03/12/2010 11:25 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Giving Up Smoking Could Boost Your Mood

Giving up smoking boosts your mood Giving up smoking could boost your mood. Photo: Flickr, River Beach

It's common knowledge that giving up smoking can vastly improve your physical health, both immediately and in the future. But did you realise it could boost your emotional health too? At least that's what US health experts are suggesting following their study into smoking and depression.

Writing in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the experts claim giving up smoking helps relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and that those who do manage to quit say they've never been happier.

So why is that news? Because, the researchers explain, conventional wisdom suggests many people smoke to ease feelings of depression and low mood. As a result of their study, the researchers suggest people give up smoking not just to improve their physical health but to boost their mood too.

During the study - which involved a group of 236 men and women all trying to give up smoking - those who illustrated the researchers findings the most strongly were those who managed to quit, but then relapsed. Having given up initially, their moods were far brighter than they'd been before. But after going back to smoking, they became depressed again, some even more so than before they gave up.

So while you may think smoking helps put you in a better mood, the opposite might be true.

Meanwhile, researchers writing in the journal Biological Psychiatry claim smoking may thin the brain in such a way that makes the smoker more addicted to nicotine - a no-win situation, in other words.

Have you given up and never felt happier?

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