Eating Fruits and Vegetables Could Help Smokers Quit

A new study found that subjects who ate more fruits and vegetables were more likely to abstain from smoking for longer

Good news for people trying to quit smoking: Eating healthy just might help you stave off the nicotine cravings. A new study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research found that smokers who ate the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to be smoke-free for at least 30 days, compared to smokers who had the least fruits and vegetables.

Surveying 1,000 smokers 25 years or older, researchers interviewed subjects and followed up 14 months later. "This is just an observational study, but improving one's diet may facilitate quitting," study author Jeffrey P. Haibach concluded.

The higher success rate for healthy eaters persisted even when researchers adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity/education, income, and health.

Further research is necessary before decisive conclusions come to light, but "it is also possible that fruits and vegetables give people more of a feeling of satiety or fullness so that they feel less of a need to smoke," Haibach said, noting that smokers sometimes mistake feelings of hunger for a need to smoke. Also a factor: Fruits and vegetables may make tobacco taste worse. Alcohol and cigarettes, maybe, but throw in an apple and it's over.