Vaping for weight control: A cross-sectional population study in England

Sarah E Jackson, Jamie Brown, Paul Aveyard, Fiona Dobbie, Isabelle Uny, Robert West, Linda Bauld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Concern about weight gain is a barrier to smoking cessation. E-cigarettes may help quitters to control their weight through continued exposure to the appetite-suppressant effects of nicotine and behavioural aspects of vaping. This study explored the views and practices of smokers, ex-smokers and current e-cigarette users relating to vaping and weight control.

METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of past-year smokers (n = 1320), current smokers (n = 1240) and current e-cigarette users (n = 394) in England, conducted April-July 2018. Data were weighted to match the English population on key sociodemographic characteristics.

RESULTS: Of e-cigarette users, 4.6% (95%CI 2.6-6.6) reported vaping for weight control, and 1.9% (95%CI 0.6-3.2) reported vaping to replace meals/snacks. It was rare for individuals who had smoked in the past year to have heard (8.8%, 95%CI 7.3-10.3) or believe (6.4%, 95%CI 5.1-7.7) that vaping could help control weight. Women (OR = 0.62, 95%CI 0.42-0.93) and older people (OR = 0.30, 95%CI 0.13-0.72) were less likely to have heard the claim and women were less likely to believe it (OR = 0.44, 95%CI 0.27-0.72). However, 13.4% (95%CI 11.3-15.5) and 13.1% (95%CI 11.0-15.2) of current smokers who did not use e-cigarettes said they would be more likely to try e-cigarettes or quit smoking, respectively, if vaping could help control their weight.

CONCLUSION: One in 16 English people who have smoked in the last year believe that vaping would prevent weight gain after stopping. One in 22 people who vape are using e-cigarettes for this purpose. However, should evidence emerge that e-cigarettes prevent weight gain, one in eight people who smoke would be tempted to quit smoking and use e-cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Early online date6 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Vaping for weight control: A cross-sectional population study in England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this