There have been several reports on the health effects of cigarette smoking, and many of the harsh statistics have been well documented. But few studies have been conducted on ex-cigarette smokers, and their new lives after quitting.

While many smokers believe they’ll only experience misery after quitting, a new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine shows many of the fears associated with quitting smoking are largely unfounded.

Researchers observed 1,504 smokers to see how they would be after they stopped smoking cigarettes. They were observed exactly one year after quitting, then again after three years, and researchers discovered that most men experienced a better quality of life than those who continued to smoke.

Participants reported having improved personal relationships with significant others and family, increased recreation, and better personal health. Former smokers claimed to have improved in all of these areas after one year after quitting, then again after three years.

Another study was held at London’s Global University Medical School (UCL), where 879 ex-smokers were polled, and were asked if they felt happier after they successfully quit smoking, and a surprising 95 percent said they felt happier and less burdened after quitting. These responses were not based on the ex-smokers financial conditions, housing, or social conditions. They all said their happiness was based on the fact that they beat their nicotine habit.

Believing that life will not be as fun or enjoyable often prevents people from attempting to quit their addiction. As with many other drugs or dependencies, cigarettes are often introduced within a social setting, making it difficult for a person to be social without it. Researchers in both of these studies have shown that maintaining your addiction will not make you happier or have a better quality of life.

The immediate health benefits to quitting smoking included, a controlled heart rate and blood pressure, improved lung circulation, and a better sense of taste and smell, which all contribute to an improved overall lifestyle.