Switching to vaping poses no significant weight gain, says 1-year study

An experimental vaping study indicates that switching to vaping can help prevent the unwanted weight gain that so often comes with quitting smoking.  The study led by Christina Russo of the Italy’s University of Catalina involves the monitoring of three different groups of smoking participants as they attempted to make the transition to electronic cigarettes.  The report entitled Evaluation of Post Cessation Weight Gain in a 1-Year Randomized Smoking Cessation Trial of Electronic Cigarettes is readily available for review via the online journal Nature.

A brief overview of the ‘vaping and weight gain’ study

One of the reasons that smokers so often gain weight as they try to quit is because the nicotine in combustible cigarettes acts as a natural appetite suppressant.  Take away the nicotine, and the quitter has trouble managing their increased hunger pangs.  So, they naturally respond by eating.

The e-liquids used with vaping devices also contain nicotine to varying degrees, but they are 100 percent tobacco-free.  E-liquids are also free of the tar and extra carcinogenic chemicals that cigarette retailers add into their cigarettes to keep their customers hooked.

Related Article:  53% of Americans mistakenly think nicotine is carcinogenic, says new study

Therefore, theoretically, nicotine-enhanced e-liquids should provide the appetite suppressant qualities that smokers are looking for without the potentially deadly health risks.  This theory is the basis for the Italian vaping study.

  • Participants were between the ages of 18 to 70.
  • All were current smokers of at least 10 cigarettes per day for at least five years.
  • Participants were dividing into three groups, with each group being provided vaping supplies in either low, medium, or high nicotine e-liquids.
  • Body weight measurements were taken at baseline, 12-week, 24-week, and 52-week milestones.
  • Saliva samplings were also taken at these times to monitor and compare eCO and MNWS levels.
  • A control group of participants agree to quit smoking through more conventional methods that did not involve vaping.

What the scientists discovered is that those who switched to vaping experienced no significant weight gain throughout the 1-year study.  Conversely, about 80 percent of those who successfully quit smoking via some other method reported varying levels of increased body weight.   The average periodic weight gains measured “2.4 Kg and 2.9 Kg at Week-12 and Week-24, respectively.”

The scientists also note that the differences in weight gain can be attributed to many factors other than vaping.  For example, women tend to gain more body weight and at a faster rate than men, and the Italian study had a smaller number of female participants (about 40 percent) than male.   However, the researchers also note substantial improvements regarding cognitive reasoning skills for those who chose nicotine-enhanced vaping over other forms of smoking cessation assistance.

Related Article: Research shows vaping propylene glycol kills pneumococci bacteria 

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