Two men sitting on a park bench with their backs to us, looking out over a grassy field.Recent research in New Zealand has shown that people who give up smoking do not permanently put on weight. However, this is something that many people worry about when they quit.

Food Cravings
It's important to remember you are not going on a diet – you are quitting smoking. You may notice you crave sugary foods when you first quit. This is because cigarettes are deliberately sweetened to make them taste better and stimulate the release of your body’s own sugar reserves. You can keep on top of sugar cravings by having fruit or sugar-free gum on hand.

Your Metabolism
Smoking does increase the rate of your metabolism, but the effect on your weight is very small and actually puts a strain on your heart. Your metabolic rate will return to normal when you quit. In addition, nicotine from tobacco also suppresses your appetite so when you stop smoking your appetite returns.

Your Appearance
If you are appearance-conscious, remember that smoking harms your appearance too. It makes you look older and unhealthy by starving your skin of oxygen, making it look dry and grey. You get wrinkles around your eyes and mouth much earlier than a non-smoker and the tar stains your teeth and fingers. Research also shows that many people in New Zealand do not want to date a smoker.

For more about quitting and weight gain check out our downloadable infosheet:
About weight gain