Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new US study finds you’re still better off in the long run.

Compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, the Harvard-led study found.

The study is impressive in its size and scope and should put to rest any myth that there are prohibitive weight-related health consequences to quitting cigarettes, said Dr. William Dietz, a public health expert at George Washington University.


‘‘The paper makes pretty clear that your health improves, even if you gain weight,’’ said Dietz, who
was not involved in the

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The nicotine in cigarettes can suppress appetite and boost metabolism.

Many smokers who quit and don’t step up their exercise find that they eat more and gain weight — typically less than 10 pounds, but in some cases three times that much.

associated press