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Quitting Smoking: Dealing With Weight Gain


Table of Contents


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.   Quitting Smoking: Dealing With Weight Gain

Many people worry about gaining weight when they quit smoking. Most people gain some weight at first after they quit, but many lose this weight over time. But keep your focus on quitting. After you are confident of not relapsing, you can deal with losing any weight you may have gained.

If you do start to gain weight, there are steps you can take.

The important thing is to quit smoking. The minute you quit, you'll be starting a much healthier life.

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  What is the connection between quitting smoking and gaining weight?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Why should you quit smoking if it's going to make you gain weight?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  How can you deal with weight gain when you quit smoking?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Where to go from here

What? - What is the medical information or key concepts related to the action?  What is the connection between quitting smoking and gaining weight?

There are several reasons why people may gain weight when they quit smoking.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. People gain weight when they quit smoking because nicotine curbs your appetite and dulls your taste buds.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      Without nicotine, many people have a better appetite and find that food tastes better.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      Without nicotine, many people have a better appetite and find that food tastes better.


Why? - Why the action is important?  Why should you quit smoking if it's going to make you gain weight?

First of all, not everyone gains weight. Some people are able to keep their weight down when they quit smoking.

And if you do gain a little weight, it's still better than smoking:

Test Your Knowledge

  1. Smoking is far worse for your health than gaining a few pounds.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      Exactly right. Continuing to smoke increases your risk for many serious health problems.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      Smoking is a lot worse. Continuing to smoke increases your risk for many serious health problems.


  2. Which of the following are reasons to quit smoking even if it makes you gain weight?

    1. You will lower your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.

      All of these answers are correct.

      Quitting smoking has a huge effect on your health.

    2. You will lower your chances of getting lung cancer.

      All of these answers are correct.

      Quitting smoking has a huge effect on your health.

    3. A few extra pounds can be lost later. Continuing to smoke increases your risk for many serious health problems.

      All of these answers are correct.

      Quitting smoking has a huge effect on your health.

    4. All of the above.

      All of these answers are correct.

      Quitting smoking has a huge effect on your health.


How? - Learn the steps involved in taking action.  How can you deal with weight gain when you quit smoking?

Be aware

Knowledge is a powerful thing. Now that you know that quitting smoking can make you want to eat more, or eat more often, you can be ready for it.

Have a plan

Keeping control of your weight will be easier if you have a plan. Before your quit day:

Tips for avoiding weight gain

Think positive, and keep temptation away:

Remember, looking good is much more important than how much you weigh. Smelling clean and smoke-free, having fresh breath, having fingers and teeth free of yellow tobacco stains, and feeling healthier all make you more attractive.

Food and cigarettes

A big reason people gain weight is that they reach for food instead of a cigarette after they quit.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. The best way to control your weight when you quit smoking is to go on a diet.

    1. True

      This answer is incorrect.

      You should focus instead on eating healthy food and getting more exercise. It's hard enough to quit smoking. To go on a diet at the same time could lower your chances of success.

    2. False

      This answer is correct.

      It's hard enough to quit smoking. To go on a diet at the same time could lower your chances of success. Focus instead on eating healthy food and getting more exercise.


Where? - Other resources and organizations that can help you take action.  Where to go from here

Talk with your doctor

If you have questions about this information, make an appointment with your doctor and take the information with you. Your doctor may have more ideas on how to help you quit smoking and control your weight.

Now that you have read this information, you are ready to control your weight as you quit smoking.

If you would like more information on quitting smoking, the following resources are available:

Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Smoking and Tobacco Use
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA  30333
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
TDD: 1-888-232-6348
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Web Address: www.cdc.gov/tobacco
 

This website provides resources for quitting smoking and tobacco prevention, including information for children, teens, researchers, and scientists. There are also reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fact sheets, a publications catalog, a smoking and health resource library, and other materials, such as buttons, calendars, and eCards.

This is also the location for the State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System.


National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines
Phone: 1-800-784-8669 or 1-800-QUITNOW
 

The toll-free number is a single access point to the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines. Callers are automatically routed to a state-run quitline, if one exists in their area. If there is no state-run quitline, callers are routed to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) quitline, where they may receive help with quitting smoking, informational materials, and referrals to other resources.


Smokefree.gov
Phone: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
TDD: 1-800-332-8615
Email: NCISmokeFreeTeam@mail.nih.gov
Web Address: www.smokefree.gov
 

This website provides free information and professional assistance to help support people who are trying to quit smoking. The information provided is for both the immediate and long-term needs of people who are trying to quit and for friends and family who care about them.

This website includes an online guide to quitting smoking, local and state telephone quitlines, the National Cancer Institute's national telephone quitline and instant messaging service, and publications that can be ordered or downloaded and printed. There is also a link to women.smokefree.gov, which has more resources for women who want to quit smoking.


References

Other Works Consulted

Credits for Quitting Smoking: Dealing With Weight Gain

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised August 15, 2013

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