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Is quitting smoking the secret to a happier life?

As the New Year approaches and people are feeling the economic pinch what better time is there to give yourself a great new start to 2011 by quitting smoking? Not only will your wallet feel the benefit you will also be giving your health the best boost of all.

New research from scientists in America(1) found a clear link between quitting smoking and an enhanced mood. The scientists measured smoker’s moods during their first 6 months of quit attempts and found that those who were successful in quitting were the happiest whilst those who gave up their quit attempt were the unhappiest of all the groups studied.

The researchers from Brown University and the University of Southern California tested 236 male and female smokers who wanted to give up smoking for symptoms of depression at different stages over a 28-week period.

Tanya Buchanan, Chief Executive of ASH Wales, said: “This new research suggests that giving up smoking actually relieves symptoms of depression and pours cold water on the claim that smoking eases anxiety and depression. We already know that quitting smoking results in significant health benefits but this study suggests there are also mental health benefits as well.

“There has never been a better time to quit smoking. Smoking kills around 5650 people in Wales every year and it is the single most preventable cause of premature death. Smoking is an addiction and I know how hard it can be for some people to give up but there is help and support available from Stop Smoking Wales so you don’t have to go it alone.”

Data Sources

(1) Kahler, C.W., Spillane, N.S., Busch, A.M., & Leventhal, A.M., 2010, Time-Varying Smoking Abstinence Predicts Lower Depressive Symptoms Following Smoking Cessation Treatment, Oxford Journal.

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