Sunday February 17, 2019

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

New Device Equally Harmful as E-cigarettes

"If the current trend continues, tobacco use will cause more than eight million deaths annually by 2030 around the world," noted Sharma

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Talia Eisenberg, co-founder of the Henley Vaporium, uses her vaping device in New York, Feb. 20, 2014. VOA

While we know about the harmful effects of traditional cigarettes and vaping, new heated tobacco devices are no less toxic to the human lung cells than ordinary cigarette smoke, said researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

The study has compared new heated tobacco devices, which heat solid tobacco instead of an e-liquid, with vaping and traditional cigarettes showing that all the three are toxic to the cells.

In addition, these newer electronic nicotine delivery devices can destroy lung tissue leading to fatal diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and pneumonia, and can increase the risk of developing asthma.

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, and with the introduction of e-cigarettes in the last decade, the trend of nicotine uptake is not going to slow down in the near future,” said Pawan Sharma, a researcher at the University of Technology Sydney.

“The latest addition in this emerging trend is the planned and vigorous introduction of heated tobacco devices. They are commonly called next generation or heat-not-burn products. We know very little about the health effects of these new devices, so we designed this research to compare them with cigarette smoking and vaping,” added Sharma.

For the study, researchers tested the effects of all three nicotine sources on two types of cells taken from the human airways: epithelial cells and smooth muscle cells.

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A woman smokes an electronic cigarette in London, Aug. 19, 2015. VOA

In healthy lungs, epithelial cells act as the first line of defence to any foreign particles entering the airway while smooth muscle cells maintain the structure of the airway. However, smoking can lead to difficulty in breathing primarily by hampering the normal functions of these cells.

The team exposed the cells to different concentrations of cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapour and vapour from a heated tobacco device, and measured whether this was damaging to cells and whether it affected the cells’ normal functions.

The findings, published in ERJ Open Research, showed that cigarette smoke and heated tobacco vapour were highly toxic to the cells both at lower and higher concentrations while e-cigarette vapour demonstrated toxicity mainly at higher concentrations.

Also Read- Here Comes The Novel Method to Predict Fatal Heart Disease

Importantly, the review of the European Respiratory Society’s Tobacco Control Committee’s own data on these devices has shown that, in rats, there is evidence of lung inflammation, and there is no evidence of improvement in lung inflammation and function in smokers who switch to heated tobacco, said Professor Charlotta Pisinger from the varsity.

“If the current trend continues, tobacco use will cause more than eight million deaths annually by 2030 around the world,” noted Sharma. (IANS)