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Exercise helps depressed quit smoking

Posted on Jul 23 2014 | IANS

New York, July 23 : For depressed smokers, kicking the butt is difficult but with little exercise, this goal can be achieved to a certain extent, a study says.

People diagnosed with depression step out for a cigarette twice as often as smokers who are not dealing with a mood disorder.

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.

"We hope that these findings will encourage exercise in the treatment of both depression and smoking cessation," said first author Paquito Bernard from University of Montpellier in France.

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

"The findings revealed that those who struggle with mental illness simply have a tougher time quitting, no matter how much they want to," added Gregory Moullec, a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with Concordia University's department of exercise science.

A person without clinical depression is better equipped to ride things out.

"Most people eager to break the habit would no doubt leap at the chance to shed their cravings through physical activity alone," Moullec hoped.

The study appeared in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

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