Journal of Smoking Cessation

Articles

Cutting Down One Puff at a Time: The Acute Effects of Exercise on Smoking Behaviour

Guy E. Faulknera1 c1, Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulosa2 and Agnes Hsina3

a1 Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Canada. guy.faulkner@utoronto.ca

a2 Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Canada.

a3 Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Research consistently demonstrates that a bout of moderate exercise alleviates cravings to smoke among abstaining smokers. This pilot study examined the effects of an acute bout of brisk walking on cigarette cravings and smoking topography. Using a within-subject, crossover design, two 10-minute treatment sessions were conducted on separate days by 19 participants (M age = 24.6 years): passive (i.e., sitting) and brisk walking conditions. Participants rated cravings at baseline, midcondition, and at 0-, 10-, and 20-minutes postcondition and objective measures of smoking topography (puff count, puff duration, puff volume, interpuff interval [IPI], time to first puff [TTFP]) were obtained with the first cigarette smoked postcondition. A 2 (condition) × 4 (time) ANCOVA indicated lower desire to smoke (p < .05) during the walking condition than the passive condition. After the brisk walking condition, a series of ANOVAs demonstrated a significantly increased delay to first puff in comparison to the passive condition. Posthoc analyses (controlling for abstinence period) indicated significant lower puff volume and a trend for shorter puff duration following brisk walking in comparison to the passive sitting condition. A greater reduction in cravings was associated with a longer delay to first puff. In addition to reducing cravings, these results suggest that a bout of brisk walking may also change an individual's smoking behaviour.

Keywords

  • exercise;
  • topography;
  • cravings

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Guy Faulkner, Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, 55 Harbord Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2W6.