Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK (AP) – If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new U.S. study finds you’re still better off in the long run.

The Harvard-led study found that compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes.

The nicotine in cigarettes can suppress appetite and boost metabolism. Many people who quit find they eat more and gain weight. A lot of weight gain is a cause of the most common form of diabetes.

The researchers tracked more than 170,000 men and women over roughly 20 years. The New England Journal of Medicine published the study Wednesday.

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