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Yale J Biol Med. 2015 Sep 3;88(3):289-94. eCollection 2015 Sep.

Obese Smokers as a Potential Subpopulation of Risk in Tobacco Reduction Policy.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
3
Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ; Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

Smoking and obesity represent the largest challenges to public health. There is an established inverse relationship between body mass index (BMI) and smoking, but this relationship becomes more complicated among obese smokers. Smokers with higher BMI consume more cigarettes per day and may be more nicotine-dependent than lean smokers. Rates of obesity are lower among smokers than non-smokers, indicating that chronic exposure to tobacco smoke may prevent excess weight gain in people who would otherwise become obese. Furthermore, obese smokers may be more sensitive to the weight-suppressive and reinforcing effects of nicotine. Consequently, obese smokers may respond differently to reduction in the nicotine content of cigarettes, a tobacco control policy being considered both in the Unites States and abroad. Here, we review the interrelationship between nicotine and obesity in the context of a potential nicotine reduction policy. We discuss the implications of nicotine-induced body weight suppression in obese smokers, as well as the possibility that obesity might increase susceptibility to smoking and nicotine dependence.

KEYWORDS:

insulin; nicotine; obesity; tobacco

PMID:
26339212
PMCID:
PMC4553649
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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