The first long-term study on the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking cessation offers good news: Eating more healthy produce can help smokers quit the habit and remain tobacco-free longer.
Researchers from New York’s University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions surveyed 1,000 smokers ages 25 and over from around the country. In a 14-month follow-up, they were asked if they had abstained from tobacco use during the previous month. Those that consumed the most produce were three times more likely to have been tobacco-free for at least 30 days than those that ate the least amount of produce.
Smokers with greater fruit and vegetable consumption also smoked fewer cigarettes per day, waited longer to smoke their first one and scored lower on a common test of nicotine dependence. The findings, published online in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal, remained consistent even when adjusted for age, gender, race, ethnicity, education and household income.