HealthDay News — Obesity is linked to an increased risk of smoking and an increase in the number of cigarettes smoked daily, according to a study published online May 16 in The BMJ.
Robert Carreras-Torres, Ph.D., from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and colleagues sought to determine whether body mass index, body fat percentage, and waist circumference influence smoking status and intensity using data from 372,791 participants in the U.K. Biobank and 74,035 participants in the Tobacco and Genetics (TAG) consortium.
The researchers found that each standard deviation increment in body mass index increased the risk of being a smoker in both cohorts (U.K. Biobank: odds ratio, 1.18 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.13 to 1.23; P < 0.001]; TAG: odds ratio, 1.19 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.33; P = 0.003]). For body mass index, each standard deviation increment was estimated to increase smoking intensity (U.K. Biobank: 0.88 cigarettes per day [95 percent confidence interval, 0.50 to 1.26; P < 0.001]; TAG: 1.27 cigarettes per day [95 percent confidence interval, 0.46 to 2.07; P = 0.002]). In both cohorts, similar results were also seen for body fat percentage and waist circumference.
“These results strongly suggest that higher adiposity influences smoking behavior and could have implications for the implementation of public health interventions aiming to reduce the prevalence of these important risk factors,” the authors write.