Body image and tobacco cessation: relationships with weight concerns and intention to resume tobacco use

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Psychology | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Mental Disorders | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Substance Abuse and Addiction | Women's Health


Concern about weight gain after tobacco cessation is a potential barrier to quitting tobacco. Few studies, however, have examined the role of body image in cessation-related weight concerns and anticipated relapse. This study investigated relationships between current body image dissatisfaction, anticipated body image dissatisfaction (discrepancy between anticipated post-cessation body shape and desired body shape), cessation-related weight concerns, and intention to resume tobacco with weight gain. Body image dissatisfaction was significantly related to cessation-related weight concerns. Participants who reported current dissatisfaction with their body image were 2.6 times more likely to intend to resume tobacco use with cessation-related weight gain than those with no body image dissatisfaction. Individuals with anticipated body image dissatisfaction were 3.4 times more likely to intend to resume tobacco compared to individuals with no anticipated body image dissatisfaction. Women and normal weight individuals with anticipated body image dissatisfaction appear to be at particularly high risk for intending to relapse. Results suggest that tobacco cessation interventions may need to target concerns about body image as well as weight gain.


Smoking cessation, Weight concern, Body image, Relapse prevention, Gender differences, Military

DOI of Published Version



Body Image. 2005 Jun;2(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.02.004. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Body image


At the time of publication, Christine Runyan was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID