, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 331-338

Does smoking cessation improve health-related quality-of-life?

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Abstract

This article examines whether smokers who enrolled in a community-based smoking cessation program and were successful in quitting for a six-month period had better health-related quality-of-life at six months relative to those who relapsed. An observational, longitudinal design was used; the sample included 350 participants 18–65 years of age. Health-related quality-of-life was measured using a broad array of indicators of physical and mental health. Six-month outcomes were compared between successful quitters and relapsers using analysis of covariance. Those who quit for six months had better psychological well-being, cognitivefunctioning, energy/fatigue, sleep adequacy, selfesteem, sense of mastery, and worse role functioning at six months than those who continued to smoke (p values > .05). No differences were observed in physical and social functioning, pain, or current health perceptions. There were no significant differences at enrollment in health-relatedquality-of-life between those who quit subsequently and those who relapsed, thus quality-of-life measures did not predict smoking status. We conclude that smokers who quit can possibly anticipate improvements in a range of mental health outcomes within six months, which could become an additional incentive to quit. Subsequent smoking cessation studies should include health-related quality-of-life measures to determine the generalizability of these findings.

School of Nursing
Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grant from the State of California Tobacco-Related Research Program (2RTO160) and a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (#5R01HL39770).
Portions of this research were presented at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association and at the 15th Annual Scientific Session of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Daniel Bloch and Dr. Lincoln Moses for statistical consultation; Barbara Newman for help with planning and implementation; Karen Roitz, Kerrey Saunders, Kristin Mills, Barbara McLellan, and Barbara Elspas with data collection; Laurie Davis and Ann Varady with data; and Wayne Shoumaker with data management and programming. In addition, we thank the participants in the Stop Smoking Study for cooperating with this research.