Effect of nicotine patch on energy intake and weight gain in postmenopausal women during smoking cessation

Alicia M. Allen, Alison Kleppinger, Harry Lando, Cheryl Oncken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Post-cessation weight gain is a commonly cited barrier to smoking cessation. Some evidence suggests that nicotine replacement therapy may limit post-cessation weight gain by reducing energy intake. This project aims to assess differential changes in energy intake and body weight during smoking cessation in a sample of postmenopausal women randomized to receive 21. mg nicotine or placebo patch for 12. weeks. Methods: Postmenopausal women who smoked ≥10cigarettes/day were enrolled in this double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. Total energy intake (via four-day food diaries), body mass index (BMI; kg/m2), cigarettes/day and smoking status (self-report verified by exhaled carbon monoxide) were assessed at three time points: 2weeks prior to quit date,12weeks after quit date, and 12months after smoking cessation treatment. Results: Participants (n. =. 119) were, on average, 55.8. ±. 6.7. years old with a baseline BMI of 27.0. ±. 5.2 and average cigarette/day was 21.1. ±. 8.6. At Week 12, participants randomized to nicotine patch increased their mean caloric intake by 146.4. ±. 547.7. kcal/day whereas those on placebo patch decreased their caloric intake by 175.3. ±. 463.2 (f-value. =. 10.1, p-value. =. 0.002). Despite the differences in caloric intake, body weight remained similar between groups. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that nicotine patch may increase energy intake during treatment, and does not prevent post-cessation weight gain in postmenopausal smokers. Additional research is needed to replicate these findings and assess whether different forms of nicotine replacement therapy influence caloric intake and post-cessation weight gain in postmenopausal smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-423
Number of pages4
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Foundation , The University of Connecticut Center on Aging , and NIH grant M01 RR06192 (University of Connecticut General Clinical Research Center). Glaxo-SmithKline Pharmaceuticals donated nicotine and placebo patches.


  • Energy intake
  • Nicotine patch
  • Postmenopausal
  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight gain


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