Prapavessis honored by cancer society


By Communications Staff
Monday, January 25, 2010
Western researcher and Kinesiology associate professor Harry Prapavessis, currently studying how exercise can be part of the solution to quitting smoking, has been named Canadian Cancer Society Researcher of the Month (Jan. 2010).
For women trying to quit, the fear of gaining weight can become a huge stumbling block. But following an exercise regime might make the process a bit easier.
Harry Prapavessis
“It can help smokers fight weight gain and deal with the other symptoms of nicotine withdrawal,” says Prapavessis. His team previously showed a supervised, vigorous intensity exercise program added to other cessation strategies - such as nicotine replacement therapy - helped people to stop smoking.
Unfortunately, research also shows that once an organized program ends, most people will relapse. If exercise continues, it helps people stay tobacco free.
Prapavessis is building on this notion with research funding from the Canadian Cancer Society. He plans to examine whether an inexpensive home-based exercise program in combination with a cessation strategy can prevent relapse among a group of 400 female smokers.
“We’re hoping that we not only learn more about the role exercise plays as a smoking cessation aid, we also hope to show that it can be an effective, low-cost part of a long-term cessation program,” he explains. “These findings may have important implications for improving the quality of life among individuals who want to stop smoking and the cost of healthcare to the Canadian public.”

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