It is known that smokers have lower body weight on average as compared to the non-smokers, but tend to gain weight after quitting. However, active smokers who smoke more intensively tend to weigh more than light smokers. While this may be due to other lifestyle factors, such as physical inactivity and unhealthy diet, it is also possible that obesity could influence smoking uptake and intensity.
Genetic evidence suggests a possible common biological basis for addictive behaviours, like nicotine addiction and higher energy intake. If it could be established that obesity influences smoking behaviour, this would have implications for prevention strategies aiming to reduce these important risk factors.
To better understand these interactions, researchers set out to determine whether genetic markers associated with obesity play a direct (causal) role in smoking behaviour. They analysed genetic variants with known effects on body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and waist circumference for nearly 450,000 individuals using a technique called Mendelian randomisation.
An association that is observed using Mendelian randomisation is therefore likely to reflect a causal relation. Three measures of smoking behaviour were assessed: current and past smoking, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and age of smoking initiation. The average age of study participants was 58 years.
The results show that each 4.6 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of being a smoker in UK Biobank and a 19 percent increased risk in the TAG consortium data. Each increase in BMI was also estimated to increase smoking frequency by around one cigarette per day. Similar results were seen for body fat percentage and waist circumference and were consistent in both men and women.
Here are some natural ways to curb smoking in a healthy way.
Ayurveda recommends adding ginseng to your diet as you struggle quitting it. It is said to inhibit the pleasure neurotransmitter dopamine from being released when you have a cigarette. It is also said to deal with withdrawal symptoms like irritation, mood swings, et al.
2. Chew on sugar free gum
When you feel the urge to smoke, pop in a sugar free gum that will help cut the craving. Constantly chewing on something will eventually kill your craving.
3. Eat vitamin C rich foods
Adding more vitamin C rich foods like oranges, lemon, grapefruits, et al will help reduce the urge to smoke more often.
4. Eat salty foods
Salt is believed to kill your urge to smoke, so nibble on some snacks like chips or papad or even pickle when you feel like smoking.