It's official: Quitting makes you happier

Happy people jumping 

 

You may have wanted to quit before but been worried about feeling down or depressed. In fact, that might be one of the reasons you smoke - to try and get some of those feelings under control.

But a new study out of the USA has found that smokers who quit are actually at their happiest when they are smoke-free.

Christopher Kahler, corresponding author of the study from Brown University Rhode Island, said the study challenged assumptions about depression and smoking.

"The assumption has often been that people might smoke because it has anti-depressant properties and that if they quit it might unmask a depressive episode."

"What's surprising is that at the time when you measure smokers' mood, even if they've only succeeded for a little while, they are already reporting less symptoms of depression."

Researchers studied a group of 236 men and women wanting to quit smoking.

They were measured for symptoms of depression a week before they were supposed to quit, and then at regular intervals up to six months after.

99 participants never quit, 44 made it to the two-week mark, 33 were quit at two months while 33 were still quit at the end of the study.

Those smokers who quit temporarily exhibited bright moods at the check-ups when they weren't smoking, but after going back to the habit, their moods darkened - in some cases to higher levels of sadness than before.

Those who didn't quit at all were the unhappiest throughout the study, while those who stayed smoke-free remained at a strong level of happiness throughout the study.

So if fear of feeling down has prevented you from quitting, why not give it a go? Your body, as well as your mind, will likely thank you for it.

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