Fit & Quit Study at UTHSC Aims to Help Participants Stop Smoking, Maintain Weight

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The Fit & Quit Research Study at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is enrolling men and women from the greater Memphis area who want to stop smoking. The study will also investigate the best methods to maintain weight while they do it.

Stopping smoking leads to significant improvements in health. However, most people gain an average of about 10 pounds when they quit. This can negatively impact health.

Fit & Quit is a National Institutes of Health-funded research study testing three promising weight management strategies to determine the best approach for participants to stop smoking and manage their weight. The study is innovative in that both men and women are being recruited. Women commonly talk more about concern over gaining weight when they stop smoking, but men have been shown to be more likely than women to resume smoking because of weight gain.

Dr. Rebecca Krukowski

Rebecca Krukowski, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine in the College of Medicine at UTHSC, is the principal investigator on the study, which is funded at $3.3 million over five years.

All participants will receive the same evidence-based smoking-cessation program, as well as six months of Chantix at no charge. This combination provides the skills to quit smoking and the medication to reduce cravings. Smokefree.gov rates the combination of medication and a behavioral program as the only four-star or most-effective approach to quitting smoking. The website was created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute.

Participants will be asked to focus on weight management for the first eight weeks, and then participate in a six-week smoking-cessation program. All sessions will be conducted in groups over the phone with a trained interventionist, who will provide personalized, consistent support throughout the program. For participants in two of the groups, there will also be five monthly phone sessions after the smoking-cessation program.

Three in-person study visits are required to determine eligibility. If enrolled, there will be four in-person data collection visits post-enrollment. Participants must have access to email and a phone.

In-person visits are conducted at the Midtown Clinic, 66 North Pauline Street, Suite 501, or the East Memphis Clinic, 756 Ridge Lake Boulevard, Suite 206.

For more information, email fitquit@uthsc.edu, call (901) 448-2000, or visit www.fitandquit.org.