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Emotional Health Key to Quitting Smoking

More upbeat types were more successful, study finds

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- People who've successfully kicked the smoking habit are more likely to enjoy good mental health -- including an upbeat attitude -- and to have visited a trusted health-care provider within the previous year, compared to current smokers, according to a U.S. National Cancer Institute study.

The researchers analyzed data on more than 1,200 current smokers, 1,500 sustained quitters and nearly 3,300 people who'd never smoked. The study appears in the August issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior.

They found that people who never smoked and sustained quitters (people who hadn't smoked for at least a year) were more likely than current smokers to have health insurance and a usual source of care. Nonsmokers also reported better health and fewer symptoms of depression than current smokers.

Depression could keep some smokers from quitting and from being more pro-active about their health care, the researchers note. "Our results suggest that additional efforts to identify and follow up with smokers experiencing depression may be especially needed," they conclude.

More information

The American Cancer Society offers a guide for quitting smoking.

SOURCE: Health Behavior News Service, news release, July 22, 2005
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