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Addict Behav. 2006 Sep;31(9):1547-58. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Does exercise have an acute effect on desire to smoke, mood and withdrawal symptoms in abstaining adolescent smokers?

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  • 1The Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S10 2BP, UK.



Previous studies have shown that exercise acutely reduces desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms among adult smokers; however, no study has examined these effects in younger smokers. This study investigated the impact of a short bout of moderate intensity exercise on desire to smoke, withdrawal symptoms and exercise-induced affect in temporarily abstinent adolescent smokers.


Thirty-seven low-active male and female smokers aged 16-19 years, abstained from smoking overnight and were assigned to either (i) 10 min of moderate intensity cycle ergometry (n=18) or (ii) a placebo control condition that involved very light intensity cycle ergometry (n=19). Measures of desire to smoke, the Mood and Physical Symptoms Scale (MPSS) and Subjective Exercise Experience Scale (SEES) were administered at baseline, 5 min during, 5 min after and 30 min after both conditions.


A significant interaction effect for group by time was recorded for psychological distress scores, when the baseline value was covaried. Follow-up tests indicated that the exercise group reported significantly higher PD scores than the placebo control during exercise, but not at any other time point. No other significant effects were found for any other variables. Unlike research involving adult populations, a short bout of moderate intensity exercise did not alter desire to smoke among abstaining adolescent smokers and may negatively impact affective responses during exercise.

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