The Zoomer Report: Pumping Iron and Quitting Smoking

Here’s important information for anyone who would like to quit smoking. Pumping iron may double the chance of the success, according to a study from Rhode Island.

The researchers found that three months of pumping iron seemed to help curb cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while lessening the weight gain that sometimes goes along with quitting.

Overall, men and women who completed the resistance training program were twice as likely to kick the habit as smokers who didn’t lift weights.

It’s a crucial finding because the study says while a majority of smokers want to quit, less than 5 percent are able to do it without help.

One group in the study did two resistance training sessions a week for 12 weeks.

The second group simply watched a health and wellness video twice a week.

After completing the regimen, 16 percent of the weight-lifting group had successfully quit smoking, according to the study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. As an added bonus, they also lost weight and body fat.

By contrast, only 8 percent of the smokers in the control group managed to quit, and they had also gained both weight and body fat.

Three months later, 15 percent of those in the weight-lifting group were still off cigarettes, compared to 8 percent of the control group. Those numbers aren’t exactly stellar, but they show a promising path to tackling an addiction kills thousands and thousands of people every year.

Photo © Katharine Andriotis

Libby ZnaimerAbout The Zoomer Report
Libby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.
Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.