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In a new study, researchers challenged the age-old belief that smoking cigarette keeps you slim.  They said that instead of decreasing weight; smoking cigarette helps in gaining weight  and this effect is enhanced for passive smokers or second- hand smokers.

“For people who are in a home with a smoker, particularly children, the increased risk of cardiovascular or metabolic problems is massive,” study author Benjamin Bikman, a professor of physiology and developmental biology at Brigham Young University, said in a news release.

For the research, scientists exposed mice to passive smoking by keeping them in a room occupied by smokers. Researchers tracked their metabolic progression before and after exposing them to a room filled with smoke. Those who were introduced to passive smoking ended up gaining weight. Researchers found that the smoke triggered an alteration in cell mitochondria, disrupting the normal function and inhibiting cells’ ability to respond to insulin, followed by an increase in weight.

“The lungs provide a vast interface with our environment, and this research shows that the response to involuntary smoking includes altering systemic sensitivity to insulin,” study author Paul Reynolds said in a news release. “Once someone becomes insulin resistant, their body needs more insulin. And any time you have insulin go up, you have fat being made in the body.”

Ceramide could be a key in reversing the effect of smoking; researchers said. Scientists are still searching a ceramide inhibitor for humans. “The idea that there might be some therapy we could give to innocent bystanders to help protect them from the consequences of being raised in a home with a smoker is quite gratifying,” Reynolds said.

This new study could help those smokers quit smoking who believe that smoking cigarette helps them in being slim. It can further stop many more people who fear of becoming an obese.

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