Sunday January 26, 2020

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

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.

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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)

Next Story

Vaping May not Help with Smoking Cessation: Report

The report found that smoking cessation could reduce the risk of many negative health effects, including reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and numerous cancers

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Many people may be vaping nicotine through e-cigarettes, smoking. Pixabay

The US government released on Thursday its first smoking cessation report in 30 years, showing that there is inadequate evidence to conclude that e-cigarettes help quit smoking.

It is difficult to make generalizations about efficacy for cessation based on clinical trials involving a particular e-cigarette, according to the report.

E-cigarettes have long been embraced as a less harmful way to satisfy smokers’ nicotine addiction, but all-time high youth vaping in the country has prompted calls for action to stem their use, the Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 3.6 million middle and high school students report that they used e-cigarettes in 2018, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed premarket applications for all flavoured e-cigarette products that continue to be sold by Aug. 8, 2021.

The FDA suspended this month the sale of cartridge-based e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco or menthol.

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A man uses a vape as he walks on Broadway in New York City, September 9, 2019. VOA

Also, the report said cessation medications approved by the FDA and behavioural counseling could increase the likelihood of successfully quitting smoking, particularly when used in combination.

More than three out of five US adults who have ever smoked cigarettes have quit. However, less than one-third use FDA-approved cessation medications or behavioural counseling, the report said.

Cigarette smoking among American adults is at an all-time low (14 percent), according to the report. However, it remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Approximately 34 million American adults currently smoke cigarettes.

Also Read: Tinder Rolling out a Photo Verification Service to Curb Catfishing

The report found that smoking cessation could reduce the risk of many negative health effects, including reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and numerous cancers.

“I’m calling on healthcare professionals, health systems, employers, insurers, public health professionals, and policy makers to take action to put an end to the staggering and completely preventable human and financial tolls that smoking takes on our country,” said Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams. (IANS)