Exercising Increases Quit Rate Among Depressed Smokers

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

A study from Concordia University suggests that smokers diagnosed with depression light cigarettes twice as often as people with no mood disorder. And those who find it very difficult to quit may have other mental health issues than what they actually know.

bigstock-Man-running-in-a-gym-on-a-trea-61080305The study revealed that those who suffer from mental condition have more difficulties quitting, regardless of their willingness to quit. The cravings, anxiety, or the lack of sleep that goes with quitting cold turkey usually have them reaching for cigarettes which they have sworn off earlier that day. People with no clinical depression on the other hand can better handle the withdrawal symptoms.

But, exercising a bit more has shown to lessen the urge to smoke – though it may not be enough to directly ease the symptoms of depression.


The study suggests that quitting was easier even with the most basic exercises. The withdrawal symptoms are reduced after the physical activities such as walking in the park, climbing the stairs, running in the treadmill, or riding a bike. These findings can lead to further research on the promising role of exercise in treating depression and nicotine addiction.

Also, this research can leave hints to smokers having difficulties to quit for possibility of depression or other mental disorder that may not have been sufficiently diagnosed.

Continues research on how exercise can possibly help smokers quit can effectively contribute to the overall quit rate increase. People wanting to quit smoking would grab the first chance they have to lessen the effect of nicotine withdrawal and quit smoking for good.

However, stronger evidences may be needed to convince policy makers according to the researchers. There is still some hesitations on the role of exercise as against with pharmacological methods. But ambitious trials and research, and high-standard procedures can help determine which intervention or interventions yield the best results.


More work has to be done to finally put an end to the habit of smoking. Physical activities may just be one of the alternatives or tools to help a smoker quit. There may be other effective and helpful ways available. One can even combine nicotine replacement therapy with other alternative treatments such as hypnosis, counseling, yoga, etc. There is really no one method that applies to all. The withdrawal symptoms may be the same or similar to many but quitting smoking has remained more of a personal process. What may be effective to others may not be effective to some. What is more important is, there exist the willingness to quit smoking for good and you are doing something to make it work – and exercise offers an alternative specially for smokers suffering from depression.



Previous post:

Next post:

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list