It looks like e-cigarettes can add keeping weight gain to a minimum to its list of health benefits.
Reuters is reporting that a new paper from a team of researchers, which was published earlier this week, shows that there may be a correlation between weight maintenance and smokers using e-cigarettes. The paper looked at a range of studies that examined nicotine’s influence on the body. The conclusion the authors arrived to was that the relationship between nicotine and e-cigarettes is viable and should be the subject for further study.
This might come as a surprise to traditional smokers, but what keeps people slim when they smoke is not the tobacco, but the nicotine found naturally in the plant. Nicotine is known to be an appetite suppressant as well as a booster for the metabolic rate, which is why smokers tend to weigh less, on average, than someone who doesn’t smoke and has the same lifestyle.
One of the main reasons traditional smokers put off quitting is the fear of gaining weight. As the Guardian points out, the recent drop in smoking has led to an uptick in rates of obesity, leading some scientists to argue that e-cigarettes are a good way to curb that weight gain.
So the question then becomes, what makes e-cigarettes better for weight maintenance than other nicotine replacement therapies?
One theory, which was put forward by co-author Linda Bauld, is that e-cigarettes come in a wide range of flavors and nicotine strengths. The sheer amount of e-liquids that currently exist on the market help soothe hunger cravings, reducing the urge to smoke. And because e-cigarettes are customizable in terms of the nicotine strength, traditional smokers can decrease their nicotine consumption gradually without fearing weight gain.
Amanda Sandford, a spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health, put it best when she said that: “The risk of putting on weight when quitting smoking is a common concern and can discourage smokers from trying to stop. E-cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco and if they can also help people avoid piling on the pounds as well as helping them to stop smoking that is a real bonus.”
While the jury is still out on whether or not e-cigarettes can definitely prevent weight gain, it’s looking more like it is probable that it can help traditional smokers kick the habit while maintaining their weight. And if more studies come out to this effect, the government will have a much harder time trying to convince e-cigarette users that the products are bad for their health.