Kick the butt, improve your personality

Washington: Quitting smoking not only improves overall health but also enhances your personality, says a new study.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that young people who have quit smoking are less impulsive and neurotic than those who smoke.

"The data indicate that for some young adults smoking is impulsive," said lead author Andrew Littlefield, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology.

"That means that 18-year-olds are acting without a lot of forethought and favor immediate rewards over long term negative consequences," he added.

The researchers compared people in the age group 18-35 who smoked with those who had quit smoking.

They found that smokers had higher impulsivity and neuroticism levels, while those who quit smoking showed the steepest decline in these behaviors.

"However, as a person ages and continues to smoke, smoking becomes part of a regular behavior pattern and less impulsive. The motives for smoking later in life - habit, craving, loss of control and tolerance - are key elements of smoking dependence and appear to be more independent of personality traits," said Littlefield.

The study has been accepted by the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.


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