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People on Ozempic Find That They’re Drinking and Smoking Less Too


Image by Getty / Futurism

The diabetes drug Ozempic, its sister shot Wegovy, and their cousins Zepbound and Mounjaro [excellent phrasing imo] have all gained immense hype for being potent weight loss drugs — but interest is growing in their side effects as well.

Case in point, in a new survey from the investment firm Morgan Stanley, which was shared with CNBC and Quartz, respondents on those drugs — collectively known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists — also reported lower rates of smoking and alcohol consumption, suggesting that these drugs’ craving control mechanisms extend beyond food.

Of the 300 people polled by the firm, 40 percent said they smoked cigarettes at least weekly before beginning a GLP-1 drug, but that number dropped 24 percent after they began treatment. E-cigarette usage, which 30 percent reported before starting the meds, also nearly halved to 16 percent.

The effect seemed to be even more dramatic with alcohol. More than half of the Morgan Stanley respondents said they started drinking less after they began one of the medications, while between 14 and 18 percent said they’d curbed their alcohol intake entirely.

It’s hard to say why GLP-1 drugs seem to be helping with cravings because nobody really knows exactly how they work in the first place — though doctors do have some theories.

“The mechanism in the brain that regulates overeating overlaps with those responsible for the development and maintenance of addiction, including alcohol disorder,” Lorenzo Leggio, the clinical director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, told NPR last year.

In an interview with National Geographic, Casey Arnold, a patient in a clinical study examining GLP-1 drugs’ affects on smoking cessation, said she was floored by her experience with the medicine.

“It was totally opposite of when I tried to quit in my previous years,” Arnold told the magazine. “I was shocked at how calm I was, compared to how I used to think about quitting.”

Currently, GLP-1 medications are only approved for diabetes, weight loss, and more recently to help rein in heart disease and stroke risk. As more people take them, however, we’re going to keep hearing about more side effects — both good and bad — that could contribute to their off-label usage while helping the medical industry better understand them.

More on weight loss: Oprah Questions Need For WeightWatchers Now That We Have Wegovy



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