Skip to content
decoding obesity business logo

Episode 59: Smoking And Obesity


Smoking And Obesity

All of us have some bad habits that we have been longing to give up but just can’t. For some of us, that bad habit is smoking. However, we hear stories of immediate weight gain after quitting, and we ask ourselves, “Is it really worth it?” If that is your question, then join us in today’s episode of the Decoding Obesity Podcast! Hopefully, by the end of this episode, you will be able to make a decision that will surely be for the best of your own health!


Key Takeaways:

Join me in today’s episode and learn:

  • The benefits of quitting smoking
  • Different studies on the association of smoking and weight gain/loss
  • Other detrimental effects of smoking on health
  • The average weight gain after quitting smoking
  • The causes of weight gain after quitting smoking


How Nicotine Induces Weight Loss:

  1. It causes appetite suppression.
    • Inhalation of nicotine from cigarette smoke causes a rapid elevation in the blood concentration of nicotine, which mediates a rapid rise in some of the neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, which themselves have an effect of inhibiting food ingestion. Due to this mechanism, the appetite of smokers is reduced.
  2. The metabolic rate is revved up. 


Why Smoking Cessation Leads to Weight Gain:

  1. The rewards of food are the same as the rewards of nicotine.
    • Food and nicotine addiction share similar pathways in the brain. Nicotine, as well as food high in fat and sugar, activates these reward circuitries in the brain.
  2. Overeating becomes a way to relieve anxiety.
    • Nicotine has been shown to reduce anxiety. Hence, withdrawal can cause anxiety and stress either overeat or smoke again.


What You Need to Know About Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking:

  1. With increasing time from quitting, the risk of obesity falls to almost that of non-smokers.
  2. Compared to current smokers, former smokers are still at an increased risk of obesity even more than 30 years after quitting.
  3. Weight gain is the highest in the first two years; then it starts to decline afterward.


How to Keep Metabolism Up Even After Smoking Cessation:

  1. Increase your overall physical activity and regular exercise. 
  2. Do not replace nicotine addiction with food addiction.
  3. Nicotine replacement therapy can be helpful.
  4. Medications like Bupropion, Varenicline, or Chantix may be of help.
  5. A combination of the above strategies may help.



“Quitting smoking is always a good idea.”

“Tackling both smoking and obesity can be challenging, but the sooner you start taking action, the better it is.”



Episode 33: Are We All Addicted to Food?


Don’t forget to leave a review.

Thank you for listening to another episode of Decoding Obesity!


Continue the Conversation here