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Cohort study
Weight gain does not attenuate cardiovascular benefits of smoking cessation
  1. Serena Tonstad
  1. Preventive Cardiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Serena Tonstad, Preventive Cardiology, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Building 19, Oslo, N-0407, Norway; stonstad{at}

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Most people who stop smoking gain some weight, generally 3–6 kg. Cohort studies show that weight gain does not disappear with time. Theoretical calculations show that a gain of about 16 kg/m2 body mass index (BMI) units is required to offset the detrimental effects of smoking.1 However, weight gain may discourage continued abstinence, lead to new health problems or worsen existing ones. Cigarette smoking, especially heavy smoking, increases the risk of visceral fat accretion and diabetes; on the other hand postcessation weight gain may promote diabetes or impair glycaemic control. Quitters and their physicians may wonder if excessive weight gain offsets the benefits of cessation. This study examined whether the benefits …

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  • Competing interests None.