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.