Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Smokers who quit are happier and more satisfied with their health

You may now be into your third week of abstaining from cigarettes and doing really well. However, for those of you who are struggling to stick to that New Year’s resolution to give up, there is some encouraging news. According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, successful quitters are more satisfied with their lives and feel healthier - both one year and three years afterwards - than those who continue to smoke.

There is a wealth of information on how giving up smoking can save lives and improve health, but not so much on how quitting can affect your quality of life. Indeed, smokers often believe stopping smoking will reduce their quality of life in terms of disrupting their routine, effecting relationships, interfering with their ability to cope and losing the pleasure they derive from smoking itself.

In this study, 1,504 smokers taking part in a smoking cessation trial were assessed on their overall quality of life which included measures of health, self-regard, philosophy of life, standard of living, work recreation, learning, creativity, relationships (both romantic and with children and relatives), friendships, home and community. 

Researchers found successful, long-term quitters experienced noticeable improvements in these aspects, particularly 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 after both one, and three years and also believed they had fewer stressors by the third year.

It would seem resisting those cigarettes does not only have positive benefits for our physical health, but also our overall well-being - a fact we hope will help motivate those who are trying to quit!

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