Quit Smoking to Feel Better

A three-year study of 1,500 Wisconsin residents found that those who quit smoking—and blood tests were used to confirm that they had—felt a gain in happiness and less stress in their lives.

main thumb robertopalace shutterstock_45378094.jpg

If you've been thinking about quitting smoking but haven't tried because you're afraid of how bad it will feel, think again. People who quit feel better and happier. Sure, there are problems at the start. But they do go away.

A study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine found that people who quit reported a better quality of life and better mood than those who still smoked.

The study looked at surveys of over 1,500 Wisconsin residents who had taken part in a smoking cessation trial. The people were followed for three years and their smoking status was confirmed by blood tests to deal with the problem of people claiming that they've quit when they really haven't.

Though researchers were unable to put an exact number on how much better the people who quit felt, those who quit felt a definite gain in happiness and less stress in their life.

There are lots of unexpected bonuses for quitters to look forward to. Most show up quickly.

No more 2 a.m. trips in the pouring rain when your cigarette supply unexpectedly runs out. Food tastes better than it has in years because your taste buds are coming back to life. People are friendlier; no more glares from folks who don't like your smoke. These are all immediate benefits that should improve your mood and outlook. There's also bound to be something you can do with all the extra money that won't be going to the tobacco companies anymore. And of course, there are the health benefits.

Quitting smoking isn't a bed of roses. It takes will and dedication. But it can be done. And there's plenty of help available. Nicotine patches and gum seem to be the most popular aid, though some research has found their effectiveness questionable. Some people have found text messaging very helpful. Perhaps tweets can do the same.

The weather's going to be awful until next spring. February trips to the store for cigarettes just don't make for fond winter memories. That's one reason that New Year's is such a good time to quit. It only takes a second to start out. And it could make 2012 a very memorable year.

As the Wisconsin study points out, life without cigarettes isn't only possible, it's also happier.

An article on the study was published online by Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Image: robertopalace/Shutterstock.

This article originally appeared on TheDoctorWillSeeYouNow.com, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

The Man Who Owns 40,000 Video Games

A short documentary about an Austrian gamer with an uncommon obsession

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus


The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm


Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."


Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."


An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground


The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Health

Just In