Wednesday September 19, 2018

Gaining Weight After Quitting Cigrattes, Still Better In the Long Run: Study

Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying'' prematurely.

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Compared with smokers, even quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, a Harvard-led study has found. VOA
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If you quit smoking cigrattes and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new U.S. 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 research. “I don’t think we knew that with the assurance that this paper provides.”

The New England Journal of Medicine published the study Wednesday. The journal also published a Swedish study that found quitting smoking seems to be the best thing diabetics can do to cut their risk of dying prematurely.

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Your health improves, even if you gain weight. Pixabay

10 pounds or more

The nicotine in cigarettes can suppress appetite and boost metabolism. Many smokers who quit and don’t step up their exercise find they eat more and gain weight — typically less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), but in some cases three times that much.

A lot of weight gain is a cause of the most common form of diabetes, a disease in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Diabetes can lead to problems including blindness, nerve damage, heart and kidney disease, and poor blood flow to the legs and feet.

In the U.S. study, researchers tracked more than 170,000 men and women over roughly 20 years, looking at what they said in health questionnaires given every two years.

The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less educated and more likely to smoke heavily.

The researchers checked which study participants quit smoking and followed whether they gained weight and developed diabetes, heart disease or other conditions.

Weight, Cigrattes
Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit. Pixabay

Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit. An editorial in the journal characterized it as “a mild elevation” in the diabetes risk.

Studies previously showed that people who quit have an elevated risk of developing diabetes, said Dr. Qi Sun, one the study’s authors. He is a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Also Read: Preventing Type 2 Diabetes With the Help of Weight Loss

But that risk doesn’t endure, and it never leads to a higher premature death rate than what smokers face, he said.

“Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying” prematurely, Sun said. (VOA)

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Usage of E-Cigarettes In American Teens Have Reached ‘Epidemic Proportions’: FDA

Gottlieb slammed the e-cigarette makers for approaching the problem of underage use as "a public relations challenge.''

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Do you believe e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking? Think again. Pixabay

American teens’ use of e-cigarettes has hit “epidemic proportions,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement released Wednesday.

In what it called the “largest coordinated enforcement effort in FDA history,” the agency issued written warnings and fines to 1,300 retailers for their role in selling the devices to children.

According to the data cited by the FDA, last year more than 2 million middle school and high school students used the devices, which deliver nicotine in an inhalable form.

In a speech at FDA headquarters, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end.”

 

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In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that’s sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

 

Until now, the FDA had eyed e-cigarettes as a powerful tool to help adults break their habit of using conventional tobacco products. But research has found little evidence of such products’ effectiveness.

Gottlieb admitted that the agency had neglected to take into account how attractive the flavored products would be to youths.

The commissioner said the FDA would continue to study e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative for adult smokers, but “that work can’t come at the expense of kids.”

The FDA said it was giving the makers of Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic, the five top-selling brands, 60 days to present the agency with a viable plan to prevent vaping among children. If they fail, it could order the products off the market.

The five brands account for more than 97 percent of U.S. sales, according to the FDA.

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Packages of flavored liquids for e-cigarettes are seen displayed at a smoke shop in New York City. VOA

Critics have long argued that the manufacturers of e-cigarettes are deliberately targeting children by offering their products in sugary flavors.

Also Read: Daily Cigarette Smokers Develop Greater Risk of Heart Attack, Says Study

Gottlieb slammed the e-cigarette makers for approaching the problem of underage use as “a public relations challenge.”

“I’m here to tell them today that this prior approach is over,” he said. (VOA)