Washington: Ladies who are addicted to smoking just hit the gym to curb nicotine cravings, but only for the time being.

David Williams of Brown University, who led a study for treating women smokers by exercise said, “Exercise may be a useful treatment strategy, but it has to be done frequently enough and consistently enough because the effects that it has diminish over time.'”

Williams and colleagues at the Miriam Hospital, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and St. George University of London signed up 60 female smokers for an eight-week regimen of smoking cessation treatment.

Half were assigned to the exercise group, in which they briskly walked on a treadmill at the study centre for 50 minutes three times a week. The other half in the control group watched 30-minute health and wellness videos three times a week.

For each group, the researchers asked them about their mood and cigarette cravings immediately before and after each session. They also asked them again when they reached their next destination after each exercise or wellness session.

The researchers found that, relative to participants in the control group, those who exercised were more likely to experience improved mood and decreased cigarette cravings, but that these effects dissipated by the time of their next exercise session. 

Once Williams has a better sense of when the effects of exercise wear off, he'll know how frequent exercise needs to be to sustain its anti-craving benefit.