Exercise as a smoking cessation treatment for women: a randomized controlled trial



Dunsiger S, Emerson JA, Ussher M, Marcus B, Miranda, Jr. R, Monti P & Williams D (2021) Exercise as a smoking cessation treatment for women: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 44 (6), pp. 794-802.

Cigarette smoking remains the leading behavioral risk factor for chronic disease and premature mortality. This RCT tested the efficacy of moderate intensity aerobic exercise as an adjunctive smoking cessation treatment among women. Participants (N=105; age=42.5, SD=11.2) received brief smoking cessation counseling and 10 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy and were randomized to 12 weeks of moderate intensity exercise (Exercise; n=53) or 12 weeks of health education (Control; n=52). Longitudinal models, with Generalized Estimating Equations, showed no differences between Exercise and Control in cotinine-verified 7-day point prevalence abstinence (Wald=1.96, p=0.10) or continuous abstinence (Wald=1.45, p=0.23) at 12-weeks (post-treatment) or 6-, 9-, or 12-month follow-up, controlling for differences in baseline nicotine dependence. There was no effect of exercise on smoking cessation. The present study adds to the literature suggesting null effects of exercise a smoking cessation adjunctive treatment despite promising findings in short-term laboratory based studies.

Exercise; physical activity; smoking cessation; nicotine replacement; women

Journal of Behavioral Medicine: Volume 44, Issue 6

Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online07/07/2021
Date accepted by journal06/06/2021

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Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing