Exercise interventions for smoking cessation



Ussher M, West R, Taylor AH & McEwen A (2000) Exercise interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2000 (3), Art. No.: CD002295.

BACKGROUND: Taking exercise may help people give up smoking by moderating the effects of nicotine withdrawal.  OBJECTIVES: To determine whether exercise-based interventions combined with a smoking cessation programme are more effective than a smoking cessation intervention alone.  SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction group specialised register for studies including the terms 'exercise' or 'physical activity' in February 2000.  SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised trials comparing an exercise programme as an adjunct to a cessation programme with a cessation programme alone, recruiting smokers or recent quitters, and with a follow-up of 6 months or more.  DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data on study characteristics and smoking outcomes. Because of differences in studies we summarised the results narratively, making no attempt at meta-analysis.  MAIN RESULTS: We identified eight trials, six of which had fewer than 25 people in each treatment arm. They varied in the timing and intensity of the smoking cessation and exercise programmes. Only one trial showed a significant benefit from the exercise programme at long term follow-up.  REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Only one of the eight trials offered evidence for exercise aiding smoking cessation but the other trials were too small to exclude reliably an effect of intervention. Trials are needed with larger sample sizes, equal contact control conditions, tailored and lifestyle exercise programmes and measures of exercise adherence.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Volume 2000, Issue 3

Publication date31/12/2000
Publication date online24/07/2000
PublisherWiley-Blackwell for the Cochrane Collaboration

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Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing