A Feasibility Study of Smoking Cessation Utilizing an Exercise Intervention among Black Women: ‘Quit and Fit’

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Background: Women who engage in higher levels of exercise while trying to quit smoking have been shown to be less likely to relapse and to sustain their smoking abstinence longer. This study sought to examine the benefits of exercise for improving smoking cessation among Black women. Methods: We evaluated the feasibility of a 12-week smoking and exercise intervention, Quit and Fit, tailored for Black women. All participants (intervention and control) received 12 weeks of smoking cessation counseling via telephone and 9 weeks of nicotine lozenges. Participants who were randomly assigned to the intervention condition were also assigned to a 12-week exercise group. Results: Thirty-eight women were enrolled and 27 completed a 12-week follow-up assessment. Women from the intervention group were more likely to complete the 12-week follow-up assessment compared to participants in the control group (80% vs. 61%). Overall, 7 of the 38 participants (18%) were abstinent at 12 weeks (biochemically verified by expired carbon monoxide). Among the 25 women who completed the 12-week follow-up, abstinence was reported in 33% of the intervention group and 20% of the control group. Using an intent-to-treat approach, 25% of women in the intervention group were abstinent at 12 weeks (n = 5), compared to 11.1% for the control group (n = 2). These differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: The overall retention rate was 71% (27/38) at 12 weeks with higher among the intervention group (16/20; 80%) compared to the control group (11/18; 61%). The study demonstrates that it is feasible to retain African-American women in a short-term study of smoking cessation and exercise.

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