The dangers of smoking have long been known, but experts have recently discovered that smoking may actually cause smokers to be less happy. Many smokers turn to cigarettes for help with anxiety or depression, but most receive little to no long-term comfort.
New studies have shown researchers to be tracking depression-like symptoms in individuals working to quit smoking, discovering smokers to be happier than ever as they were becoming successful at quitting, regardless of the overall duration.
Due to these results published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, authors suggest individuals currently smoking to use quitting as a step forward as a means to improve physical and mental health.
Many smokers fear quitting smoking to carry drastic, long-term, psychological side effects. Researchers believe the contrary.
Assumptions about smokers using tobacco as an antidepressant often arise, and the question about whether or not quitting will increase depression. However, researchers found depressive symptoms to be lower after a smoker has shown some success in quitting than while the individual was still smoking.
This study involved 236 people trying to quit smoking. Participants agreed on a date to quit, and were then examined in terms of depression one week prior to the date of quitting, followed by examinations 2, 8, 16, and 28 weeks afterward.
Only 29 participants were unable to show quitting behavior.
Most interesting to researchers were the individuals who quit temporarily. Their mood was most positive when they were not smoking. As they started smoking again, mood declined, sometimes worse than before.
Individuals unable to quit at all were unhappy for the duration of the study. Those who were able to quit and continued the ability to abstain from smoking showed happy moods at the beginning, and remained very happy throughout.