Not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking On average, people who quit smoking gain only about 10 pounds You are more likely to gain weight when you stop smoking especially if you stop smoking when you have smoked for 10 to 20 years or smoked one or more packs of cigarettes a day. You can control life. Although you might gain a few pounds, remember you have stopped smoking and taken a big step towards a healthier life.
What causes weight gain after quitting? When nicotine, a chemical n cigarette smoke, leaves your body, you may experience: Short-term weight gain. The nicotine kept your body weight low, and when you quit smoking your body returns to the weight it would have been had you never smoked.
You might gain 3-5 pounds due to water retention during the first week after quitting.
A need for fewer calories when quitting to smoke. After you stop smoking, you may use fewer calories than when you were smoking.
Will this weight gain hurt your health?
The health risks of smoking are far greater than the risks of gaining 5 to 10 pounds. Smoking causes more than 400,000 deaths each year in the United States. You would have to gain 100 to 150 lbs after quitting to make your health as high as when you smoked. The health risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting are listed below.
The Health Risks of Smoking
**Your Heart Rate Increases
**You expose yourself to some 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke and 40 of these chemicals cause cancer.
**You are much more likely to get lung cancer compared to a nonsmoker. Men are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer, while women who smoke are 12 times more likely.
**You are twice as likely to have a heart attack as a nonsmoker.
**You increase your risk for heart attack as a nonsmoker.
**You increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer (lung especially), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other lung diseases.
The Benefits of Quitting
When you quit smoking your body begins to heal from the effects of the nicotine within 12 hours after your last cigarette.
Your heart and lungs start repairing the damage caused by cigarette smoke.
You breathe easier and your smoker’s cough starts to go away.
You lower your risk for illness and death from heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, and other types of cancer.
You contribute to cleaner air, especially for children who are at risk for illnesses because they breathe others cigarette smoke.
Adapted from the National Cancer Institute’s “Smoking:Facts and Tips for Quitting”