In an article in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, is the first longitudinal study on the relationship between consumption and smoking.
The authors, in the UB School of Public Health and health care workers surveyed 1000 smokers aged 25 and older across the country, using random digit dialing telephone interview. They followed with respondents fourteen months later, asking them if they abstained from tobacco use during the previous month.
“Other studies have taken a snapshot approach, asking smokers and nonsmokers about their diet,” says Gary Giovino, Ph.D., chairman of the department of public health and health behavior at UB. “We knew from our previous work, that people who abstained from cigarettes for less than six months, consumed more fruits and vegetables than those who still smoke. What we did not know whether the recent quitters increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables, or smokers who ate more fruits and vegetables are likely to quit smoking. ”
UB study shows that smokers who consumed the most fruits and vegetables three times more likely to be tobacco-free for at least 30 days for the next 14 months later than it consumes the least amount of fruits and vegetables. These data are stored, even when adjustments were made for age, sex, race / ethnicity, education, household income and health orientation.
They also found that smokers with high consumption of fruits and vegetables, smoking fewer cigarettes per day, waited longer smoke their first cigarette of the day and had the worst performance of the overall test of nicotine dependence.
“Perhaps we have identified a new tool that can help people quit smoking,” said Jeffrey P. Haibach, MPH, first author on the paper and graduate research assistant in the Department of Public Health and the UB health behaviors. “Of course, this is only an observational study, but the diet can help improve their smoking cessation.”
Some explanation of features, such as nicotine dependence at least for people who consume lots of vegetables and fruit, or the fact that higher consumption of fiber from fruits and vegetables to make people feel full.
“It is also possible that fruits and vegetables, to give people greater feeling of satiety and fullness, so that they feel less need to smoke because smokers are sometimes confused with hunger, desire to smoke,” explains Haibach.
And unlike some products that are known to improve the taste of tobacco, such as meat, drinks with caffeine or alcohol, fruit and vegetables do not enhance the taste of tobacco.
“Foods such as fruits and vegetables can affect the taste of cigarettes,” said Haibach.
While smoking in the United States continues to decline, Giovino said, the pace of decline has slowed over the last decade or so. “Nineteen percent of Americans still smoke cigarettes, but most of them want to quit,” he says.
Haibach added: “It is quite possible that the improvement of the diet may be an important item to add to the list of measures to help smokers quit smoking course, we need to continue efforts to encourage people to quit smoking and help them succeed, including both reasonable approaches quit lines, politics.
UB researchers caution that more research is needed to determine if these data are replicated, and if they do, to determine the mechanisms that explain how the consumption of fruits and vegetables may help smokers to quit. They also see a need for research on other food components, as well as smoking cessation.
Gregory G. Homish, Ph.D., UB associate professor of department of public health and health behavior, and is co-author.