Weight Gain: A New Reason to Get Smokers to Kick the Habit

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 by: Reuben Chow
Tags: smoking, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Smoking is bad for health, period. Its ill-effects extend beyond respiratory issues and lung cancer to other parts of the body, too. It, for example, has also been linked in recent studies to bladder cancer and colorectal cancer. And now, research in Finland has revealed that smoking during adolescence is strongly associated with obesity in adulthood - this applied to both men and women.

Details and Findings of Study

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, had followed almost 4,300 Finnish twins who were born between 1975 and 1979. About half of them had never lit a cigarette, while about one among every eight had smoked during their adolescent years. By the time they were past 20 years of age, 24% of the men and 11% of women had breached the healthy weight range.

The study found that women who smoked during adolescence were likelier to be heavier when they got older. In fact, those who smoked at least 10 sticks each day during their adolescent years had twice the likelihood of becoming overweight, as compared with their non-smoking counterparts.

Bigger Waistlines, Too

The effects of smoking on weight can be zoomed into the abdominal area, too, with girls who smoked at least 10 sticks each day during adolescence having, on average, waistlines during their young adulthood which were 3.4 centimeters bigger than those who did not smoke.

And this tendency to develop larger waistlines seems to be independent of other lifestyle habits and the body weight of their parents, which would give an indication of possible genetic predisposition toward obesity.

"And most interesting, the apparent link between smoking during adolescence and being heavy later on was independent of the young person's own body weight - meaning that those who were heavy smokers had greater waist circumference even within the same body mass index levels as their non-smokers peers," said Dr Suoma E Saarni from the University of Helsinki in Finland, the leader of the study.

Helping Smokers To Kick The Habit

Smoking is an addiction that is terribly difficult to kick. Despite the fact that it so obviously burns holes not just in one's pockets, but also in one's health, smokers find reasons to continue puffing away. Or, perhaps, they fail to find reasons to stop.

Concerned loved ones often harp on the health dangers of smoking in a bid to get smokers to ditch the habit. But this approach often falls on death ears, mainly because threats of developing heart disease or lung cancer seem to belong so far into the distant future that they offer little bearing on one's choice of habits in the present day.

Perhaps of greatest concern, as far as smoking is concerned, is that more and more teenagers and young people in general are picking up the habit. This is where the findings of the Helsinki study may come in useful, especially on young ladies. They all, after all, contrary to popular belief - many young women in fact use "staying slim" as a reason or excuse for smoking.

While the risk of disease may not be a sufficient deterrent for most, the threat of bulging waistlines, out-of-shape bodies and overall loss of physical appeal may reach out to some. This new-found knowledge may thus provide a useful tool in convincing young smokers to become smoke-free once again.


Obesity risk might turn teens off smoking (

About the author

Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth. His website, All 4 Natural Health, offers a basic guide on natural health information. It details simple, effective and natural ways, such as the use of nutrition, various herbs, herb remedies, supplements and other natural remedies, to deal with various health conditions as well as to attain good health. His other websites also cover topics such as depression help, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as cancer research and information.

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