11/07/2012 02:32 BST | Updated 11/07/2012 06:20 BST

Ex-Smokers 'Gain 5kg In Weight' After Quitting, Study Suggests

Former smokers gain four to five kilos in weight after they kick the habit, research suggests.

Researchers, based in the UK and France, found that former smokers gained an average of 4.67kg in the 12 months after they quit.

Most of the excess weight is gained during the first three months, they found.

former smokers gain weight

Ex-smokers pile on the pounds after kicking the habit

Analysing the results from 62 studies, the authors discovered that in the first three months after giving up, former smokers gain an average of 2.85kg.

Scroll down to see HuffPost's top tips on stubbing out the habit...

However, researchers found a large variation in weight change, with 13% of people gaining more than 10kg and 16% losing some weight.

The study, published on, is accompanied by an editorial which suggests that health benefits from quitting outweigh the excess weight gain.

Esteve Fernandez, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Barcelona, and Simon Chapman, professor of public health at the University of Sydney, said: "The relative long-term health effects of weight gain and smoking cessation also need to be considered with respect to the ultimate public health message that we should derive from this and future studies.


"Although obesity is positively associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, cohort studies indicate that modest weight gain does not increase the risk of death; smoking does."

If you haven't managed to stub out the habit yet, take a look at these tips on quitting by Patrick Holford, a nutritional expert and author of How To Quit Without Feeling S**t:

  • Balance your blood sugar levels by eating low GI foods. For an example of which foods are best, take a look here.
  • In the first two weeks giving up, mix 8g of vitamin C with water and apple juice, as your immune system will start to kick in and this will strengthen your resistance to illness.
  • Take 50mg of niacin (vitamin B3) twice a day with food as this will reduce those pesky nicotine cravings.
  • If you have trouble sleeping due to the cigarette urges, take 100mg 5-HTP (a form of amino acid tryptophan) an hour before bed. This will help to naturally ease you to sleep.

Take a look at these experts tips on how to quit smoking by hypnotherapist, Elle Dormer...

Five Ways To Quit Smoking

Plus: Other surprise things that could be making you gain weight...

Five Ways To Quit Smoking