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Teenage girls who smoke more than twice as likely to become overweight according to new study

Teen girls who smoke are more likely to experience obesity as adults, according to a new study featured in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study from Finland, found young women who smoke were more than twice as likely to become overweight than non-smokers in their early twenties.

Teen girls who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day were at greatest risk, particularly for abdominal obesity, with waist sizes almost 1.5 inches larger than non-smokers' waists are as young adults.

Manager of Quit Support Programs, Mr Luke Atkin, said he hoped the study would discourage young women from starting to smoke.

"Unfortunately many young women still associate smoking with being thin, but this study shows smoking as a teen could actually increase you chances of obesity when you are in your twenties."

"The sad fact is that half of all long term smokers will die as a result of their habit, with many of these people starting to smoke in adolescence. We welcome findings like these, that potentially turn young people off cigarettes and dismantle any myths around perceived benefits of smoking."

"For decades the tobacco industry have pushed the idea that smoking somehow equates to being fashionable or glamorous but as this study shows, a teen girl who smokes could be on a fast track to obesity and all the health problems linked with it."

The study followed twins born between 1975 and 1979 with questionnaires mailed shortly after their 16th birthdays. Researchers collected more data on the 2,278 women and 2,018 men when the twins were in their 20s.

Mr Atkin said many people continued to put off quitting smoking for fear of putting on weight.

"Concerns about weight gain are still one of the barriers for many smokers who are considering a quit attempt."

"It is important for these people to remember that remaining a smoker is more of a health risk than almost anything else and that incorporating regular exercise and sensible eating into your daily lifestyle while you are quitting is a good way to ensure that weight gain is not an issue."

 

ends

Edwina Pearse,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Pearse@cancervic.org.au

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