Physical Activity Ups Teen Smoking-Cessation Success

Adding physical activity to youth smoking-cessation program ups success, especially for boys

MONDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adding physical activity to a youth smoking-cessation program is likely to enhance smoking cessation rates, particularly among boys, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in Pediatrics.

Kimberly Horn, Ed.D., from West Virginia University in Morgantown, and colleagues investigated the effects of physical activity on smoking-cessation outcomes in 233 teens (aged 14 to 19 years) who had smoked more than one cigarette in the previous 30 days. High schools with more than 300 students were randomly selected and students were assigned to brief intervention (BI), Not on Tobacco program (N-O-T), or N-O-T plus a physical activity module (N-O-T + FIT). Three to six months after baseline, quit rates were determined by self-classified and seven-day point prevalence quit rates, and by carbon monoxide validation performed during the three-month follow-up.

The investigators found that compared to teens in the N-O-T and BI groups, those in the N-O-T + FIT group had significantly higher cessation rates with large effect sizes. Three months after baseline, girls responded better to N-O-T than BI (relative risk [RR], >∞), and boys quit more successfully with N-O-T + FIT than with BI (RR, 2 to 3) or with N-O-T (RR, 1 to 2). Teens using N-O-T + FIT had greater likelihood of cessation at six months than those in the N-O-T group (RR, 1.48). An unusually large number of participants in the control group were in the precontemplation stage at enrollment, however the outcomes of the BI, N-O-T, or N-O-T + FIT participants in the precontemplation stage did not differ significantly.

"Adding physical activity to N-O-T may enhance cessation success, particularly among boys," the authors write.

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