212. Specific Populations and Other Topics - Weight Gain (Continued)

Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update

Text version of slide presentation.

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Clinician statements to help a patient prepare for, and cope with, postcessation weight gain

Clinician statements:

  • The great majority of smokers gain weight once they quit smoking. However, even without special attempts at dieting or exercise, weight gain is usually 10 lbs or less.
  • Some medications including bupropion SR and nicotine replacement medicines may delay weight gain.
  • There is evidence that smokers often gain weight once they quit smoking, even if they do not eat more. However, there are medications that will help you quit smoking and limit or delay weight gain. I can recommend one for you.
  • The amount of weight you will likely gain from quitting will be a minor health risk compared with the risks of continued smoking.
  • I know that you don't want to gain a lot of weight. However, let's focus on strategies to get you healthy rather than on weight. Think about eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and avoiding high-calorie foods and beverages. Right now, this is probably the best thing you can do for both your weight and your health.
  • Although you may gain some weight after quitting smoking, compare the importance of this with the added years of healthy living you will gain, your better appearance (less wrinkled skin, whiter teeth, fresher breath), and good feelings about quitting.


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Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created September 2012
Internet Citation: 212. Specific Populations and Other Topics - Weight Gain (Continued). Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/guidelines-recommendations/tobacco/clinicians/presentations/2008update-full/slide212.html