Smokers trying to snuff out the habit may want to consider increasing their fruit and vegetable intake after a new study showed that those who follow healthy diets were three times more likely to quit and stay tobacco-free longer.
In a study that surveyed 1,000 smokers in random phone interviews in the US, researchers found that those who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to go smoke-free for at least 30 days at a follow-up interview 14 months later.
Smokers who regularly tucked into salads and fruits also smoked fewer cigarettes a day and scored lower on a test of nicotine dependence.
The study, published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, offers up several possible explanations for this pattern, one of which posits that while meats, caffeinated beverages and alcohol may enhance the taste of tobacco, fruits and vegetables may actually worsen the flavor of cigarettes.
The higher fiber content of these foods could likewise help people feel fuller, as smokers sometimes confuse hunger with an urge to light up, said researchers from the University of Buffalo.
Their conclusion? In addition to quitlines and public policies, the study suggests that healthy dietary plans could serve as another measure in anti-smoking measures.
Another recently published paper found that smokers who used hypnotherapy and acupuncture treatments were up to four times more likely to quit.