Promoting pre-quit physical activity to reduce cue reactivity among low-income sedentary smokers: A randomized proof of concept study

Uma S. Nair, Bradley N. Collins, Freda Patterson, Daniel Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Smoking and lack of physical activity (PA) contribute to disproportionate rates of disease among low-income adults. Interventions that simultaneously address both risk behaviors have strong potential to reduce health disparities. Existing smoking-PA studies indicate promising results but have limited generalizability to low-income populations. The goal of this study is to assess the effects of an integrated behavioral counseling approach to promote low-to-moderate intensity PA (LMPA) and reduce short-term smoking cue reactivity among low-income sedentary smokers. Methods: This study uses a randomized, 2-group design with 4 measurement time points: baseline, quit day (week 4), 1-week and 1-month follow-up. Participants (sedentary, smoke. >6 cigs/day) receive 4. weeks of either (a) standard smoking cessation counseling (SCC control) or (b) our Step-Up to Quit (SUTQ) intervention that integrates advice for LMPA with SCC. SUTQ counseling focuses on increasing daily steps (walking) to reach 7500-10,000/day by week 4 (quit day) and explicitly links short bouts of LMPA with smoking urge management. Potential for SUTQ to facilitate urge management will be assessed by comparing between-group differences in the reduction (extinction) of quit day cue reactivity. We will explore group differences in quit rates at 1-week and 1-month follow-up. Discussion: This novel approach overcomes gaps in the PA-smoking intervention literature by promoting a more realistic PA approach for sedentary populations, using an ecologically valid strategy, integrating LMPA with evidence-based SCC during a 4-week pre-quit period, and testing the SUTQ counseling model in a high-risk sample. Results will guide future efficacy and dissemination studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cue reactivity
  • Health disparities
  • Multiple health behavior change
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Study protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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