Despite Link between Smoking and Obesity, Researchers Warn Against Recommending Smoking to Combat Obesity


Published Date : Jun 06, 2016

There’s good news for the US as well as bad news. The good news is that an increasing number of people have been quitting smoking. The bad news is, this is believed to have some sort of impact on the increasing levels of obesity in the country. Since 1963, there has been an impressive two thirds fall in smoking in the United States while the level of obesity in the country has increased by just as much.

‘Not Prescribing Smoking to Beat Obesity’

Even with this link, however, scientists are in no way prescribing smoking as a means of combating obesity. Professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University, Charles Baum warns that no one is recommending cigarette smoking as a way of beating rising obesity. Even so, the realistic perspective is that there is definitely some connection between the decrease in smoking and the rise in obesity levels in the country. Professor Baum adds that if one looks at the comparative relation, the decline in the habit of smoking may not have had a significant impact on the obesity levels, but it most certainly did influence the increase. An estimated 4 per cent of the rise in obesity levels can be attributed to the decline in smoking. Among all the factors responsible for the increase in obesity in the US, smoking topped the list.

Split Opinions over the Newly-established Connection

There are varying opinions over this newly established link between smoking and obesity. The debate is whether quitters have been replacing one habit with another or whether the link is owing to the fact that tobacco is an appetite suppressant. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert, says that it is definitely difficult to establish a definite causal relationship between the two but it is most certainly plausible to say that the dip in smoking has had an impact on the increasing levels of obesity.