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J Smok Cessat. 2008 Dec;3(2):124-132.

Weight Gain After Quitting: Attitudes, Beliefs and Counselling Strategies of Cessation Counsellors.

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Free and Clear, Inc., United States of America.


Postcessation weight gain is common and a frequent cause of relapse. Although interventions to address weight gain and weight gain concerns exist, the experience of telephone cessation coun- sellors in addressing weight concerns is unknown. We surveyed 134 cessation counsellors providing quitlines for 30 states regarding their experiences and attitudes about how to address weight gain concerns among smokers trying to quit. Counsellors estimated they discuss weight in 40% of their calls, primarily discussing concerns about gaining weight. Counsellors estimated that smokers gain about 4.1 kg after quitting and about 48% gain more than 2.3 kg. Most counsellors believed that exercise, education about weight gain and preparing smokers for weight gain would help people quit, which is consistent with current science. A total of 51% of counsellors believed that dieting while quitting would reduce weight gain and only 35% correctly identified that dieting reduces a smokers' ability to quit. Some counsellors believed they needed more training in weight management and may need to be reassured that they are currently following treatment guidelines when confronted with smokers who have concerns about postcessation weight gain.

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