One study shows that smoking cessation halves the risk of premature death, regardless of how overweight most ex-smokers are.

Weight gain

Smokers are generally thinner than non-smokers due to the manifold effects of nicotine on the metabolism (decreased appetite, inhibition of certain enzymes involved in fat absorption, increased basic energy consumption of the body).

These metabolic effects also largely explain why people who quit smoking gain weight in the months after they quit: 80% of ex-smokers gain 3 to 4 kilograms after their last cigarette, an accumulation that some even do can be over 10 kilograms. It was also observed that smoking cessation was associated with notable changes in the composition of the gut microbiome, with the appearance of a bacterial profile approaching that in obese people.

It therefore appears that smoking cessation promotes the establishment of a bacterial flora that is able to better extract the energy contained in food, which could contribute to the weight gain of ex-smokers.

Advantages intact

Given the many negative health effects of excess fat (hyperglycemia, chronic inflammation), is it possible that these disorders could diminish the many well-documented health benefits of smoking cessation? To answer this question, a team of Australian researchers tracked a population of 16,663 people over an 8-year period, made up of smokers (21.5%), ex-smokers (31.4% and those who were not%) . Throughout the study, researchers periodically interviewed participants about their health, and deaths during that period were compiled from a national registry.

The study first confirmed that ex-smokers experienced much greater weight gain when smoking cessation through hypnosis than normal smokers, with an average accumulation of 3.14 kg. However, this excess fat does not appear to affect the important benefits associated with quitting smoking in terms of risk of premature death.

Compared to people who continue to smoke, all ex-smokers have a halved risk of death, regardless of the number of extra pounds accumulated after quitting smoking. No significant increases in the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (BOPC risk) were observed in ex-smokers who had gained weight, compared to those who had maintained their weight.

The reduction in the risk of chronic illness and mortality associated with quitting smoking are so significant that they largely outweigh the effects of quitting smoking and fatigue for the duration of the negative metabolic disorders from excess fat.

Stop smoking

Quitting smoking is difficult, but in recent years new ways have emerged that greatly increase your chances of success.

The most effective approach right now is the use of electronic cigarettes, devices that vaporize nicotine at low temperatures, preventing inhalation of the thousands of toxic carcinogenic compounds that are produced when the tobacco is burned. The nicotine ingested with these electronic cigarettes therefore enables the smoker to quench his addiction while being much less harmful to health.(3).

Recent studies also show that these devices are about twice as effective at quitting smoking as traditional approaches (chewing gum, patches), especially for heavy smokers who have tried everything but simply cannot quit.

A recent study shows, for example, that the consumption of electronic cigarettes in these heavily dependent smokers is associated with a six-month abstinence rate that is six times higher than that of plasters or gums (19 vs. 3%). These products can therefore represent a very interesting alternative for heavy smokers and enable them to benefit from the enormous advantages of smoking cessation on life expectancy. Even when it comes to a few extra pounds that we can lose later!


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