Are you still smoking, perhaps even in secret, even though you may be also vaping part-time? Do we really need a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin to tell us that quitting smoking improves our quality of life and makes us happier? Apparently, some of us do because so many people are still having such a tough time kicking the habit once and for all.
Everyone knows that smoking leads to heart disease, respiratory disorders, and several forms of cancer. Still, most smokers tend to think, “That will never happen to me.” And with the consistently rising costs of a pack of cigarettes, is it any wonder than many smokers get an instant feeling of dread every time that they fork over their hard-earned cash for a pack of Marlboros, Salems, or your cancer-stick of choice?
University of Wisconsin smoking survey
The average cost of a pack of cigarettes today is $5.51. In New York, they cost a whopping $12.85. That means that the average pack-a-day smoker is spending between $165.30 to $385.50 plus tax per month! That alone is enough to make anyone depressed and unhappy. But according to Dr. Megan Piper from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, many smokers fear that if they quit, their life will be filled with doom and gloom. When according to the statistics, the exact opposite is true.
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In the 2011 study entitled Life after cigarettes: Compared with those who continue to smoke, quitters are both happier and more satisfied with their health, Piper and her team surveyed some 1,504 smokers participating in a smoking cessation trial. They interviewed the candidates before, during, and after the completion of the trail, asking each participant to rate themselves on:
- Overall quality of life
- Health related issues
- Frequency and intensity of positive vs. negative emotional states
- Relationship satisfaction levels with significant others
- Relationship satisfaction levels with their children
- Relationship satisfaction levels with family members
- Relationship satisfaction levels with friends
- Interactions and engagement in community activities
- The ability to handle everyday stressors
- Self-esteem levels
- Philosophy of life outlooks
Each participant was interviewed after one year of being smoke-free and again after three years. What the research team discovered is rather incredible.
"This research provides substantial evidence that quitting smoking benefits well-being compared to continuing smoking. Smokers might believe that quitting will decrease life satisfaction or quality of life -- because they believe it disrupts routines, interferes with relationships, leads to a loss of smoking-related pleasure, or because cessation deprives them of a coping strategy. Our findings suggest that, over the long-term, individuals will be happier and more satisfied with their lives if they stop smoking than if they do not."
While many smokers fear that quitting will lead to increased stress, weight gain, and perhaps irreparable damage to personal relationships because of the assumed moodiness and irritability that we assume will follow, Dr. Piper points out that these sorts of side effects are only temporary, if they even occur at all. The increased self-confidence, physical stamina, and ability to simply breathe easier quickly replaces these negative aspects, and we tend to feel happier, healthier, and more satisfied with our life in nearly every regard.
Smokers – on the other hand – tend to feel just as depressed and physically depleted as they ever did, even after the three-year study was complete. Some reported feeling even worse.
So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you quit smoking and start vaping? Vaping is not smoking. Vaping is 100% tobacco free. And as the new Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has openly stated on CNBC just last month, “It’s not the nicotine that kills you. It’s all the other carcinogens in lighting tobacco on fire.”
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