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Living Near Green Spaces May Lower the Rate of Smoking

The study published in the journal 'Social Science and Medicine' showed that neighborhood green space is linked to lower rates of smoking

If you want to quit smoking, read on. Researchers have found that living near green spaces or neighborhoods was linked to lower rates of smoking and higher chances of quitting.

The study, published in the journal ‘Social Science and Medicine’, demonstrated that access to neighborhood green space is linked to lower rates of smoking.

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“This study is the first to investigate the association between neighborhood green space and smoking behaviors in England,” said study author Leanne Martin from the University of Plymouth in the UK.

“Its findings support the need to protect and invest in natural resources — in both urban and more rural communities — in order to maximize the public health benefits they may afford,” Martin added.

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For the findings, the research team examined the responses of more than 8,000 adults to questions about their health, where they lived, and various other lifestyle factors.

Of the survey’s respondents, just under one fifth (19 percent) described themselves as current smokers while almost half (45 percent) said they had regularly smoked at some point during their lives.

Smoking
They have also demonstrated that individuals who visit natural spaces weekly and feel psychologically connected to them, report better physical and mental wellbeing. Unsplash

However, even after taking into account other factors known to influence smoking, people living in areas with a high proportion of green space were 20 percent less likely to be current smokers than those in less green areas.

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In addition, among the people who had smoked at some point during their lives, those living in greener neighborhoods were up to 12 percent more likely to have successfully quit smoking.

The authors suggest that improving access to green space may constitute an overlooked public health strategy for reducing smoking prevalence, especially given that smoking uptake and cessation are affected by stress.

Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: बॉन्ड, जेम्स बॉन्ड – कहने वाले को आखिरी सलाम 

Previous studies by the same team have shown that being able to see green spaces from your home is associated with reduced cravings for alcohol, cigarettes, and unhealthy foods.

They have also demonstrated that individuals who visit natural spaces weekly and feel psychologically connected to them, report better physical and mental wellbeing.

Also Read: Change in Indian Healthcare Industry is Need of the Hour

“If our findings are substantiated by further work, nature-based interventions could be prescribed to assist individuals attempting to give up smoking,” the study authors wrote. (IANS)

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