How exercise could help smokers quit

People could be helped to quit their smoking habits by taking up greater levels of exercise, new research has suggested. Presented at the World Congress of Cardiology, the study also revealed physical activity can serve to bolster life expectancy in both smokers and non-smokers.

According to the investigation, those who underwent a medical examination between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan were 55 per cent more likely to stub it out for good if they took part in some form of moderate activity.

In addition, it was shown that these 'active smokers' were 43 per cent less prone to suffering a relapse.

Dr C Wen of the National Health Research Institute in Taiwan said that if cigarette users "can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all cause and for cardiovascular disease in the long-run".

The expert claimed gaining greater exercise should therefore be the primary objective for all tobacco users.

Dr Fiona Jones, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Bedfordshire, commented: "It is well established that exercise can improve mood and reduce stress so one possible explanation of the effects shown in this study might be that these mood benefits help reduce cravings for cigarettes."