Cigarette smoking is an important public health problem. This study aimed to compare health-promoting behaviors, exercise capacity, physical activity levels, health literacy, and levels of knowledge about smoking-related diseases between smokers and non-smokers.
The study included 71 smokers (mean age=32.69±8.55 years) and 72 non-smokers (mean age=31.88±9.94 years) between the ages of 20 and 60 years. Assessments included the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), Godin Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire, Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II (HPLP-II), Cardiovascular Risk Factors Knowledge Level Scale (CARRIF-KL), Asthma/COPD Awareness Questionnaire, the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref questionnaire (WHOQoL-Bref [TR]), and Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ).
The number of coronary artery disease risk factors were significantly higher in the smoker group than the non-smoker group (p=0.001). Smokers had significantly lower %6MWT distance than non-smokers (84.83±4.72, 93.45±7.16 respectively, p0.05). Otherwise, while only forty-one (57.7%) of the smokers were active, 48 (66.7%) of the non-smoker group was active.
Exercise capacity is negatively affected in smokers compared to non-smokers. Although smokers and non-smokers have similar levels of health literacy and knowledge of cardiovascular disease risk factors and obstructive lung diseases, health professions could contribute to increase individuals’ awareness of smoking-related risk factors, the importance of physical activity and exercise for protecting cardiopulmonary health.