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Exercise 'aids teens to stop smoking'

Encouraging teenage smokers not only to quit, but to get physically active, may boost their odds of truly managing to kick the habit, a study has said.

Some research in adults has suggested that exercise may help smokers quit, perhaps by easing withdrawal symptoms or taking the edge off cigarette cravings.

The study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, looked at the effects of adding exercise advice to a teen-focused smoking cessation programme.

Not on Tobacco (NOT) is the American Lung Association's quit programme geared specifically for US high school students.

It found that the quit rate for teenagers who added exercise to weekly group sessions was 31pc, while the standard quit rate was 21pc.

However, when the team in West Virginia looked more closely at the data, the added exercise seemed to help only boys.