Smoking cessation and quality of life: changes in life satisfaction over 3 years following a quit attempt

Ann Behav Med. 2012 Apr;43(2):262-70. doi: 10.1007/s12160-011-9329-2.


Background: There has been limited research addressing changes in subjective well-being as a result of quitting smoking.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use longitudinal data to determine the relation between smoking cessation and subjective measures of well-being, including global quality of life (QOL), health-related QOL (HR-QOL), affect, relationship satisfaction, and stressor occurrence.

Methods: As part of a randomized, placebo-controlled smoking cessation trial, 1,504 participants (58.2% women, 83.9% white) completed assessments and had their smoking status biochemically confirmed at baseline and years 1 and 3 post-quit.

Results: Compared with continuing smokers, quitters showed improved global QOL, HR-QOL, and affect at years 1 and 3 and fewer stressors by year 3. Smoking status did not influence marital relationship satisfaction.

Conclusions: Successful quitters, in contrast to continuing smokers, reported improved subjective well-being, which could be used to motivate quit attempts by individuals with concerns about what life will be like without cigarettes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*