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12 Jul
2012
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You Don’t Have To Gain Weight When You Quit Smoking

A recent study, based on 62 other pieces of research, found evidence that one of the fears of smokers is true. The fear is that of gaining weight when they quit smoking. The average weight gain was around 10lbs after 12 months of abstinence from smoking.

But that’s just the averages. The initial gain was about 2lbs a month slowly dropping to the 10lbs at twelve months. But there was actually huge variation within the study. Some smokers lost weight. About 1 in 4 gained under 2lbs over the twelve month study period, and 1 in 5 had lost weight at the end of the twelve months.

Worth noting is that people who sign up for clinical trials are not necessarily representative – they may not be an ‘average’ smoker, and so the findings of clinical trials like these may not relate well to real life.

“Quitting smoking at age 40 increases life expectancy by nine years, even taking into account the possible post-cessation weight gain.”

Henri-Jean Aubin, professor of psychiatry

Methods of quitting included in the trial were: nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin, Voxra, Budeprion, Aplenzin), varenicline (Chantix, Champix), and exercise. As usual, hypnotherapy was not one of the tested stop-smoking therapies. Hypnotherapy tends not to get tested because there’s no money in it for the Pharmaceutical companies who make $ millons by convincing smokers that giving up is really difficult and they need help. The truth is that the vast majority of smokers who successfully stop smoking do so without any help and without any drugs.

The next most effective method is hypnosis.

Bupropion was originally tested and marketed as an anti-depressant, but it wasn’t very good so they’re now passing it off as if it were the bee’s knees in smoking cessation drugs.

Varenicline has had suicidal ideation and occasional suicidal behavior, erratic behavior, and drowsiness reported as side-effects. The manufacturer, Pfizer, have added “some patients have reported changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions” to the drug’s safety information.

The majority of clients, coming to see me for help to stop smoking, do not express any concerns about putting on weight. But after reading this research it could well be that the smokers who are concerned about weight gain do not seek help to quit.

Still, in my quit smoking treatment, I talk about weight gain and how it isn’t going to happen. In the hypnosis I reinforce this and weight gain just doesn’t seem to be a problem with clients that I help to stop smoking.

Michael

 

The Study:

http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4439

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