The impact of smoking cessation on mood, psychological well-being and happiness
Dr Thomas Heffernan
Dr Thomas Heffernan Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Background: Smoking cessation is associated with reduced depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as improvements a in quality of life. However, previous research has failed to control for other drug use, such as excessive alcohol use, which may also affect mood, stress and well-being. The current prospective study will therefore explore the links between smoking cessation, mood, psychological well-being and happiness in existing smokers and previous smokers who use low levels of alcohol and no other substances.
Methods: Current smokers and previous smokers will be compared in a between-subjects design. Each cohort will be comprised of young adults between 18 – 35 years. Anyone who drinks excessive amounts of alcohol or uses some other substance will be excluded from the study. Each participant will complete on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale as a measure of anxiety and depression, the World Health Organization Well-being Index (WHO-5) as a measure of psychological well-being and the Oxford Happiness Inventory as a broad measure of personal happiness.
Proposed analyses: A series of one-way analyses of variance will be applied in order to compare the two groups on anxiety, depression, psychological well-being and happiness.
Findings: The results will be presented at the conference.
Dr Heffernan has taught and researched in psychology for over 25 years and has published extensively on what impact recreational drug use has upon everyday memory. Dr Heffernan conducted seminal work on the impact of chronic smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke has upon everyday memory and has recently published seminal work on everyday memory improvements associated with smoking cessation. He has presented his work at both national and international conferences, in peer-reviewed journals and as part of a wider dissemination of his work to the general public.