London: Smokers who exercise are likely to find it easier to quit successfully, say researchers.
A team of scientists at the National Health Research Institute and China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan studied the health and habits of 434,190 people in Taiwan from 1996 to 2008.
Getting just 15 minutes of exercise a day made smokers 55 per cent more likely to quit than people who weren`t active at all.
They also found that active smokers were 43 per cent less likely to relapse when they did quit.
Life expectancy was found to increase by 5.6 years on average, and the risk of death was reduced by 43 per cent, putting them at the same level as sedentary non-smokers.
Even if they didn`t quit, the benefits of an active lifestyle were obvious, with life expectancy in smokers getting 30 minutes of exercise a day increasing by 3.7 per cent.
“Our message is to quit and exercise — to do both is the best,” Professor Chi Pang Wen, who presented the data at the World Congress of Cardiology meeting in Dubai, told Digg.com.
“We want smokers to do as much exercise as possible,” he said, but added that even small amounts of activity – like a 15 minute walk every so often – was better than nothing.