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Trying to quit smoking can be a daunting task, but a recent study in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables may help increase success rates. Previous studies have linked the increased consumption to smoking cessation for up to six months but this study is the first to examine the relationship between the two.

The University at Buffalo public health researchers followed 1,000 adult smokers in the U.S. in an attempt to determine if recent quitters increased their fruit and vegetable consumption or if smokers who ate more fruits and vegetables were more likely to quit. The researchers found that regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, the highest fruit and vegetable consumption group was three times more likely to be successful at smoking cessation after 14 months than the lowest consumption group. The higher consumption groups also smoked less cigarettes per day, started to smoke later in the day and had a lower dependence on nicotine.

Possible explanations for the findings include increased fiber intake, the feeling of a full stomach and fruits and vegetables not enhancing the flavor of cigarettes as some other foods do.

Read the full Newswise article.