While many people smoke as a means to control their weight, provoking new research suggests the effects of smoking can actually cause weight gain.
The finding comes with a caveat as the potential to gain weight comes from exposure to secondhand smoke.
“For people who are in a home with a smoker, particularly children, the increased risk of cardiovascular or metabolic problems is massive,” said author Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D., professor of physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University (BYU).
The study is published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Experts say that half of the U.S. population is exposed at least once daily to secondhand cigarette smoke and approximately 20 percent of young children live with someone who smokes in the home.
Every day, almost 4,000 young adults smoke their first cigarette and 1,000 become habitual smokers.
Bikman and BYU colleague Paul Reynolds’ interest in cigarette smoke is tied to metabolic function.