Smokers emotionally worse off

(Photo: Darko Skender)

New research by Gallup has found that smokers are in worse emotional health than non-smokers.

A poll of more than 83,000 people found that smokers were more likely to have depression and suffer from other chronic health problems. They were also more likely to experience stress and worry.

The poll asked participants whether they experienced "during a lot of the day yesterday" smiling or laughter, learning or doing something interesting, being treated with respect, enjoyment, happiness, worry, sadness, anger, stress and depression.

While half of smokers reported feeling stressed the day before, this compared to 37% of non-smokers. Forty per cent of smokers said they experienced worry, compared to 28% of non-smokers, and 26% said they experienced depression, compared to 15% of non-smokers.

Smokers were nearly twice as likely to experience anger than non-smokers (22% vs 12%). While only 16% of non-smokers reported feeling sadness, this rose to 25% among smokers.


The survey found that smokers were also less likely than non-smokers to experience positive emotions or feel that they were being treated with respect.

Two thirds of non-smokers said they learned something new yesterday, higher than the 57% among smokers who felt the same.

More non-smokers experienced enjoyment the day before (86% vs 78%) and happiness (89% vs 83%), and they were more likely to have smiled or laughed (83% vs 77%).

While 93% of non-smokers felt they were treated with respect, this figure was 87% among smokers.

A Gallup poll last year found that nearly nine in 10 smokers (88%) regret that they ever started to smoke.

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