Smoking Cessation and Weight Concern

Weight concerns are associated with a smaller likelihood of quitting among smokers with low nicotine dependence.  ​
Weight concerns are associated with a reduced likelihood of quitting among smokers with low nicotine dependence.

The World Health Organisation has estimated that tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) is currently responsible for the death of about six million people globally each year, with many of these deaths occurring prematurely. 

Deciding and attempting to quit smoking can be challenging and multiple factors often contribute to the choice to do so and the success. 

One controversial factor, that has been suggested may act as obstacle to successful cessation, is fears of weight gain.

A recent study, conducted with a population-based sample of 355 adult daily smokers in Finland, gathered information about smoking status, nicotine dependence and smoking-specific weight concern.

The results show that for individuals classed as having low nicotine dependency, there was a significant relationship with smoking cessation and weight concern. They found that within this group, greater weight concern predicted a reduced likelihood of both smoking cessation and smoking reduction.

These results highlight the importance of addressing all of the worries individuals may have when making the decision to quit smoking. It also emphasises the importance of incorporating relevant information and support, with regards to weight concern, into smoking cessation interventions. 

Tuovinen, E. L., Saarni, S. E., Kinnunen, T. H., Ollila, H., Ruokolainen, O., Patja, K., ... & Korhonen, T. (2018). Weight concerns as a predictor of smoking cessation according to nicotine dependence: A population-based study. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 35(5), 344-356.
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