Objective: To examine the association between self-perceived health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and smoking status.
Methods: We used data from 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, USA participants in four states (n=17,800) to compare the HRQoL of current smokers who unsuccessfully attempted to quit (unsuccessful quitters), former smokers, and never smokers with the HRQoL of current smokers who made no attempts to quit (non-quitters).
Results: Overall, unsuccessful quitters were more likely than non-quitters to report frequent mental distress, physical distress, and pain but not frequent depressive symptoms; former and never smokers were less likely than non-quitters to report frequent depressive symptoms. When study subjects were stratified by sex, these associations held true for men, but not for women. Among women, the prevalence of frequent mental and physical distress among former smokers and never smokers was not significantly different from the prevalence among non-quitters, whereas unsuccessful quitters were 2.4 times more likely to report frequent mental distress and 2.1 times more likely to report frequent physical distress than were non-quitters.
Conclusions: Certain HRQoL characteristics were worse among smokers who unsuccessfully attempted to quit and better among former smokers than among smokers who made no attempts to quit.