Life after cigarettes

December 13, 2011

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-related quality of life and positive emotions, both one year and three years on. They also felt they had fewer stressors by the third year.

The authors conclude: "This research provides substantial evidence that quitting smoking benefits well-being compared to continuing smoking. 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. 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."
-end-
Reference
Piper ME et al (2011). Smoking cessation and quality of life: changes in life satisfaction over three years following a quit attempt. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. DOI 10.1007/s12160-011-9329-2

The full-text article is available to journalists on request.

Springer

Related Smoking Articles from Brightsurf:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.

What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.

Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.

Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.

Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.

Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.

A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.

Read More: Smoking News and Smoking Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.