AsianScientist (Apr. 23, 2012) – Exercise may help smokers quit and remain smoke-free, according to new data presented last week at the World Congress of Cardiology. Moreover, exercise helps both smokers and non-smokers live longer.
The study, conducted between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan, looked at 434,190 people who went through medical examination at a private fee-paying company. The data revealed that active smokers (30 minutes of exercise a day) were 55 percent more likely to quit smoking than those who were inactive.
Furthermore, active smokers were 43 percent less likely to relapse than smokers who were inactive.
Physical activity also increased life expectancy, even among smokers. Smokers who exercised lived 3.7 years longer and had a reduced all-cause mortality of 23 percent – equivalent to ex-smokers who exercised for 15 minutes a day.
For ex-smokers, the results were even more promising. Ex-smokers who exercised lived 5.6 years longer and had a reduced all-cause mortality by 43 percent – equivalent to non-smokers who did not exercise.
“Exercise can help smokers to quit and quitting smoking has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and that must be the goal of all smokers,” said Dr. C.P. Wen, National Health Research Institute, Taiwan.
“If smokers can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all-cause and for cardiovascular diseases in the long run,” he added.
According to the World Heart Federation, smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as people who have never smoked. Moreover, second-hand smoke exposure is responsible for 600,000 deaths every year.
Within five years of stopping smoking, a person’s risk of having heart attack is halved and within 15 years is reduced to that of a non-smoker.
Source: World Heart Federation.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.