Nicotine and Tobacco Research is the first journal that published a study on the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and quitting smoking.
UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions’ authors questioned 1,000 smoking people at the age of 25 and older from the country by means of random-digit dialing telephone interviews. They talked with the smokers 14 months later, questioning them if they had refrained from cigarette consumption in the course of the previous month.
Gary A. Giovino, PhD, chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at UB said that in other studies smokers answered about their diets. He added that their previous work showed that people who did not smoke cigarettes for less than 6 months ate more fruits and vegetables than those who still use tobacco. What remained questionable was whether recent quitters raised their fruit and vegetable consumption or if smoking people who consumed more fruits and vegetables give up smoking.
The UB study revealed that smoking people who ate the most fruit and vegetables were 3 times more likely to smoke less for at least 30 days at 14 months later than those eating less fruits and vegetables. These obtained data remained even when adjustments were made to take into account age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, household revenue and health orientation.
They as well revealed that smoking people, who ate a lot of fruit and vegetable, used fewer cigarettes per day in the course of the day and scored lower on a usual test of nicotine dependence.
Jeffrey P. Haibach, MPH, first author on the paper and graduate research assistant in the UB Department of Community Health and Health Behavior declared that they may have established a new method that can help people stop smoking. Although this is only an observational study, but amelioration of one’s diet may contribute to smoking cessation.
Consumption of fruits and vegetables is a step forward in quitting because higher fiber consumption from fruits and vegetables make people feel fuller and they have less nicotine dependence.
Haibach explains that there is a probability that fruits and vegetables give people more of a feeling of satiety or fullness so that they feel less of a need to smoke, since smoking people sometimes confuse hunger with smoking urge.
“Fruits and vegetables do not enhance the taste of tobacco in comparison with meats, caffeinated beverages and alcohol.”
“Fruits and vegetables may in fact worsen the taste of cigarettes.”