Smoking is bad for you; we get it. For anyone looking for an excuse to hold on to the habit for a little bit longer, though, there is some good news. A new study shows that within the first year after someone quits smoking, the average amount of weight they gain falls between eight and 11 pounds, according to the British Medical Journal.
Literature that helps and encourages smokers to kick the habit has told them the normal weight gain after quitting tops out at around six pounds, according to Web Pro News. For the calculator-impaired, that's only about half the weight someone should expect to put on, if the study is correct. Suppressing the craving for nicotine can reduce other inhibitions, like reaching for an extra piece of birthday cake or a larger order of fries at McDonald's.
While getting lung cancer or heart disease is much scarier than putting on a few pounds, that's not good news for anyone looking to put down the ciggs.
The study found that while 16 percent of participants actually lost weight after quitting smoking, 13 percent put on more than 22 pounds. Thirty-four percent of people involved in the study gained between 11 and 22 pounds, while 37 percent gained less than 11 pounds. Obviously, there is no one definitive result, but the trend is clear.
The British Medical Journal's study is a composite of 62 previous studies that researched individuals who quit smoking with the help of an aid such as a nicotine patch as well as those who quit cold turkey, reports MSNBC. Most people reported the weight gain taking place in the first few months they abstained from smoking.
The research concludes with a short editorial that points out the modest weight gain does not increase the risk of death; smoking does.
It's long been known that heavy nicotine consumption speeds up the human metabolism, although smokers might not notice weight loss until they've had the habit for a few years, according to Yahoo! Once the nicotine is removed from the equation, the metabolism returns to the point it was at prior to smoking, leading to potential weight gain.
Also, some smokers may appear thinner than non-smokers because of the decreased appetite nicotine is purported to cause. Other research suggests people eat less when they become a habitual smoker because constantly holding a cigarette to their lips decreases the urge to turn to food or suck on candy.