Teens and Smoking: Help Them Kick the Habit


Each day, nearly 3,900 children under age 18 try their first cigarette, and more than 950 of them will become habitual smokers. New research demonstrates that regular exercise can help teens who smoke to kick the habit.

Researchers from George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services studied the smoking habits of teens from West Virginia, which is among the top 10 states with the highest smoking rate in the United States. Typically the teens in the research group smoked a half-pack of cigarettes during the week and a full pack on the weekends.

During the study, the teens’ smoking habits were analyzed as they participated in one of three activities:

  • a smoking cessation program
  • a short anti-smoking lecture
  • combined program of smoking cessation and fitness instruction

While all of the teens in the study raised their normal amount of physical activity, those who increased the number of days they took a 20-minute walk smoked fewer cigarettes each day. However, teens were more likely to quit smoking if they participated in a combined smoking cessation-fitness program.

Learn more about teen smoking and how to help them kick the habit by reviewing these articles:

Doctors can help prevent teen smoking, panel says

Teen smoking: 10 ways to keep teens smoke-free

Teen cigarette smoking drops to lowest point recorded, study says

Demographics of tobacco use

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