Vaping for weight control: Findings from a qualitative study
Dobbie F., Uny I., Jackson SE., Brown J., Aveyard P., Bauld L.
© 2020 The Authors Introduction: Smokers have expressed concern about weight gain once they stop smoking and weight gain is a risk factor associated with smoking relapse. Nicotine in e-cigarettes, as well as vaping behaviour, may support smoking cessation by reducing weight gain. This study explored the factors that influence attitudes towards, and awareness of, e-cigarettes and weight control post smoking cessation. Methods: Qualitative study involving focus groups with adults in the UK (n = 58) who were either exclusive vapers or dual users. Results: There was limited awareness and/or inclination to vape to prevent weight gain after stopping smoking. Reasons for this centred on: the health gains of stopping smoking outweighing any potential weight gain; a lack of understanding of the appetite supressing effects of nicotine; a belief that vaping could not suppress appetite like a cigarette and could result in craving for certain flavours; concerns about the longer-term effects of e-cigarettes on health and the ethics of promoting vaping as way to support smoking cessation by limiting weight gain, especially for young women. Conclusion: Participants in this study do not appear inclined to use e-cigarettes to prevent weight gain after smoking cessation. There is a lack of understanding about why nicotine might help prevent weight gain and a concern that e-cigarette flavours could provoke cravings and that vaping may be unsafe in the long-term.