I was a smoker for 20 years. I quit almost 20 years ago, but I remember how difficult it was to quit for GOOD! I was great at quitting, I must have done it a thousand times, only to pick up another pack. If quitting is on your list of things to do and you want to begin the New Year with your resolution to quit smoking, you are probably in fear of all the jitters often associated with the withdrawal from nicotine. But there is good news! A new study says you’ll be healthier and happier.

A group of 1,500 study participants who’ve been smoke-free for three years said their overall quality of life has improved and reported “fewer stressors and improved mood” compared to those who continued to light up.

“Quitting is hard, but if you can actually do it, there are a lot of benefits that you might not have thought about,” said study author Megan E. Piper, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and its Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

The people in the three-year study were asked questions about self-regard, standard of living, relationships, friendships and other measures of quality of life, the results showed former smokers were now happier people overall.