Dr. Megan Piper of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health said smokers hold strong beliefs about how stopping smoking will reduce their quality of life.
Piper and colleagues assessed overall quality of life, health-related quality of life, positive vs. negative emotions, relationship satisfaction and occurrence of stressors -- among 1,504 smokers taking part in a U.S. smoking cessation trial. 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.
Some smokers express concerns that their quality of life may deteriorate if they stop smoking, but the study found smokers who quit successfully experience no such deterioration.
If anything, the ex-smokers showed noticeable improvements. The study, published in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine, found quitters scored higher on measures of overall quality of life, health-related quality of life and positive emotions, after one year and three years, compared to those who still smoked.
"This research provides substantial evidence that quitting smoking benefits well-being compared to continuing smoking," Piper said in a statement.