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Nicotine Tob Res. 1999 Sep;1(3):259-68.

Long-term effects of nicotine gum on weight gain after smoking cessation.

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Smoking Cessation Research, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA 02108, USA.


Smoking cessation usually results in weight gain. Nicotine gum therapy has been found to reduce weight gain in the first months after cessation, but its long-term effects are not fully known. The present study randomly assigned 608 smokers to receive placebo, 2 or 4 mg nicotine gum. In a follow-up analysis to the short-term weight change results reported in a previous paper [Doherty, Militello, Kinnunen, & Garvey (1996), Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 64:799-807], we examined the effects of the nicotine gum on weight change for 1 year after cessation among the 92 1-year abstainers. We found that weight change showed some variation with gum dose (active vs. placebo), but that weight change appeared to depend more strongly on the percentage of pre-cessation cotinine levels replaced by the nicotine gum. Participants who replaced higher proportions of their pre-cessation cotinine during the gum therapy period gained less weight during the first year post-cessation than those who replaced less cotinine, with those who replaced greater than 90% of their cotinine gaining only 1.7 kg by 1 year post-cessation. These findings suggest that future research is warranted to determine whether sufficiently high levels of nicotine replacement can help to permanently reduce cessation-related weight gain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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