Weight Gain Linked to Smoking Cessation

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal is giving people another good reason to never try smoking in the first place. That is, if you don’t want to end up gaining weight when the time comes you want to kick the habit.

smoking cessation effectsAlong with other experts, Henre-Jean Aubin, MD, professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine at Centre d’Enseignement, de Recherche et de Traitement des Addictions at the University of Paris-Sud in France, investigated weight gain after quitting smoking.

Based on the Central Register of Controlled trials for smoking cessation interventions that resulted in weight gain, the researchers generated 62 studies and looked at weight gain at the start, then one, two, three, six and 12 months after quitting smoking. They found that after one month the average weight gain of quitters was 2.5 lbs; after two months was 5 lbs; after three months was 6.3 lbs; after six months was 9.3 lbs; and after 12 months was 10.3 lbs.

Although not all of the subjects gained weight, about 84 percent did. The researchers concluded that most gained around 10 pounds on the first year of quitting the habit.

“These data suggest that doctors might usefully give patients a range of expected weight gain, although further research should identify the subgroups most at risk of gaining weight and clarify the optimum content and timing of interventions to prevent weight gain after cessation,” the authors said.

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