-being, could be used by clinicians to educate and motivate individuals to stop smoking.
The authors assessed overall quality of life, health-related quality of life, positive versus negative emotions, relationship satisfaction and occurrence of stressors among 1,504 smokers taking part in a smoking cessation trial in the US. Smoking status and quality of life were assessed at both one year and three years post-smoking cessation.
Quality of life measures included health, self-regard, philosophy of life, standard of living, work, recreation, learning, creativity, social service, love relationship, friendships, relationships with children, relationships with relatives, home, neighborhood, and community.
While some smokers have concerns that their quality of life may deteriorate if they stop smoking, the authors found that smokers who quit successfully, long-term, experience no such deterioration due to quitting. If anything, they see some noticeable improvements. Specifically, compared with those who continued to smoke, quitters scored higher on measures of overall quality of life, health-rel
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