Scientists from UK and New Zealand say vaping helps fight obesity

One of the biggest fears of people who are trying to quit smoking is the possibility of packing on the pounds.  In fact, statistics show that the average person who quits smoking tends to gain about eleven pounds during their first year.  Meanwhile, as the popularity of smoking has diminished in recent years, new diagnoses of obesity are steadily on the rise.

A team of scientists from the UK and New Zealand have published research that supports vaping as a smoking cessation product while helping the users avoid weight gain simultaneously.  According to the paper, quitting smoking produces not only psychological affects which can lead to overeating, but the nicotine in combustible cigarettes also acts as a sort of natural metabolism booster.

“Tobacco smoking mitigates weight gain through nicotine’s effect on the brain and metabolism. The prospect of gaining weight upon stopping smoking acts as an inhibitor to quitting and weight gain post-cessation is a common cause of relapse.”

Vaping allows the smoker trying to quit to ingest the nicotine without the nearly 4000 toxins associated with smoked tobacco.  The study entitled Could Vaping be a New Weapon in the Battle of the Bulge? is located in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.  Pro-vaping advocate Linda Bauld of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Stirling, is a co-author.

Vaping, nicotine, and obesity

The paper also notes that many former smokers often relapse after stepping on the scale during those first few months and discovering that they have unintentionally put on a few extra pounds.  When considering whether to support or demonize vaping, public health organizations should consider the consequences very carefully.  Smoking is bad for one’s health, but obesity is quickly overtaking smoking as a leading cause of disease and illness worldwide.

“Obesity is set to overtake tobacco smoking in many countries as the primary cause of several high-cost diseases. Tobacco smoking mitigates weight gain through nicotine’s effect on the brain and metabolism. Smoking, however, is associated with many illnesses and premature death and appropriately has been discouraged leading to declining prevalence rates. This article explores the emerging perception that vaping electronic cigarettes with nicotine and flavors could deliver similar appetite and weight control effects as smoking.”

Along with co-authors Dr. Marewa Grover and Dr. Bernhard H. Breier of Massey University, New Zealand, Bauld also suggests that the simple act of refilling a vape mod with fun-flavored e-liquids can also act as a deterrent to overeating.  In light of the recent San Francisco ban on the sale of flavored e-liquids, this is particularly noteworthy. 

“You are re-filling the e-liquids, you might be mixing your own liquids, you are trying different flavours, you are doing things with your hands that take up time which means maybe you are not reaching for the bowl of M&Ms.”

The simple truth is that smokers are not only physically addicted to the tobacco and thousands of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes, they are also psychologically addicted to the actions involved with smoking.  The act of placing a cigarette to the lips, feeling it roll between the fingers, and the addictive behaviors of light up a cigarette with that first cup of coffee in the morning can be very, very powerful.  According to this team of scientists, vaping, which is 100% tobacco-free, may prove to be a highly effective substitute that also improves overall health without the extra weight gain.


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