HealthDay News — Fear of unhealthy weight gain can be a factor holding smokers back from quitting, but results of a study presented at the American Heart Association Annual Meeting in Chicago indicate that even if patients gain a few pounds once they quit, their post-cigarette health is still much better than if they’d kept smoking.

To compare health outcomes in patients who quit smoking (n=1,305) with patients who continued smoking (n=2,803), Hisako Tsuji, MD, of the Health Promotion Department in Osaka, Japan, and colleagues examined follow-up and check-up information from 1997 to 2013.

Of the participants who quit smoking, 362 did not gain weight, 458 gained no more than two kilograms, and 485 gained more than two kilograms.

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Compared with patients who kept smoking, the risk of dying over the study period was still 34% lower among quitters who did not gain weight, 49% lower among those who gained no more than two kilograms, and 26% lower among those who gained more than two kilograms.

“Quitters had a significantly lower risk of death compared to smokers regardless of their weight change after they stopped smoking,” Tsuji said in an AHA news release.


  1. Tsuji H et al. “People who gained weight after quitting smoking still had lower death risk.” Presented at: American Heart Association Annual Meeting. Chicago; Nov. 15-19.