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Smoking And Obesity: Overweight Smokers Gain More Weight When They Quit

First Posted: Aug 13, 2015 04:23 PM EDT

So many still indulge in the dangerous habit of smoking. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that close to 18 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 and older currently smoke cigarettes as of information from 2013.

Many begin smoking during their teens and are oftentimes addicted by the time they reach adulthood. When using tobacco products, nicotine is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. In fact, it takes just about 10 seconds for it to enter the body before reaching the brain, resulting in a release of adrenaline and a buzz of energy and pleasure. Another thing many typically feel is a feeling of satiety; that's why many smokers who quit may gain some weight along the journey to recovery from addiction. 

New findings published in the International Journal of Obesity reveal that body mass index and the number of cigarettes smoked per day could potentially be used as a way to predict weight changes during the decade after a smoker quits.

In this study, researchers analyzed information on about 12,000 adults under 36 collected between 2003 and 2012 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, according to a news release. They also factored in how many cigarettes participants smoked per day, BMI at the beginning of the study and whethery they quit during the study.

Though researchers noted that just about everyone gained weight who had smoked (close to 1 pound per year), they also found that those who smoked fewer than 15 cigarettes per day fared better with no significant weight gain over 10 years.

For those who smoked 25 cigarettes per day, they had gained about 23 pounds during the decade-long study, while those with a BMI of 30 or more before they quit had gained an average of 16 pounds during the study.

Weight gain has been shown to be a factor in previous studies. However, researchers are still not entirely certain as to what factors might predict whether or not an ex-smoker packs on the pounds. 

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