Study objective: To investigate the health-related quality of life (HRQL) profile of healthy young subjects with a short smoking history.
Design: Observational data at a single point in time.
Setting: Survey in two public universities.
Participants: Seventy-seven smoker students without any comorbidities (39 men; mean ± SD age, 20.5 ± 2.0 years). A control group for HRQL measurements was composed of 97 healthy, never-smoker students from the same universities (55 men; mean ± SD age, 20.6 ± 2.0 years).
Interventions: All subjects were blinded to the study proposal, and answered autoapplicable forms dealing with healthy habits, smoking, and the 36-item short form questionnaire.
Results: Never-smokers showed higher mean quality-of-life scores than smokers in all domains. Statistically significant differences were observed for the domains physical functioning (86.5 ± 12.9 vs 93.4 ± 9.6), general health perceptions (64.3 ± 19.8 vs 79.2 ± 13.4), vitality (58.4 ± 20.0 vs 64.6 ± 16.5), social functioning (59.3 ± 19.7 vs 76.3 ± 19.6), and mental health index (66.4 ± 21.1 vs 71.9 ± 15.5).
Conclusions: Healthy, light-to-moderate smokers with a short smoking history show significant impairment in physical and mental domains of HRQL in comparison to never-smokers. A better elucidation of these aspects may provide useful information for planning smoking-cessation interventions.