Introduction: Smoking cessation among adults is associated with increased happiness. This association has not been measured in parents, a subset of adults who face uniquely stressful and challenging circumstances that can affect happiness.
Aims: The aim of this study was to determine if parental smoking cessation is associated with increased happiness and to identify characteristics of parental quitters who experience increased happiness.
Methods: A total of 1,355 parents completed a 12-month follow-up interview from a U.S. national trial, Clinical Effort Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure (CEASE). Multivariable logistic regression examined if level of happiness was independently associated with quitting smoking and identified characteristics associated with feeling happier after quitting smoking.
Results/Findings: Parents’ level of happiness was independently associated with quitting smoking (aOR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.42–1.79). Factors associated with increased happiness among quitters include engaging in evidence-based cessation assistance (aOR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.16–6.26), and adopting strictly enforced smoke-free home (aOR = 2.55, 95% CI = 1.19–5.48) and car (aOR = 3.85, 95% CI = 1.94–7.63) policies. Additionally, parents who believed that being a smoker got in the way of being a parent (aOR = 5.37, 95% CI = 2.61–11.07) and who believed that thirdhand smoke is harmful to children (aOR = 3.28, 95% CI = 1.16–9.28) were more likely to report feeling happier after quitting.
Conclusions: Parents who quit smoking reported being happier than parents who did not quit. Though prospective studies can clarify what factors cause an increase in happiness, letting paediatricians know that most parents who smoke report being happier when quitting may facilitate communication with parents around cessation.