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How significant is tobacco's effect on your metabolism?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am not asking of your thoughts on smoking but simply how much does it affect metabolism. Compared to regular heavy weight lifting ,and drinking green tea/other drinks and food that speed it up? Is it realistic for a person to start gaining weight after quitting smoking without any changes in diet or exercise? What about after starting smoking. Maybe a link with some kind of math would be interesting. Thanks.
post #2 of 9
It has been a number of years since I took any pharmacology courses, but I do remember that weight gain is a significantly likely side effect of nicotine cessation. I honestly don't remember the action responsible, if it was a metabolic effect, or more of an appetite suppressant effect.
post #3 of 9
I don't think tobacco is much effect on your metabolism than it is a appetite suppressant like milhouse said.
post #4 of 9
I suspect that, independent of any metabolic effects, people begin to substitute food to mouth instead of cig to mouth.
post #5 of 9
There's a great review article on the matter on the Atherosclerosis Journal (the edition in press now), but it's unlikely you'll have (free) access, so I'll try to share a few of the most important points

- Long term nicotine consumption modulates body weight regulation, by inducing adaptive changes in some of the molecules molecules which regulate feeding patterns and energy metabolism.

- There is also a metabolic withdrawal syndrome which affects about 80% of smokers. The symptoms are the ones we are already aware about, so nothing new there. However, and this is the nasty part, accompanying those symptoms there is also an increase in waist to hip ratio and an increased percent body fat due to increased caloric intake and/or decreased resting metabolic rate.

So yes - in short, nicotine does fuck up your metabolic rate.

A bit of good news - from all the weight people usually put on, only about 30% they can blame on the metabolism. The remaining 70% are due to what else they eat now they don't have a cigarette to put in their mouth (as Cornellian already pointed out).
post #6 of 9
I'm a back-and-forth smoker and have tried to quit before. When I did, I was working out harder and eating harder to distract myself. I found I put on some lean mass and was happy with the result. I wonder what the supposed 30% affect on the metabolism rate can do to you.

I read that nicotine increases resting metabolism by 10%. I'm not sure how true this is, but as many smokers can attest, it does make your heart beat faster and more effort needs to be made to breathe. Smoking is nasty and I hope to quit one day. When I do, I will be sure to workout more to counteract the likely bingeing and drop in metabolism.

If only smokes didn't taste so good with coffee, after a warm meal and with alcohol.
post #7 of 9
it's bad for you but it's a great habit. i enjoy every cigarette. i'm on my second week of no smokes right now and hating every minute.
post #8 of 9
After the first few days, you're free!

However, you're not entirely free to join your mates for a drink at the pub

Good luck!

Yes, it's a great habit with nasty health consequences
post #9 of 9

Cigarette smoking increases a person's metabolic rate in part by forcing the heart to beat faster. When a cigarette is inhaled, the smoker's heart may beat 10 to 20 times more per minute for a period of time.

I think this answers your question.

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