You can run away from your cigarette, UBC study suggests

Close to half the smokers quit after 10 weeks of running

Want to leave your cigarette behind? Better start running.

A UBC study released Tuesday suggests half the people who finished a 10-week running program were able to quit smoking.

Of the 72 smokers who lasted the entire 10 weeks in the Running Room’s 2016 Run to Quit program, 37 of them managed to stop smoking.

“This shows that physical activity can be a successful smoking-cessation aid and that a community-based program might offer that,” said Carly Priebe, postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s school of kinesiology and lead study author.

“Doing it on your own is very difficult.”

However, the 72 smokers represent barely half of the 126 people who started the program. Most of the 54 who stopped running did so around week five, the designated “quit week.”

The program was split between classroom time and walking/running up to five kilometres at a time. The participants had access to one-on-one phone counselling and had their carbon monoxide levels tested regularly.