Quit smoking with less weight gain

For Lovell Tritten, giving up the one habit he has had since high school is a tough idea to think about.  “I know I should quit and I do want to quit, but I’ve been smoking for close to thirty years,” the New York mechanic said.  “I’ve heard all the ads about aids that can help, but I just don’t know what to pick.”

A lot of choices
Tritten is right.  There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to a kicking the habit, but doctors say persistence is the one attribute every smoker needs, no matter what choice they make.

“Smokers need to realize that if one method doesn’t work for them, it’s okay,” Dr. Loretta Severs said.  “What works for one person may not work for their good friend so it’s important to keep trying.”

A proven choice
A new study shows patients using Zyban, an FDA approved treatment to help smokers quit, gained less weight than those who tried to quit cold turkey.   The Food and Drug Administration cleared the drug, which is a nicotine-free prescription, in 1997.

A doctor from Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study that involved 784 smokers.  All of them were put on Zyban for seven weeks and given brief counseling about their addiction.  After week seven, 435 patients were living cigarette free.  From that point, patients either remained on Zyban or a placebo. At the end of two years those who hadn’t picked up a cigarette were put on a scale.  According to the results those that took Zyban gained 9 pounds less than those taking the placebo.

The list of reasons holding smokers back
Every smoker has an excuse.  The “I’ll quit soon” excuse is no longer holding up as more and more “quit aids” become available.  Now it appears the worry of gaining weight while quitting smoking could be diminished through Zyban.

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