Could vaping be the newest solution to weight loss and obesity? More and more studies have been exploring the possibilities of how electronic cigarette can contribute to shedding off some pounds.

One research in New Zealand has found Vaping has many potential health benefits for its users, and weight loss can be one of them. “Vaping’s use of e-liquids with food flavours, along with the mouth-feel and aroma of the vapour and the hand-to-mouth actions of vaping, could play a role in helping people eat less,” Associate Professor Marewa Glover, one of the lead researchers, said.

One of the reasons why vaping gained popularity through the years is due to some claims that it can be the ‘healthier’ alternative to tobacco smoking, due to the absence of smoke and nicotine. Compared to traditional smoking, only vapor is produced.

The researchers stated that since obesity is one of the most pressing issues in the world’s health today, they decided to take the study in that focus. “Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of disease and early death in several countries. If there is a chance that flavored vaping could help even a small proportion of people reduce the diabetes, cardiovascular and cancer risks associated with excess weight, the population health gains would be significant,” Glover said.

However, non-smokers should not immediately get one and puff in order to put off some weight. Professor Susan Jebb of the University of Oxford said, “many people who quit smoking gain weight with an average increase of 4.7kg in the first 12 months of abstinence, and nearly 1 in 8 people gain more than 10kg”. Vaping can aid while they transition to eventually quitting smoking. People who quit smoking also lose the appetite suppressing effects of nicotine, which helped them not gain weight. When they quit, they start to eat more, and consequently, gain some pounds too.

While nicotine and tobacco smoking helps in suppressing the appetite, the researchers argue vaping has the same effect too, through flavored vaping. “Vaping could be ‘The New Weapon in the Battle of the Bulge’, Glover said, stating the title of their article. “'Vaping’s use of e-liquids with food flavours, along with the mouth-feel and aroma of the vapour and the hand-to-mouth actions of vaping, could play a role in helping people eat less,” she explained.

However, the scientist said that this new information should be presented with a plan, for it can be an additional reason why young men and women, especially those who have weight issues and eating disorders, be encouraged to try smoking and vaping. “E-cigarettes might have potential to reduce obesity in some, but they are not a panacea for the population and we will need much more detailed research to know if they can ever be used effectively and safely”.

Professor Theresa Marteau, Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, has pointed out that despite this study, there is still no direct evidence that vaping can truly aid in weight loss. “In the absence of direct evidence about the impact on weight of vaping with food-flavoured e-liquids, caution is warranted over any suggestions of their weight loss properties,” she said.

Despite this new knowledge, many still argue that this doesn't take away the fact that vaping can still cause many degenerative diseases such as heart conditions, stroke, and even cancer. However, Glover said that Obesity too is growing to be a global health concern, and if their research could be a way for the better understanding of it and the lead to its solution, then it may be worthwhile to study this possibility.

'Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of disease and early death in several countries,' she said. 'If there is a chance that flavoured vaping could help even a small proportion of people reduce the diabetes, cardiovascular and cancer risks associated with excess weight, the population health gains would be significant.'

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