The association between habitual physical activity and cigarette cravings, and influence of smokers’ characteristics in disadvantaged smokers not ready to quit
Springer Verlag (Germany)
© The Author(s) 2016. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Rationale Habitual physical activity (PA) may have an important role in suppressing cigarette cravings. Systematic reviews show a strong acute effect of bouts of PA on reducing cigarette cravings, and it may be that these effects accumulate. Objectives The aim was to investigate the relationship between habitual levels of PA and cigarette cravings in disadvantaged smokers not ready to quit by examining baseline cross-sectional data from the Exercise Assisted Reduction then Stop smoking study (EARS). Methods A series of linear regression models were applied to investigate the relationship between habitual PA and cigarette cravings, and to identify additional predictors of cigarette cravings. The analyses were extended by including interaction terms with PA to identify potential moderators of the relationship between PA and cravings. Results A higher level of moderate intensity PA was associated with lower cravings (p=0.033). Additional predictors were The Mood and Physical Symptoms Scale (p=0.007; higher scores were associated with higher cravings) and alcohol consumption (p=0.002; higher consumption was associated with lower cravings). In addition, a moderation effect of alcohol consumption was found; at higher levels of alcohol consumption, higher PA was significantly associated with higher cravings (p=0.023). Conclusions Overall, participation in regular PA is associated with reduced cigarette cravings; among those with heavy alcohol consumption this participation is associated with higher cravings. These exploratory analyses suggest that further research into the relationship between PA, alcohol consumption, and cigarette cravings is needed.
This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Health Technology Assessment Research Programme (project number 07/78/02, published in 2014 in Health Technology Assessment journal, 18:4), and with the support of additional internal institutional funds. See the HTA Programme website (www.hta.ac.uk ) for further project information. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
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First online: 02 June 2016