Want to quit smoking? Try exercise

A new study reveals that exercising can hep you to quit smoking, remain smoke-free and reduce the risk of death

Two girls on a treadmill in a gym
Exercise helps quite smoking

New data presented at the World Congress of Cardiology 2012, held in Dubai, indicates that exercising may help smokers give up the habit and stay away from it. What's more, it also helps increase life expectancy in smokers and non-smokers alike.

The study, which involved 434,190 people between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan, revealed that smokers who engaged in moderate physical activity had a 55 per cent higher likelihood of quitting cigarettes compared to those that were physically inactive. In addition, the active smokers were 43 per cent less likely to go back to smoking than the inactive smokers.

The benefits don't end here. Physical activity among smokers, whether active or inactive, led to an increase in their life expectancy. Active smokers showed an increased life expectancy of 3.7 years and a reduction in all-cause mortality of 23 per cent—equivalent to levels achieved by ex-smokers with low activity levels. The results also demonstrated that active ex-smokers increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years and reduced their all-cause mortality by 43 per cent—same as the levels of inactive non-smokers.

"Exercise can help smokers to quit and quitting smoking has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing CVD and that must be the goal of all smokers," said Dr. C.P. Wen, National Health Research Institute, Taiwan. "If smokers can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all cause and for CVD in the long run."

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