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Will I gain weight if I quit smoking?

Frank T. Leone, MD
Pulmonary Disease

It is a very common concern among smokers that they will gain weight if they quit. However, not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking. In reality, one-third of smokers who quit will gain weight, one-third of those who quit smoking will maintain their weight and one-third of people will lose weight.

If you are gaining weight when you quit, this could be a sign that your withdrawal symptoms are not well controlled. People who use medications like a nicotine patch or bupropion to help them control withdrawal are much less likely to gain weight than people who quit cold turkey.

This fear is a very common concern among people who smoke. However, not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking. In reality, the statistics tell a very a different story. One third of people who smoke will gain weight when they quit smoking. One third of people who smoke will maintain their current weight when they quit smoking. One third of people who smoke will actually lose weight.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
One of the biggest fears that people have about quitting smoking is weight gain. On average, men gain about ten pounds within six months of quitting, and women, about eight. However, weight gain should be the very least of your worries. The dangers of smoking are far greater than the dangers of gaining six to ten pounds. Also, the weight gain is often temporary. For example, women may gain eight extra pounds within six months of quitting, but they commonly lose six within the next eighteen months. With careful planning, you can prevent weight gain altogether.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.