Quitting smoking can cause you to gain weight

Regular smokers trying to break the habit are prone to comfort eating and weight gain, yet another study has suggested.

Experts from the University of Minnesota asked 42 cigarette users to stop smoking for a day and then choose from a tray of different snacks.

Their preferences were compared with smokers who were not asked to withdraw and a non-smoking group.

Scientists found that people who had retired from smoking were most likely to eat snacks high in salt and fat, such as Oreo cakesters and Rice Krispie treats.

Overall, they consumed up to 30 percent more calories than both non- and current smokers.

Experts said the find suggested smokers sought high-calorie snacks to fill the nicotine void.

About 6.9 million Britons smoke, but more than half say they want to quit. There are 34.1 million smokers in the US.

Studies showed that people who quit smoking, the withdrawal group, were most likely to grab high-fat foods (top left), high-fat and high-salt foods (top right), and low-fat sweet foods (bottom left). They were as likely to eat low-fat, salty foods as people who did not smoke and those who continued to smoke during the study. In most cases, participants were less likely to reach for food if they took naltrexone (black bars) to reduce cravings.

Regular smokers trying to break the habit may gain weight, study finds

Regular smokers trying to break the habit may gain weight, study finds

Young people who vape are ‘three times more likely to become daily cigarette smokers’

The number of young adult smokers in England shot up by a quarter during the first lockdown, a study found last month.

The increase alone is 650,000 adults aged 18 to 34.

The researchers, from University College London and the University of Sheffield, said the stress associated with strict Covid rules may be to blame.

But they wrote in Addiction magazine that there was also an increase in successful quitters across all age groups.

They also found that there was an increase in risky drinking among all groups, with the increase being greatest among women and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The study, which was funded by Cancer Research UK, reads: ‘In conclusion, the first Covid-19 lockdown in England in March-July 2020 was associated with an increased prevalence of smoking among younger adults and an increased prevalence of high-risk drinking among all socio-demographic groups.

The study, published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, recruited a total of 105 volunteers, who were between the ages of 18 and 75.

In the group asked not to smoke for a day, volunteers had an average of about 15 cigarettes per day.

In the majority of the study, 42 smokers were asked not to smoke cigarettes for 24 hours.

The scientists also involved 34 people who continued smoking and 29 non-smokers.

They were invited into a lab and all offered the same lunch, after which they had to wait two hours.

After this time, they were given a tray of snacks and treats and were allowed to choose which one they liked best.

Scientists wrote down their choices to calculate their calorie consumption.

Figures showed that smokers who were asked not to smoke cigarettes for a day consumed the most calories on average (457.6 calories eaten during lab sessions).

Current smokers consumed the second highest amount (385.2), followed by non-smokers (351.5).

In the second arm of the study, participants were asked to return to the lab ten days later and offered the drug naltrexone.

This drug is commonly used to reduce cravings and control alcohol consumption, and is sold under the brand names ReVia and Vivitrol.

They were then offered the same lunch a second time and two hours later they were shown the same tray.

Scientists found that calorie consumption decreased in all groups after receiving the drug.

Professor Mustafa al’Absi, a psychologist who led the study, said: “The study’s findings may be related to the use of foods, especially those with high calories, to cope with the negative feelings and distress that characterize is for the feelings people experience while smoking. recording.

“Results from preclinical and clinical research support this and show that stress increases the propensity for high-fat and sugar-rich foods.”

He added: ‘These findings extend previous studies indicating the impact of tobacco use on appetite and help identify the influence of an important biological link, the opioid system in the brain, on craving during nicotine withdrawal.

“The fear of weight gain is a major concern among smokers who are considering quitting.

“The key to breaking down these barriers is to better understand the factors that increase cravings for high-calorie foods.”

He suggested that smokers who don’t smoke cigarettes may eat more calories because of the opioid system, which is linked to pain relief.

Nicotine – the addictive ingredient in cigarettes – can suppress hunger pangs among smokers.

The UK aims to be ‘smoke-free’ by 2030, with many smokers already saying they want to kick the habit.

In Scotland, the target is 2034, while Wales and Northern Ireland both have no date yet.

The health risks associated with smoking are well known, including an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.


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