HOUSTON -

Smokers gain about 10 pounds in the year after kick they habit, but researchers said modest weight gain is healthier than continuing to smoke.

According to a new study, published online in the British Medical Journal, smokers who quit gain between 8 and 11 pounds after 12 months. That's more than researchers originally thought.

Many smokers, most of them women, said weight gain is a reason they don't quit.

Smoking has been proven to increase the risk of death, while minor weight gain has not.