According to doctors, an average amount of weight gain after smoking cessation is 2.9 kg. However, the recent study has found that quitters typically put on 4-5kg after a year of quitting smoking.
The study states that the 2.9kg figure is a wrong estimate and physicians should provide realistic figures to patients.
The study published on the British Medical Journal’s website stated that quitting smoking may be a reason of 4-5kg in weight after a year of not smoking, and most weight gain happens within 3 months of stopping smoking.
12 months after quitting, 16 per cent of people had in fact lost weight compared to when they smoked, the team of UK and French medical academics revealed.
However, 37 per cent of quitters had put on to 5kg, 34 per cent had gained 5kg-10kg and 13 per cent put on 10kg more.
Nearly half of quitters put on 1kg-8kg, the researchers revealed.
According to the review of 62 previously published studies of weight gain after smoking cessation, those who used nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches had put on 4.5kg after a year, those who quitted using their willpower gained 4.7kg, those who used Zyban – 4.8kg or Champix – 5.3kg.
But Dr Paul Aveyard, a professor of behavioural medicine at Birmingham University, said that there is no evidence that either Zyban or Champix prevents weight gain.
Nearly 20 per cent of adult Britons, it is 9.6 million people, are current smokers. Every year, 40 per cent of them, it is about 3.8 million, try to stop smoking.
But only 5-6 per cent of those who try to quit, or 2-3 per cent of all smokers – approximately 192,000 people – managed.
Due to the fact that nicotine in cigarettes is an appetite suppressant, weight gain is common consequence. An excessive appetite is one of the widest-spread side effects of smoking cessation.
The study’s findings may discourage women especially from trying to stop smoking as studies show women are ready to accept gaining no more than 2.3kg as after smoking cessation.
Glyn McIntosh, chief executive of the smoking cessation charity Quit, said that women should not be afraid of quitting and think they all will gain huge amounts of weight, as that’s not the case. McIntosh added that smoking cessation has a different influence on everybody and that some quitters do not gain any weight at all.
Exercising while trying to quit and afterwards, and eating healthy food, can help in stopping weight gain, she added.