Characteristics of Physically Active Smokers and Implications for Harm Reduction
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OBJECTIVES: We sought to establish the prevalence of physical activity among smokers, whether or not physically active smokers were more likely to attempt cessation, and who these physically active smokers were. METHODS: We used logistic regression to contrast physically active and inactive smokers in a secondary data analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 1.1. RESULTS: Physically active smokers represented almost one quarter of the smoking population. Compared with physically inactive smokers, physically active smokers were more likely to have attempted cessation in the past year. Physically active smokers were more likely to be young, single, and men compared with their inactive counterparts. Income had no influence in distinguishing physically active and inactive smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Skepticism persists regarding the practicality and potential risks of promoting physical activity as a harm-reduction strategy for tobacco use. We found that a modest proportion of the daily smoking population was physically active and that engagement in this behavior was related to greater cessation attempts. Interventions could be developed that target smokers who are likely to adopt physical activity.
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