(ABC) -- It’s no secret that when you quit smoking it reduces your risk for heart disease, but many people gain weight when they quit and that can be bad for the heart as well.
New research says don’t worry if you put on a few pounds when you kick the habit. This does not decrease the health benefits that come with quitting.
Researchers looked at data from more than 3,200 people over a period of 27 years. Scientists found that people who quit cut their risk of heart disease in half.
People -- on average -- gain between six and 13 pounds when they stop smoking, according to the study.
But even so, researchers found that people were half as likely to have a heart attack, heart failure or stroke, than those who continued to smoke.
Experts say don’t try to lose weight and quit at the same time – quit first, then tackle the weight issue.