Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Short daily walk might help teen smokers cut down or quit, new study says

09.04.2013
Teenagers who increased the days on which they got just 20 minutes of exercise were able to cut down on their smoking habit. And teenage smokers were more likely to quit altogether if they participated in a smoking cessation/fitness program—and they ramped up the days on which they got at least 30 minutes of physical activity, according to a study published online April 9.

"This study adds to evidence suggesting that exercise can help teenagers who are trying to quit smoking," says lead author Kimberly Horn, EdD, the Associate Dean for Research at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS). "Teens who boosted the number of days on which they engaged in at least 20 minutes of exercise, equivalent to a short walk, were more likely than their peers to resist lighting up a cigarette."

Horn and her colleagues tracked 233 teenagers from 19 high schools in West Virginia, a state with among the highest smoking rates in the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which funded this study, says that nearly 13 percent of West Virginia residents under the age of 18 are current smokers.

The participants in the study were daily smokers with other risky behaviors. "It is not unusual for teenage smokers to engage in other unhealthy habits," Horn said. "Smoking and physical inactivity--for instance--often go hand in hand." The average teenager in the study smoked a half a pack on weekdays and a whopping pack a day on the weekends. A previous study of the same group compared three types of programs aimed at getting the participants to stop or cut down on smoking. That study found that an intensive smoking cessation intervention combined with a fitness program was the most successful way to help teenagers quit.

In the current study, Horn's team looked to see if an increase in physical activity would help teens quit regardless of the type of intervention. In this study, as in the previous one, some teenagers went through an intensive anti-smoking program combined with a fitness intervention while others just got the smoking cessation program and still others listened to a short anti-smoking lecture.

Horn found that all of the teens increased their exercise activity to some degree—just by virtue of being in the study. However, teens who reported increasing the number of days in which they got just 20 minutes a day of exercise were able to significantly cut back on the cigarettes they smoked.

Horn's previous study showed that the most powerful way for teens to quit smoking was if they participated in a program called Not-On-Tobacco; it was even more powerful for boys with an added fitness component. The researchers believe that the 20-minute threshold for changing smoking behavior deserves further study.

Certainly, the study has limitations, says Horn. "We don't fully understand the clinical relevance of ramping up daily activity to 20 or 30 minutes a day with these teens. But we do know that even modest improvements in exercise may have health benefits. Our study supports the idea that encouraging one healthy behavior can serve to promote another, and it shows that teens, often viewed as resistant to behavior change, can tackle two health behaviors at once."

Additional research must confirm the key findings and prove that they apply to all teen smokers and not just those in West Virginia, Horn says. And researchers still do not know the mechanism that might explain the findings. However, she says that physical activity is known to spur the release of the body's feel-good chemicals called endorphins. One possible explanation is that those substances might help teen smokers better deal with the cravings or weather the withdrawal symptoms that often lead to relapse, she said.

The study, "Understanding Physical Activity as a Function of Teen Smoking," appears online April 9 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.

About the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services: Established in July 1997, the School of Public Health and Health Services brought together three longstanding university programs in the schools of medicine, business, and education and is now the only school of public health in the nation's capital. Today, more than 1,100 students from nearly every U.S. state and more than 40 nations pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level degrees in public health. http://sphhs.gwu.edu/

Kathy Fackelmann | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gwu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>