I am determined to give up smoking soon but I am worried that I will put on weight. Is it true that people who give up definitely gain weight?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

About 70 per cent of people who stop smoking will experience an increase in appetite. Four-fifths of people who stop smoking will put on weight - an average of 6lb-8lb - after they give up. Part of the reason is that ex-smokers tend to eat more after they give up. But stopping smoking does also have an effect on the metabolism, which makes it easier to gain weight. On the positive side, giving up smoking will increase your ability to exercise as your lung function improves. Within a year your risk of a heart attack falls to half of the risk of a smoker. Smoking is so bad for you that giving up should be your first priority. Compared to the harm that smoking does, the health risks of gaining a few pounds are insignificant.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.