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Cancer Control Research

Williams, David M.


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Tobacco use continues to be the leading, preventable cause of cancer among women; however, approximately 21 % of women continue to smoke cigarettes. Mood-related withdrawal symptoms and concerns about weight-gain following cessation are significant predictors of relapse following initial cessation, especially among women. Moderate intensity exercise is a safe and low-cost adjunct to standard smoking cessation treatments that may help prevent relapse by improving mood and attenuating weight concerns during smoking cessation. Previous large-scale intervention trials have not found a significant effect for moderate intensity exercise, but adherence to these exercise programs has been poor, and therefore the effects of exercise cannot be isolated from the effects of program adherence. Conversely, controlled laboratory studies have shown that acute moderate intensity exercise can reduce cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms, but these effects have not been tested over the long term or with a prolonged exercise program. The proposed study will pilot research methods that will isolate the effects of a prolonged moderate intensity exercise program on smoking cessation among healthy adult female smokers. Specifically, we plan to compare the effects of a standard smoking cessation treatment, including one-time brief counseling and provision of nicotine patch plus an 8-week moderate intensity exercise program versus the same standard smoking cessation treatment plus equivalent contact control among 60 healthy women. A number of techniques will be used to increase compliance with the treatment program, thus more effectively isolating the effects of exercise. These include: (1) a two-week run-in period prior to randomization; (2) use of behavioral contracting prior to participant randomization; and (3) performance of all exercise on-site. Smoking cessation outcomes (continuous abstinence and point prevalence abstinence) will be verified by carbon monoxide and saliva cotinine. Physical activity will be evaluated by attendance at the supervised sessions.

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