Many smokers are worried that they will get fat if they try to quit. Some even use that worry as a reason not to quit.
"That's a bad idea for many reasons," says Scott McIntosh, PhD, associate professor of community medicine and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester in New York and director of the Greater Rochester Area Stop Smoking Center. "Not everyone who stops smoking grows fat." Even those who stop smoking, he says, earn on average only 4-10 pounds.
In fact, for many ex-smokers, getting a little fat is healthy. Research shows that smoking actually causes some people to be thin in an unhealthy way.
Even so, if you're worried, remember this: Some simple strategies can help limit weight gain when you stop. Once you've successfully cracked tobacco addiction, you can work on losing the weight you've gained.