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Health benefits of quitting smoking cancel out weight gain

13 July 2012 - 3:13pm
Written by: 
Jethro Still

People who worry about gaining a few kilos after quitting smoking should think about the long-term health benefits of their decision, the National Heart Foundation of Australia has said.

Responding to research in the British Medical Journal showing that those who quit smoking gain four to five kilograms in the first 12 months, the charity said that this should not deter people from kicking the habit.

Some private health cover will offer assistance with lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, which could benefit your wallet as well as your health.

"Giving up smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your heart health and while being overweight is also a risk factor for heart disease, the health benefits of quitting far outweigh a few extra kilograms," said the charity's clinical issues director Robert Grenfell.

He explained that the study only considered smokers who were participating in clinical trials, meaning the results may not be representative of society as a whole.

Data from the a 2008 OECD study analysed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics recently revealed that just 17 per cent of people over the age of 15 smoke.