HomeWeight LossDiet TipsDoes Smoking Cause You to Lose Weight? Facts Uncovered 

Does Smoking Cause You to Lose Weight? Facts Uncovered 

For years, many have wondered, “Does smoking cause you to lose weight? The idea that smoking can help control weight has been around for a long time. Even in the 1930s, ads for cigarettes hinted things like “choose a cigarette instead of a sweet snack.” These ads were often aimed at women. This shows how advertising can really shape what people think and believe.

Does Smoking Cause You to Lose Weight?

Many people think that smoking can help you lose weight. And there is some science to back this up. A big study with 80,000 people found that smokers weighed about 5 pounds less than people who didn’t smoke. This study was in the International Journal of Epidemiology and said that tobacco was the reason for this weight difference.

However, it’s important to remember that even if tobacco might influence your weight, it doesn’t guarantee the body shape you desire. The study found that smoking affects how much you weigh, but it doesn’t change your body’s shape or where the fat is.

Why Does Smoking Cause You to Lose Weight?

  1. Metabolic Rate Boost: Nicotine, an active compound in cigarettes, accelerates the body’s metabolism, leading to an elevated heart rate. This heightened metabolic activity causes the body to expend calories more rapidly. In fact, research indicates that even moderate to low nicotine doses can hike up the resting metabolic rate by 6%. However, this isn’t a positive indication. An escalated metabolic rate stresses the heart, amplifying the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  2. Reduced Caloric Intake: A study from 2016 found that smokers tend to consume fewer calories. This might be linked to nicotine’s effect on ghrelin, often termed the “hunger hormone.”
  3. Appetite Suppression: Another fascinating aspect of nicotine is its ability to mitigate hunger. In a 2011 research study conducted on mice, it was observed that nicotine attaches itself to the α3β4 receptor. This receptor plays a vital role in evoking the feeling of satiety or fullness. When nicotine binds to this receptor, the resultant feeling mimics the satisfaction experienced post a hearty meal.

However, it’s paramount to understand that smoking-induced weight loss is not an emblem of health. Contrarily, it signifies that the noxious chemicals present in cigarettes are adversely affecting various bodily functions. Such disruptions can lead to severe health complications.

Does Quitting Smoking Cause Weight Gain?

A 2021 research conducted by the Endocrine Society highlighted an interesting pattern amongst individuals who quit smoking. In the initial two months post-quitting, there was a slight uptick in abdominal fat. However, as months progressed, there was a marked reduction in overall body fat. Several factors play into this weight fluctuation:

  1. Metabolic Rate Adjustment: Nicotine, a primary component in cigarettes, is responsible for elevating the heart and metabolic rates. Once smoking is discontinued, these rates normalize, causing the body to metabolize calories at a more sedate pace. This slowing down can be a factor in weight gain.
  2. Return of Appetite: The cessation of smoking often leads to an augmented sense of hunger. This is attributed to the rebalancing of hunger hormones which had been previously affected by nicotine. Additionally, the receptors governing feelings of fullness start operating optimally once again, resulting in a more pronounced appetite.
  3. Emotional Eating: For many, smoking serves as a stress-relieving mechanism. Post quitting, there’s a tendency to substitute cigarettes with food as a coping mechanism. This shift can result in increased caloric intake, further contributing to weight gain.

H2: Does Smoking Keep You Thin?

Many people think that smokers are usually skinnier than non-smokers. But the truth is more complicated. Just because you smoke doesn’t mean you’ll be skinny.

Dr. Karen Johnson from the University of Tennessee says “The myth that cigarette smoking keeps you thin is incorrect.”

Research backs this up. A big study in 2018 looked at 450,000 people in the UK. It found that people who smoked a lot were often heavier than those who smoked a little. Surprisingly, people who are more likely to be overweight might also be more likely to start smoking and smoke more.

Also, the belief that smoking more cigarettes means you’ll be thinner isn’t true. A study of 6,000 Swiss people found that those who smoked more had bigger bellies. This means they had more fat in their stomach area. Another study in 2015 looked at the genes of 150,000 people and their smoking habits. It found that people with certain genes who smoked a lot could have bigger waists. So, smoking more could lead to gaining fat around the middle of the body.

Should You Smoke to Lose Weight? 

Simply put, smoking is detrimental to your health. In countries like Australia, it’s a leading cause of numerous diseases. Smoking is linked to 39 diseases, including 19 types of cancer and 7 heart problems. Even though quitting can be tough, it’s much better for your health. Let’s look at why using smoking to lose weight is a bad idea:

Breathing Problems

Smoking really hurts your lungs. It can lead to diseases like COPD, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. People with these problems often have trouble breathing, cough a lot, and get tired easily because their lungs aren’t working well.

Heart Troubles

Smoking is bad for your heart and blood vessels. It increases the risk of heart problems and strokes. One big issue is atherosclerosis, where stuff builds up in your arteries and makes it hard for blood to flow. This raises the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.


The main cause of lung cancer worldwide is smoking. The American Lung Association says that cigarette smoke has over 7,000 chemicals, and 70 of them can cause cancers in parts like the mouth, throat, bladder, and more. Even if you don’t smoke, being around someone who does (second-hand smoke) can still put you at risk.

Reproductive Problems

Smoking affects both men and women’s ability to have kids. Research shows that it can make it harder to get pregnant and can cause issues like miscarriage, early birth, and having small babies.

Teeth Problems

Smoking is bad for your mouth. It can cause tooth decay, gum problems, bad breath, and even increase the risk of mouth cancer.

Mental Health Implications 

A concerning facet of smoking is its association with mental health disturbances, such as depression and anxiety. For those with existing conditions, smoking can exacerbate symptoms.

Can Quitting Smoking Help You Lose Weight?

When people quit smoking, it can indeed impact their weight. A study from 2012 showed that between 16-21% of smokers lost some weight in the year after they quit. Another study in 2021 revealed that after quitting smoking, some people might initially gain a bit of belly fat in the first couple of months. However, in the following months, they generally experienced an overall body fat reduction.

The reason behind this is linked to nicotine. When someone quits smoking, the body doesn’t get nicotine anymore. This change allows the liver to produce more glucose, which our body uses for energy. Without nicotine interfering, the body can process and burn fat in a healthier manner.

Moreover, quitting smoking leads to other health improvements. Lungs begin to heal, making breathing easier. Many people also report better sleep and increased energy after they stop smoking. With improved energy levels, it becomes easier for individuals to engage in physical activity, which can help in weight loss.

In conclusion, while there might be a slight weight gain shortly after quitting smoking, the overall trend leans towards a healthier weight and improved well-being in the longer run.

Tips to Control Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking while trying to keep a healthy weight can be tough. But with hard work and good habits, you can do it. Here are some tips to help:

  • Make a Plan: Set a date to stop smoking. Think about how you’ll handle wanting to smoke and maybe gaining some weight.
  • Keep Moving: Exercise helps you deal with stress and can help speed up your body’s natural calorie-burning process, which can help with weight.
  • Eat Healthy Foods: Try to eat foods that are good for you. They’ll make you feel full, give you energy, and help you stay at a healthy weight.
  • Manage Stress: Being stressed can make you gain weight because your body makes a hormone called cortisol, which can make you hungry. Doing things like meditating, staying mindful, and exercising can help you deal with stress.
  • Talk to People: Share your goals with your friends and family or join a group of people who are going through the same thing. They can help keep you motivated.
  • Ask a Doctor: A doctor or another health person can give you tools to help quit smoking and give advice on how to stay at a good weight.

Does smoking make you lose face fat? 

No, smoking doesn’t specifically reduce facial fat. It can cause skin damage leading to premature aging and wrinkles.

Does smoking hookah make you lose weight?

No, smoking hookah doesn’t aid weight loss. It has health risks like increased lung cancer chances.

Does smoking poppers make you lose weight?

No, smoking poppers doesn’t help with weight loss and can damage the heart and blood vessels.

Does smoking vape make you lose weight?

No, vaping doesn’t promote weight loss. It can increase the risk of lung and respiratory issues.

Can cigarettes cause you to lose weight?

Cigarettes might suppress appetite and increase metabolism temporarily, but the health risks outweigh any potential weight loss benefits. Quitting might lead to weight gain, which can be managed with proper diet and exercise.

Do celebrities smoke to stay thin?

There’s no concrete evidence that celebrities smoke for weight control. Smoking isn’t a healthy weight management method.

How many cigarettes a day is safe?

No amount of smoking is safe. Even a few cigarettes daily can increase health risks.

Is VAPE worse than smoking?

Vaping has its health risks, but it’s considered less harmful than traditional smoking.

Is it ok to smoke socially?

No smoking level is safe, including social or occasional smoking.

Is it harder for former smokers to lose weight?

Former smokers might face challenges in weight loss after quitting, but with the right habits and support, it’s achievable.

In conclusion, the question “does smoking cause you to lose weight?” does have some scientific backing with smokers generally weighing less than non-smokers. The belief that smoking consistently leads to a slender physique is a myth. The dangers of tobacco use are vast, making it clear that any weight loss advantages are not worth the health implications. We invite you to share your experiences with smoking and weight and encourage you to delve deeper into related topics with Bodyfitnt. Your well-being is paramount, so always stay informed and make health-conscious choices.

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

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