Teens should start moving to stop smoking

“It is not unusual for teenage smokers to engage in other unhealthy habits. Smoking and physical inactivity, for instance, often go hand-in-hand,” said the study’€™s lead author, Kimberly Horn from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (USA), in a news release.

Researchers looked at 233 teens at 19 high schools in West Virginia, which has one of the highest smoking rates in the US. All the teens in the study were daily smokers who smoked an average of half a pack a day on weekdays and a pack a day on weekends. They also had other unhealthy behaviour.

The teens in the study were divided into three groups: one group took part in a smoking cessation programme combined with a fitness programme, another group took part in the smoking cessation programme only and the third group heard only a short anti-smoking lecture.

Surprisingly, all of the teens involved in the study increased their amount of daily physical activity. Those who increased the number of days in which they did at least 20 minutes of exercise – equivalent to a short walk – significantly reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked.

The participants involved in the combination smoking cessation and fitness programme were more likely to quit smoking.

“This study adds to evidence suggesting that exercise can help teenagers who are trying to quit smoking,” Horn said.

Source: HealthDay News

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