Smoking is an expensive, disgusting, smelly, and extremely unhealthy habit that is costing people their lives every single day. Despite the fact that smoking cigarettes makes you smell awful, makes you look unhealthy, costs you a fortune, and can even cost you your life, the tobacco industries, still generate hundreds of billions in revenue every single year. The reason for this is that the products are laced full of addictive chemicals that make it extremely easy to become addicted, and extremely difficult to quit. However, quitting smoking is without doubt one of the smartest and healthiest decisions you will ever make, and it could quite literally save your life. One interesting note, is that a recent study conducted in Israel, actually revealed that quitting smoking could help to make you stronger.

So, what’s the story? – One slightly negative side effect that people seem to be wary of when quitting smoking, is that soon after they often find themselves gaining weight, an average of around 5kgs in fact. However, recent research from Israel, has revealed that although people do indeed gain weight when they quit smoking, the weight they gain isn’t in the form of unsightly body fat at all, but rather in the form of lean muscle mass instead.

What were the findings? – This year long Israeli study was conducted under strict guidelines and surroundings, and the results themselves after the twelve months were up, were pretty conclusive. The study revealed that not long after quitting smoking, the former smokers noticed strength increases of up to around 20%, and significant increases in bone strength and density as well. This is especially interesting because this study is the first of its kind to reveal such findings.

Why aren’t more people quitting? – There are numerous factors regarding why more people aren’t quitting smoking, but the most obvious example is the fact that cigarettes are so addictive as they’re laced full of addictive chemicals such as nicotine. Another reason why people aren’t quitting smoking is because they are afraid of gaining weight, and will openly and honestly admit as such in many cases. Although it may seem highly illogical to many non-smokers, how a person would rather risk their own life than gain a few pounds of fat, that’s just how the minds of these people work. However, the Israeli study, published in the Journal Addiction, was partly carried out to try to alleviate these weight gain concerns. People would much rather gain muscle and strength, than unsightly body fat, and this study has revealed that, that is pretty much exactly what can and will happen when people quit smoking. It’s the ultimate incentive to quit smoking, not only will you save money, smell nicer, look and feel healthier, and prolong your life, you will also be able to achieve a more powerful, more muscular physique as a result. Data from the study revealed that over the 12 months of stubbing out the cigs, the average weight gain was 5kgs, which is roughly just over 11 pounds. The smokers however, only gained 1kg, roughly 2.2lbs. The majority of the weight gained by the quitters however, was actually in the form of lean muscle mass, which equated to an increase in strength too, an average of 17 – 23% stronger in fact. The exact reasons aren’t clear, but the evidence is there in black and white and could be just another great incentive to quit smoking sooner rather than later.