Link Between Smoking Cessation, Weight Gain Partially Explained

A study on the effects of drugs to treat depression accidentally yielded some insight into why those who quit smoking may put on weight during and after the quitting process.

Associate research scientist at Yale, Yann Maneur, says during a study on laboratory animals at the university, it became apparent some of the subjects began to eat less than they had been. Maneur explains:

We found that nicotine, when it enters the brain, activates specific nicotine receptors that are located on specific neurons known to decrease feeding and increase energy expenditure when activated.”

Essentially, CBS News points out, nicotine triggers a brain pathway that signals “you’ve had enough, put that cake down.” Then it prompts your body to use energy. But Maneur adds the study is not meant to advocate smoking, “of course.” Maneur did not say whether nicotine replacement therapies or devices such as the electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette) would provide the same weight gain inhibition.

The study was reported in the journal Science.