Researchers have found that exercise can help people quit smoking by easing the affect of withdrawal symptoms or by reducing their cigarette craving. The results of the study were published in the journal Pediatrics which looked at the benefits of exercising on teenagers who wanted to quit smoking.
There are many organizations in that promoted quit smoking programs among kids and teenagers. Some of these programs were available in schools across America. The efforts of these institutes are reaping the desired results as the average quit rate amongst teenagers in United States is about 21 percent.
Kimberly Horn, the led researcher of the study, found that in the State of West Virginia, the percentage of smokers was high and the exercise rate in people was low.
Researchers of the study randomly selected 19 high school in the State of West Virginia were they offer basic cessation program, cessation program which included exercises or brief intervention were smokers had a session with a facilitator.
About 233 students from 19 schools participated in the survey. The basic cessation programs conducted in the schools helped the teens figure out why they smoked and also helped them in finding ways of kicking the habit. Teens that opted for cessation programs that included exercise were given advice on how exercise can help them kick the habit. They were also given a pedometer to keep a track of their activity level.
At the end of the 6-month program, it was found that teenagers who opted for cessation plus exercise program had a higher quit rate when compared to teenagers that opted for basic cessation program. Teenagers who opted for cessation plus exercise program had a quit rate of 31 percent and the quit rate for teenagers who opted for basic program was just 21 percent.
On analysing the data, researchers found that excising helped boys more than girls. Boys who participated in the cessation plus exercise program had a quit percentage of 37 when compared to 18 percent in basic cessation program. However, the quit rate of girls was only 26 percent in cessation plus exercise program when compared to 23 percent in the basic cessation program. The reason for this variation in results is not known.
However, some health experts are of the view that since this study did not measure the exercise level of the students, it is difficult to establish a relationship between exercise and quitting success of teenagers. More studies needs to be conducted to establish a clear correlation between quit smoking success and exercise.