A laboratory-based evaluation of exercise plus contingency management for reducing cigarette smoking

Allison N Kurti, Jesse Dallery
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2014 November 1, 144: 201-9

BACKGROUND: Both contingency management (CM) and exercise have shown promise as smoking cessation treatments, but their combined effects have not been evaluated. The present study evaluated whether CM (in which motivational incentives are provided for abstinence) plus exercise reduced smoking more than either component alone.

METHOD: In a within-subjects design, 20 smokers were exposed to exercise plus CM, exercise plus CM-control (non-contingent incentives), inactivity plus CM, and inactivity plus CM-control.

RESULTS: CM increased latencies to smoke and decreased total puffs (Mdns = 39.6 min and .8 puffs, respectively) relative to CM-control (Mdns = 2.5 min and 12.8 puffs). Exercise decreased craving relative to baseline for craving based on both the pleasurable consequences of smoking (D=-10.7 on a 100-point visual analog scale) and anticipated relief from withdrawal (D=-5.9), whereas inactivity increased both components of craving (Ds=7.6 and 3.5). Exercise had no effect on smoking or a measure of temporal discounting.

CONCLUSIONS: Although exercise decreased craving, it did not affect smoking behavior. Exercise plus CM was not more effective than CM alone.

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