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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

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is Senior Writer and Editor at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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