A team of scientists at the National Health Research Institute and China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan studied the health and habits of 430,000 people in Taiwan from 1996 to 2008.
Exercising for just 15 to 20 minutes a day made smokers 55 per cent more likely to leave than people who weren’t active at all.
They also found that active smokers were 43 per cent less likely to go back to the previous condition once they quit.
Life expectancy was found to increase by 5.6 years on average, and the risk of death was reduced by 43 per cent, putting them at the same level as sedentary non-smokers.
“Our message is to quit and exercise—to do both is the best,” Professor Chi Pang Wen, who presented the data at the World Congress of Cardiology meeting in Dubai, told Digg.com.
“We want smokers to do as much exercise as possible,” he said.