Possible weight gain is ‘a deterrent to stop smoking’

2 May 2014

Smokers may be deterred from quitting if they gained weight during a previous attempt to stop, suggests new research from Penn State College of Medicine.

On average, people gain eight to 14 pounds within the first year of quitting. The new study claims that some smokers continue the bad habit because they do not want to gain weight.

Researchers surveyed 186 smokers who sought treatment to stop smoking and 102 who avoided it.

They were asked questions about weight gain during previous attempts to quit and about putting on the pounds during future efforts.

The results suggested both groups were equally concerned about gaining weight. The deciding factor to stop appeared to be whether there was a increase during previous attempts at quitting. 

Overall, 53 per cent of all the participants had put on the pounds in the midst of a prior effort to stop smoking. Of these, those highly concerned about this happening again were the most likely to avoid seeking treatment. 

Susan Veldheer, lead author of the study, commented: "Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that smokers who gained weight previously are 'once bitten, twice shy'.

"They are concerned about weight gain if they attempt to quit even though they may know the benefits of quitting."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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