Study finds why smokers gain weight when they quit
By Rajesh Kumar Singh
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scientists say they've made a discovery that might someday take the worry of weight gain out of quitting smoking.
It turns out that nicotine can rev up brain cells that normally signal people to stop eating when they're full.
The weight connection isn't huge. On average, quitters gain less than 10 pounds. Still, it's a worry that many smokers cite when asked why they don't try to quit. Now the question is whether the discovery might lead to better treatments to help them quit without worrying about weight.
Smoking causes cancer, heart attacks and a host of other ailments so worry about modest weight gain shouldn't deter someone from quitting. Study senior author Marina Picciotto of Yale University says smokers who do have that concern should try nicotine-based smoking-cessation treatments.
The research is in the journal Science.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)