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Quitting Smoking Makes You Happy

Quitting smoking improves your outlook on life. Yet another reason to kick this nasty habit.

It heart disease, lung cancer and emphysema—not to mention the rising cost of cigarettes and the fact that no one wants to date a smoker—weren't enough incentive to quit smoking, a study has found that ditching the cigarettes actually makes people happier.

Dr. Megan Piper of the University of Wisconsin found that many smokers thought that kicking the habit would reduce their quality of life, possibly due to the enjoyment they derived from it. She decided to put this theory to the test, assessing 1,504 smokers who agreed to take part in a trial to quit smoking. She then followed up with them a year after they quit, and again three years after they quit.

What she found was the exact opposite of the demotivating theory that quitting reduces your quality of life. Those who had stayed smoke free after one year and three years showed noticeable improvement in their overall quality of life over those who started smoking again. "This research provides substantial evidence that quitting smoking benefits well-being compared to continuing smoking," Piper concluded.

Quality of life was gauged by several factors including health, self-regard, standard of living, career and relationships.

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