How did you stop hesitating

Tobacco and the psyche: not smoking makes you happy

Not only is it good for the body to go without tobacco - the soul also benefits, and it has been proven. This emerges from a review article for which a working group led by Gemma Taylor from the University of Bath evaluated a total of 102 studies. According to the study now published in the "Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews", anxiety and stress have been shown to decrease if you stop smoking for at least six weeks. This also applies to people with mental illnesses, whose tobacco consumption is often considered self-medication and who fear that the illness will worsen due to the stress of quitting smoking. In fact, however, the stress level is falling in all groups. The assumption that social life could worsen as a result of not smoking and that loneliness could become more frequent was therefore not confirmed.

According to a press release from the German branch of the Cochrane research network, Taylor explains that the gain in mental well-being from smoking cessation is not that great. "Our results show that quitting smoking was associated with small to moderate improvements in mood on average," explains the researcher. However, one does not generally stop smoking because of the psychological effects, but because of the physical effects. Rather, the feared negative emotional consequences are often a reason to forego smoking cessation. As the review article now shows, these fears are probably unfounded.

This is the conclusion of the working group, although the individual studies summarized in the study often have only moderate conclusiveness on their own. Overall, however, they include more than 150,000 people - thanks to the large number of studies, such review articles can often also measure small effects. "These smoking cessation benefits appear to be similar for different groups," says Taylor. "Above all, there is no reason to fear that the state of health of people with mental illness will worsen if they stop smoking."