News Notes

News Notes

The Editors:

U of M Recruiting Subjects for a Study on “Relaxation or Exercise: Key to Helping Older Women Quit Smoking?”

Older women are generally less likely to be motivated to quit smoking due to concerns about weight gain, stress, and changes in mood, among others. Researchers at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with the University of Connecticut, have received funding from the National Institutes of Health to address this issue. The REST (Relaxation of Exercise for Smoking Treatment) Study aims to assess the impact of using exercise or relaxation during smoking cessation in post-menopausal women. This study provides an opportunity for participants to receive state-of-the-art treatment for quitting smoking.

“There is greater risk of lower bone density and subsequent fracture in post-menopausal women, especially smokers,” says Dr. Sharon Allen, site principal investigator. “Exercise has been shown to have beneficial influence on smoking cessation, including helping to minimize weight gain, alleviate negative mood symptoms, and counteract bone loss. Relaxation is thought to help reduce stress, a big factor in smoking cessation.”

The study is recruiting about 300 post-menopausal women who are at least 45 years old and who are generally in good health and motivated to quit smoking. This is an opportunity for eligible women to receive supportive behavioral counseling and the medication varenicline (sold under the trade name Chantix). Subjects are randomly assigned to a supervised group program where they will learn how to use exercise or relaxation techniques during their smoking cessation efforts. “The most beneficial aspect of this study is that everyone receives maximal treatment for smoking cessation at no cost to them.”

For more information about this study, please visit www.TobaccoResearch.umn.eduREST.htm or call (612) 624-5439.