While many smokers claim that having a cigarette gives them pleasure, a new study indicates that the habit does not make you happy.
Researchers at the Peninsula Medical School in England examined the relationship between smoking and psychological wellbeing. They looked at the quality of life of over 9,000 people aged 50 or older, using a measurement known as CASP-19.
The participants were categorised as ‘never smokers’, ‘ex-smokers’ and ‘current smokers’. Household wealth was used as an indicator for socioeconomic status.
The study found that on average, smokers experienced lower levels of pleasure and life satisfaction, compared with non-smokers. This difference was even more pronounced in smokers from lower socioeconomic groups.
“We found no evidence to support the claim that smoking is associated with pleasure, either in people from lower socioeconomic groups or in the general population. People may feel like they’re getting pleasure when they smoke a cigarette, but in fact, smokers are likely to be less happy overall. The pleasure they feel comes only because they’re addicted”, explained Dr Iain Lang of the Peninsula Medical School.
He emphasised that smoking is associated with a poorer quality of life.
“Anyone thinking of giving up smoking should understand that quitting will be better for them in terms of their wellbeing, as well as their physical health, in the long run”, Dr Lang added.