According to a study published in The BMJ, obesity is associated with higher rates of smoking, as well as higher smoking frequency – the number of cigarettes smoked per day. This finding could affect public health efforts to reduce health risks linked to obesity and smoking.
Researchers in France and the United Kingdom analyzed genetic variants with known effects on body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and waist circumference in nearly 450,000 people and assessed current and past smoking behavior, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and age of smoking initiation. The researchers used a technique that is more likely than traditional observational studies to show a cause and effect relationship.
Study results showed that a person with a higher BMI, body fat percentage, and waist circumference is more likely to be a smoker, and smoke more, than a person of normal weight. According to the researchers, other socio-demographic factors may have influenced the results of this study as well.