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Obes Rev. 2015 Oct;16(10):883-901. doi: 10.1111/obr.12304. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

The association between quitting smoking and weight gain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

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Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.


This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to quantify weight gain after smoking cessation and the difference in weight gain between quitters and continuing smokers. Five electronic databases were searched before January 2015. Population-based prospective cohort studies were included if they recorded the weight change of adult smokers from baseline (before smoking cessation) to follow-up (at least 3 months after cessation). Thirty-five cohort studies were identified, including 63,403 quitters and 388,432 continuing smokers. The mean weight gain was 4.10 kg (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.69, 5.51) and body mass index (BMI) gain was 1.14 kg m(-2) (95% CI: 0.50, 1.79) among quitters. Compared with continuing smoking, quitting smoking was significantly associated with absolute weight (adjusted mean difference [MD]: 2.61 kg; 95% CI: 1.61, 3.60) and BMI gain (adjusted MD: 0.63 kg m(-2) ; 95% CI: 0.46, 0.80). Subgroup analyses using geographic region found that the difference in weight gain was considerably greater in studies from North America than from Asia. Follow-up length was identified as a source of heterogeneity, such that studies with longer follow-up showed greater difference in weight gain. Effective strategies are needed to encourage smokers to quit irrespective of potential weight gain and to help quitters avoid excess weight gain.


Cohort studies; meta-analysis; smoking cessation; weight gain

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