Cigarette smokers are more likely to experience an increase in neuroticism throughout adulthood. This, according to a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality.

Researchers analyzed five longitudinal studies with a total of 15,572 participants, ages 20 to 92 years old. They assessed changes in the big five personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.

The researchers found that compared with non-smokers, smokers were more likely to exhibit an increase in neuroticism over time. Additionally, smokers were more likely to display a decline in extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. 

This study suggests that in addition to lung cancer, heart disease, and other negative physical effects, there may be negative mental health effects of smoking as well.


Stephan, Y., Sutin, A. R., et al (2019, August). Cigarette smoking and personality change across adulthood: Findings from five longitudinal samples. Journal of Research in Personality. Retrieved from