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Nicotine Tob Res. 2001 Feb;3(1):51-60.

Characterizing concerns about post-cessation weight gain: results from a national survey of women smokers.

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  • 1Nicotine Research Laboratory, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center, Ann Arbor 48108, USA.

Abstract

Differences among adult women smokers with differing levels of concern about post-cessation weight gain were investigated in a national random-digit-dialing survey. To avoid defining weight concerns in terms of possible etiologies or contributory factors, respondents were stratified using a single item querying concern about post-cessation weight gain; 39% described themselves as very concerned (VC), 28% as somewhat concerned (SC), and 33% as not concerned (NC). Significant between-groups differences were detected for measures of weight and body image, eating patterns and weight control practices, and nicotine dependence, but not for depression. Differences, primarily between VC and NC, were also detected for several weight-related smoking variables, including importance of weight as a factor in initiation, smoking as a weight control strategy, increased appetite and weight gain as withdrawal symptoms, willingness to gain weight upon quitting, self-efficacy about relapse in the face of weight gain, and readiness to quit smoking. Most differences persisted even after adjusting for body mass index and nicotine dependence. Although the importance of thinness was rated higher by weight-concerned women, the difference did not reach significance. Rather, what differentiated groups was the importance of overall body image, suggesting a larger pattern of preoccupation with body image that may not be captured by queries about weight concerns alone. We conclude that weight-concerned women smokers will be especially unlikely to seek treatment or attempt self-quitting; and that redirecting attention to other aspects of body image is likely to be more helpful than attempting to divert attention away from body image.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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