Regular smokers who try to kick the habit are prone to comfort eating and weight gain, yet another study has suggested.
University of Minnesota experts asked 42 cigarette users to refrain from smoking for a day and then choose from a tray of different snacks.
Their preferences were compared to smokers who were not asked to withdraw and a non-smoking group.
Scientists found people who had withdrawn from smoking were most likely to reach for snacks high in salt and fat, such as Oreo cakesters and Rice Krispie treats.
Overall, they consumed up to 30 per cent more calories than both non and current smokers.
Experts said the find suggested smokers were reaching for calorific snacks to fill the void of nicotine.
Around 6.9million Britons smoke, but more than half say they want to quit. In the US there are 34.1million smokers.
Studies showed people who stopped smoking, the withdrawal group, were most likely to reach for high-fat foods (top left), high-fat and high-salt foods (top right) and low-fat sweet foods (bottom left). They were as likely to reach for low-fat salty foods as people who did not smoke and those who continued smoking during the study. In most cases participants were less likely to reach for foods when they took craving-cutting drug naltrexone (black bars)
Regular smokers who try to kick the habit could gain weight, a study has found
The number of young adult smokers in England shot up by a quarter in the first lockdown, a study revealed last month.
The increase alone amounts to 650,000 adults aged 18 to 34.
The researchers, from University College London and the University of Sheffield, said the stress associated with tough Covid rules may be to blame.
But writing in the journal Addiction, they said there was also a rise in successful quitters across all age groups.
They also discovered there was an increase in high-risk drinking among all groups, with the rise greatest in women and people from less advantaged backgrounds.
The study, which was funded by Cancer Research UK, reads: 'In conclusion, the first Covid-19 lockdown in England in March-July 2020 was associated with increased smoking prevalence among younger adults and an increased prevalence of high-risk drinking among all socio-demographic groups.
The study, published in the read more from dailymail.....