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Vigorous Exercise Reduces Nicotine Cravings: Study

min read

By Jim Greene

A new British study found that vigorous exercise may benefit smokers who are trying to quit. The study, which analyzed findings from 19 different clinical trials, found that smokers reported a decrease in the frequency and severity of nicotine cravings during and after medium- to high-level aerobic activity.

The clinical trials divided participants into two groups: those assigned aerobic exercise, and those assigned to passive activities. All participants were adult smokers. The new analytical research found that smokers in the control group assigned aerobic exercise reported fewer and weaker nicotine cravings than those who were assigned to passive activities.

“Certainly, exercise seems to have temporary benefits, and as such can be strongly recommended,” said study leader Adrian Taylor, a professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of Exeter in Britain.

Researchers could not provide a definitive conclusion as to why exercise helped reduce nicotine cravings. Some surmised that exercise provides a distraction from nicotine cravings, while others believed it could also be explained by the release of mood-boosting brain chemicals during exercise which effectively “cancel out” the desire to have a cigarette.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Jim Greene


Jim has spent the last 5 years writing for a variety of health-related websites. At Activebeat, James is an essential member of the editorial team, providing information on exercise, diet & nutrition and men’s health – among many other things.

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