Doctors: Kicking the habit worth any weight gain - Fox 2 News Headlines

Doctors: Kicking the habit worth any weight gain

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(WJBK) -

Doctors have some eye opening research when it comes to questions about just how much weight you are likely to gain if you quit smoking.

Harry Mittleman smoked for 35 years, "at the very end when I was quitting it was probably three and a half packs a day," he said. He was also overweight and gained even more weight after he quit smoking. Massachusetts General Hospital Doctor James Meigs said, "among people who stop smoking we were not really sure if that weight gain was harmful or not."

So in a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, doctors compared groups of smokers with those who quit and those who never smoked, looking at weight gain and heart health.

Dr. Nancy A. Rigotti said, "they will benefit by quitting smoking even if they're overweight, even if they have diabetes, even if they gain some weight."

Other doctors agree saying over a six year period among people who quit smoking, regardless of the weight gain they were about half as likely to have a heart attack or a stroke or die from heart attack.

As far as weight gain, those who quit smoking gained on average between six and ten pounds.

"If you're a current smoker you'll get a tremendous benefit from stopping smoking. You may gain a little weight but that won't reduce the benefits of stopping smoking" said Dr. James Meigs.

Researchers also say people who never smoked had about a 70 percent reduction in the risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to people who kept smoking.

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