New research has found that quitting smoking may actually make quitters happier, rather than depressed or anxious. Improving bad breath may contribute to the effect.
Published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the study tested nearly 250 people trying to quit smoking for the symptoms of depression. Its authors found that, contrary to common wisdom, during the first six months of an attempt to give up smoking quitters displayed fewer signs of depression and anxiety.
Many changes no doubt contributed to the increase in happiness among quitters. Improved lung function, decreased dental stains, more disposable income and better breath can make a person feel more peppy.
Smoking can cause halitosis several ways at once. Most immediately, it leaves a film of tar, nicotine and chemicals on the tongue, teeth and throat. Such a coating gives off the aroma of smoke. As time goes by, repeated exposure to smoke can rot the teeth and leave the gums red and infected, adding to the bad smell on one’s breath.
Finally, the hot fumes from a cigarette dry the mouth out. Without cleansing saliva, the tongue will begin to culture odor-causing bacteria. In order to prevent smoker’s breath, individuals may consider quitting smoking, brushing twice daily and using specialty breath fresheners to wet the palate and target smelly bacterial aromas.