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Weight gain and smoking: Perceptions and experiences of obese quitline participants

Bush, T and Hsu, C and Levine, MD and Magnusson, B and Miles, L (2014) Weight gain and smoking: Perceptions and experiences of obese quitline participants. BMC Public Health, 14 (1).

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Background: Weight gain that commonly accompanies smoking cessation can undermine a person's attempt to quit and increase the risk for metabolic disorders. Research indicates that obese smokers have more weight concerns and gain more weight after quitting than non-obese smokers, yet little is known about possible reasons for these outcomes. We sought to gain an understanding of obese smokers' experiences of quitting and their attitudes and beliefs about the association between smoking and weight gain. Methods: In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with obese smokers who called a state tobacco quitline. Interviewers elicited discussion of obese smokers' thoughts about smoking, the effects of quitting on change in weight, challenges they faced with quitting, and how quitlines might better serve their needs. Results: Participants (n = 29) discussed their fear of gaining weight after quitting, their beliefs about smoking and their weight and significant experiences related to quitting. Participants' awareness of weight gain associated with quitting was based on prior experience or observation of others who quit. Most viewed cessation as their primary goal and discussed other challenges as being more important than their weight, such as managing stress or coping with a chronic health condition. Although weight gain was viewed as less important than quitting, many talked about changes they had made to mitigate the anticipated weight gain. Conclusions: Weight gain is a concern for obese smokers interested in quitting. Understanding the relative importance of body weight and other challenges related to smoking cessation can help tailor interventions for the specific group of smokers who are obese and interested in smoking cessation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bush, T
Hsu, C
Levine, MDmlevine@pitt.eduMLEVINE
Magnusson, B
Miles, L
Date: 27 November 2014
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Public Health
Volume: 14
Number: 1
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1229
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Psychiatry
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 14:52
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2021 01:55


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