One of the main reasons that smokers are afraid to quit is the fear of gaining weight. While e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than cigarettes, they may also help smokers hoping to quit avoid gaining weight.
An Italian study carried out by Christina Russo of the University of Catalina focused on the benefits of vaping in the face of weight gain. By comparing 3 groups of smokers currently weaning themselves off of cigarettes, the study seemed to confirm the initial hypothesis.
The hypothesis had already been put forth in a study in 2016, in the journal “Nicotine and Tobacco Research”. The study demonstrated the usefulness of nicotine in combatting the undesirable effects of weight gain when quitting cigarettes. This study also suggested that e-liquids containing nicotine would be able to help people quit smoking without gaining weight.
Nicotine may be good for curves
Russo’s initial premise is that nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant. Quitting tobacco, and therefore nicotine, leads to weight gain as a result of metabolic changes. Vaping would thus allow former smokers to continue to ingest nicotine and avoid weight gain, unlike a lot of other methods.
To confirm this, 3 groups of smokers interested in quitting were followed over one year. All of the participants adopted the e-cigarette, with e-liquids dosed with varying levels of nicotine (low, medium, or high). One control group that used a different smoking cessation method (without any nicotine) also took part in the study. All of the participants were weighed at the beginning of the study, at 12 weeks, 24 weeks, and 52 weeks.
The results were noteworthy. In the control group, the average weight gain was 2.4kg after 12 weeks and 2.9kg after 24 weeks. Conversely, no significant weight gain was reported amongst participants who used e-cigarettes. These results could convince smokers to turn to an alternative, healthier strategy while also keeping in shape.