OBJECTIVE:

To understand the influence of physical activity on teen smoking-cessation outcomes.

METHODS:

Teens (N = 233; 14–19 years of age) from West Virginia high schools who smoked >1 cigarette in the previous 30 days were included. High schools with >300 students were selected randomly and assigned to brief intervention (BI), Not on Tobacco (N-O-T) (a proven teen cessation program), or N-O-T plus a physical activity module (N-O-T+FIT). Quit rates were determined 3 and 6 months after baseline by using self-classified and 7-day point prevalence quit rates, and carbon monoxide validation was obtained at the 3-month follow-up evaluation.

RESULTS:

Trends for observed and imputed self-classified and 7-day point prevalence rates indicated that teens in the N-O-T+FIT group had significantly higher cessation rates compared with those in the N-O-T and BI groups. Effect sizes were large. Overall, girls quit more successfully with N-O-T compared with BI (relative risk [RR]: >∞) 3 months after baseline, and boys responded better to N-O-T+FIT than to BI (RR: 2–3) or to N-O-T (RR: 1–2). Youths in the N-O-T+FIT group, compared with those in the N-O-T group, had greater likelihood of cessation (RR: 1.48) at 6 months. The control group included an unusually large proportion of participants in the precontemplation stage at enrollment, but there were no significant differences in outcomes between BI and N-O-T (z = 0.94; P = .17) or N-O-T+FIT (z = 1.12; P = .13) participants in the precontemplation stage.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adding physical activity to N-O-T may enhance cessation success, particularly among boys.

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