Exercise helps people quit smoking, Austrian researchers find.

Nicotine replacement is one of the most useful tools for people who want to kick their cigarette habit. But kicking these kickers into high gear works even better, find Ralf H. Zwick, MD, and colleagues at Otto Wagner Hospital in Vienna, Austria.

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Zwick enrolled 68 smokers in a three-month study. All of them got nicotine-replacement therapy. At the same time, half of the would-be quitters enrolled in an exercise program.

The nicotine treatment worked pretty well. Just over half of the smokers on nicotine replacement alone were able to quit.

Exercise plus nicotine worked even better. Eighty percent of those who moved their butts put out their butts.

"Exercise training is an effective therapy without side effects and aids in smoking cessation," Zwick and colleagues reported at the CHEST 2006 meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held Oct. 21-26 in Salt Lake City.

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By Daniel J. DeNoon, reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

SOURCES: CHEST 2006 meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, Salt Lake City, Oct. 21-26, 2006. Chest, October 2006 supplement, vol 130: p 145S.