Is Smoking Really Worth The Weight?

It's hard to believe, with so much information available on the risks of smoking, that many women are unwilling to quit. However, a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors shows that fear of gaining weight still plays one of the biggest roles in carrying on the harmful habit.

A University of Michigan research team discovered several years ago that an incredible 75 percent of female smokers would not quit if it meant gaining more than five pounds, and nearly half consider just one extra pound too much. Study leader Cindy Pomerleau, PhD, recently followed up that research with the discovery that women who smoke are, in general, more dissatisfied with their bodies than women who don't smoke, and that they are more likely to diet and binge than non-smokers.

Pomerleau also deduced that women who are concerned about their weight, smokers included, are typically very interested in maintaining other aspects of their looks. Ironically, while smoking may suppress the appetite and boost metabolism, it can sabotage the rest of one's appearance. The trade-offs include face and body wrinkles, yellow teeth, thinning hair, and foul breath; not to mention all of the life-threatening side effects that make gaining a few pounds pale in comparison.