Assessing the effectiveness of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for smoking cessation in women: HIIT to quit study protocol

Pavey, Toby G., Gartner, Coral E., Coombes, Jeff S., & Brown, Wendy J. (2015) Assessing the effectiveness of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for smoking cessation in women: HIIT to quit study protocol. BMC Public Health, 15, Article number-1309.

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  • Smoking and physical inactivity are major risk factors for heart disease. Linking strategies that promote improvements in fitness and assist quitting smoking has potential to address both these risk factors simultaneously. The objective of this study is to compare the effects of two exercise interventions (high intensity interval training (HIIT) and lifestyle physical activity) on smoking cessation in female smokers.


  • This study will use a randomised controlled trial design. Participants: Women aged 18–55 years who smoke ≥ 5 cigarettes/day, and want to quit smoking. Intervention: all participants will receive usual care for quitting smoking. Group 1 - will complete two gym-based supervised HIIT sessions/week and one home-based HIIT session/week. At each training session participants will be asked to complete four 4-min (4 × 4 min) intervals at approximately 90 % of maximum heart rate interspersed with 3- min recovery periods. Group 2 - participants will receive a resource pack and pedometer, and will be asked to use the 10,000 steps log book to record steps and other physical activities. The aim will be to increase daily steps to 10,000 steps/day. Analysis will be intention to treat and measures will include smoking cessation, withdrawal and cravings, fitness, physical activity, and well-being.


  • The study builds on previous research suggesting that exercise intensity may influence the efficacy of exercise as a smoking cessation intervention. The hypothesis is that HIIT will improve fitness and assist women to quit smoking.

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ID Code: 92486
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Exercise ; Physical activity ; Smoking cessation ; Women ; High intensity
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-2631-3
ISSN: 1471-2458
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Pavey et al.
Copyright Statement: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 03 Feb 2016 04:57
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 23:01

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