Smoking Cessation And Weight Gain

It is not clear whether weight gain during cessation is temporary or permanent, although the majority of studies indicate that some weight gain (about 5 pounds) is likely to be long-term. Although the mechanisms responsible for the weight gain are not clear, a number of hypotheses have been set forward. These include a metabolic effect for smokers; this is supported by research indicating that smokers and nonsmokers have few differences in the amount of calories consumed. Another hypothesis is that smoking lowers the body's ''set point'' for weight and smoking cessation raises that set point to be equivalent to that of nonsmokers. A third hypothesis is based on the observation that an increase in caloric intake occurs in those who stop smoking, and increased consumption may be responsible for the weight gain. Although weight gain is likely to accompany cessation, actual weight gain during smoking cessation does not appear to be related to cessation outcomes. Nevertheless, in reaction to smokers' stated concerns about weight gain, a number of strategies to prevent or reduce weight gain during cessation have been developed.

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