Why Are So Many Runners Able to Quit Their Long-Term Smoking Habit?

Rich Habits

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According to the the American Long Association, there are approximately 34 million smokers in America, representing about 13.7% of the population.

While the percentage of smokers continues to decline, as more non-smoking youth become adults, the fact remains that among existing smoking adults, quitting the smoking habit has proven almost impossible.

Almost Impossible, that is, until you take up jogging.

Research from the University of British Columbia found that half of smokers who completed a 10-week Run-to-Quit running program were able to quit smoking for good.

Why? How?

Running is a Keystone Habit. Keystone Habits are the most powerful type of habits that exist. What makes Keystone Habits so powerful is their ability to automatically eliminate Contradictory Habits, such as smoking.

Even better, Keystone Habits are unique because they promote the creation of Complimentary Habits,

In the case of Running, this Keystone Habit will not only help you quit smoking, a Contradictory Habit, it will create other habits, known as Complimentary Habits – eating healthy and reduced consumption of alcohol.

One Keystone Habit can eliminate multiple bad habits and contribute to the creation of multiple good habits.

So, don’t stress over eliminating bad habits. It’s a waste of your time and energy.

Instead, focus on creating one Keystone Habit. A single Keystone Habit will automatically help you eliminate all bad habits that get in its way, without the need to rely on discipline or willpower.

Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”



  1. Steve McGurl on August 31, 2023 at 7:51 AM

    Nice article Tom, im sitting on a porch in Belmar next to a smoker. If only she would run…

    • pwsadmin on September 5, 2023 at 10:02 AM

      Ha. I think I know that smoker very well.

  2. Randy Larkin on August 31, 2023 at 9:24 AM

    I find the discipline of running carries over to other activities. There are times I do not feel like running, but as I use the “habit of doing what I need to do” with running, I then use the “habit of doing what I need to do” to other things.