Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Could Quitting Smoking Really Make You Happier?

"If people quit smoking their depressive symptoms go down and if they relapse, their mood goes back to where they were. An effective antidepressant should look like that."
—Brown University Professor Christopher Kahler discusses his recent study showing that people who quit smoking are happier than those who stick it out. This seems patently ridiculous to me, despite the sample size of 236 participants. A close reading of the article allowed me to find the flaw in the research: "Professor Kahler said he was confident the results apply to most people, even though the smokers in this study were also heavy drinkers." AH-HA! Anyone who has ever smoked and then tried to quit notices that one of the first things that happens to you when you've given up cigarettes is you get drunk much faster. Of course heavy drinkers are going to feel "happier;" they're totally blitzed? And who's not happy being blitzed? Back to the lab with you, Professor. I discard your theories.

5 Comments / Post A Comment

Slava (#216)

"Back to the lab with you, Professor" should be a regular feature where you call bullshit on scientific studies :)
I would even volunteer to do the research!

New findings include a correlation between one's happiness and the dismissing of junk science.

fek (#93)


flossy (#1,402)

I've now gone more than a month without a cigarette, the first time I have even attempted to quit since I started smoking at 15. It has not, directly, made me any happier–if anything, a little of the opposite.

However, you know what does make me happy? The extra $400 a month I am not spending on cigarettes. Someone should tell the science people who say that money doesn't buy happiness that they, too, are full of it, because it so totally does!

At first it could make you cranky, but I have known people who have successfully quit smoking and they seem happier. Some seek professional help because once they inhale smoke, their mouths water and they crave for one stick. They also try to replace the real cigarette with an e-cig, and it helps a little, but still quitting it fully, with e-cig or not, is still the best option.

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