Can vaping help you lose weight?
Vaping has been linked to losing weight due to its nicotine content. For many people, one reason for their hesitancy to quit smoking is the fear of gaining weight.
Nicotine is a well-known appetite suppressant, which means both vaping and smoking make you less likely to pick up a snack or even be hungry at main meals. Although biochemically suppressing hunger signals from the brain and in the digestive system can lead to weight loss, it’s important to also understand that utilising nicotine to do so is not a healthy way to maintain a healthy weight for the long term.
The science behind vaping and weight loss
Whether it is found in a cigarette or e-liquid, nicotine increases the body’s metabolic rate (the amount of energy you use at rest) by approximately 10%.
Vaping nicotine means your body is burning more calories throughout the day. Research shows short term prevention of weight gain with varied nicotine replacement therapies but there are consequences. In the long term, people who smoke nicotine are more likely to weigh less than a non-smoker but have a higher ratio of visceral fat, which lies around the organs and contributes to numerous health conditions.
Another reason vapers find they might not be so peckish is that both smoking and vaping negatively impacts the taste buds and sense of smell, dulling the pleasure and flavour of foods. Nicotine in vape liquids and cigarettes has many effects on the nervous system including controlling emotions and motivation, but also regulating our sense of satiety and the release of appetite hormones.
How does vaping (and smoking) affect appetite?
Aside from all the health concerns around vaping and smoking, another impeding factor for people quitting cigarettes is the belief they will gain extra weight. Nicotine found in cigarettes and vape liquid is a known appetite suppressant.
The appetite-reducing effects of smoking and vaping are similar. However, if you’re regularly puffing away on a high nicotine vape (eg. 18mg or 5% or more) chances are you’re squashing the body’s natural appetite and motivation for food. Although studies show us that adults who transition from smoking to vaping may not be aware of the appetite and weight loss potentials from vaping, this is not the same for adolescents.
Concerns around vaping and weight loss
Weight loss or appetite suppression from vaping is a side effect – but not a desired outcome. With the rapid and blatant increase in the availability of illegal vapes marketed at teens, misconceptions around vaping and weight loss are especially troubling for teenagers.
Concerns around how vaping negatively impacts the health of teenagers’ brains, especially surrounding weight loss, are particularly troublesome given the enormity of body image issues amongst teens.
Although there have been trials dedicated to investigating the effects of vaping on appetite and weight loss, researchers of this study highlight:
“Messaging regarding potential but unproven effects of vaping on weight control may encourage uptake among groups otherwise unlikely to consider using e-cigarettes, particularly those with high body image concerns (e.g. adolescents).”
Final thoughts on vaping and weight loss
Using vaping or e-cigarettes as a way to lose weight is not a safe or effective way to manage your weight in the long term. Weight loss can be achieved and sustained with numerous tools, including healthy food choices, physical activity and other medical support where necessary.
But if you’re a smoker who is ready to quit, and the barriers of a nicotine habit and fears of gaining weight are stopping you from finally quitting, speak with our team at Prescription Vape who can assist in helping you transition away from cigarettes without packing on the pounds.