Vaping for weight control: findings from a qualitative study

Fiona Dobbie, Isabelle Uny, Sarah E Jackson, Jamie Brown, Paul Aveyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
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.
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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100275
Early online date28 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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