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Extra exercise helps depressed smokers kick the habit faster
Date:7/22/2014

This news release is available in French.

Montreal, July 22, 2014 People diagnosed with depression need to step out for a cigarette twice as often as smokers who are not dealing with a mood disorder. And those who have the hardest time shaking off the habit may have more mental health issues than they are actually aware of.

Those insights were among the collective findings recently published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research by a team of researchers based in part at Concordia University.

While nearly one in five North American adults are regular smokers, a figure that continues to steadily decline, about 40 per cent of depressed people are in need of a regular drag. The statistic motivated the researchers to investigate what was behind that higher percentage.

The findings revealed that those who struggle with mental illness simply have a tougher time quitting, no matter how much they want to. The anxiety, cravings or lack of sleep that accompany typical attempts to quit cold turkey will have them scrambling for the smokes they might have sworn off earlier that evening. A person without clinical depression is better equipped to ride things out.

Yet a bit more exercise has been shown to reduce the compulsion to reach for a cigarette even if it is not enough to alleviate the symptoms of the depression itself.

Based on an 18-month study, quitting was found to be easier in the midst of even the most basic workouts, since withdrawal symptoms were reduced in the aftermath of regular walks.

"The review should be seen as a call to arms," says study co-author Grgory Moullec, a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with Concordia's Department of Exercise Science. "Our hope is that this study will continue to sensitize rese
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Contact: Clea Desjardins
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
51-484-824-245-068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

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