Quitting smoking is hard, but harder for many is the idea that the otherwise-totally-healthy choice seems to inevitably bring along with it the haunting specter of a few extra and almost always unwanted pounds hovering ever nearby.
But quitting smoking is, generally, seen as a life or death choice. Most people begin smoking when they are young and reckless, and as the years tick by, ditching the habit becomes ever more important as the reality of health woes set in.
Quitting smoking is also likely the single most important thing a person (that smokes) can do to increase their lifespan… but losing weight is a close second, and a new study reveals that the former is almost always an act that inhibits the latter, significantly so.
It’s almost anathema to say anything bad about quitting smoking in this day in age because somewhat like with vaccinating, the public health risks are so grave no one wants to discourage anyone from engaging in the life-saving behavior.
But scientists have bitten their lips and let us know that indeed, quitting smoking is not only tied with weight gain, but that the risk is worse than initially thought.
The research was actually comprised of results from dozens of studies, examined by a team in the UK and France.
Researchers found that average weight gain due to quitting smoking was a staggering 10-11 pounds in an average person, most of the change occurring during the first three smokeless months. Still, researchers say the benefits of quitting smoking outweigh the drawbacks of weighing more — they wrote:
“Although obesity is positively associated with an increased risk of all cause mortality, cohort studies indicate that modest weight gain does not increase the risk of death; smoking does.”
The research was published on the website of the British Medical Journal.