Guilt-Free Vaping: Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight
So you want to stop smoking? Congratulations! You will not regret getting rid of the stink on your clothes and hair, the yellowing teeth, the difficulty breathing. Nor will you miss the nagging guilt that tells you it’s a filthy habit every time you light up. Your body will thank you for it and so will your wallet.
Smoking is, of course, highly addictive and to start with you will experience tobacco and nicotine withdrawals. Many people feel restless and anxious during the quitting process and often turn to food to satisfy their desire to smoke, meaning they gain weight. However, this should not put you off quitting!
The good news is that vaping will help you to both quit smoking and prevent weight gain – it’s a win-win solution.
How vaping helps you quit smoking
Vaping is now used in 1 in 3 quit attempts and has helped thousands of people successfully stop smoking, with the number of smoking-related cancers in the UK on the decline. There are plenty of reasons why it’s so popular:
· Vaping is versatile – it replicates the taste of cigarettes and provides a nicotine hit, then allows you to gradually reduce the nicotine content and try alternative flavours, eventually evolving your taste away from traditional tobacco.
· The familiar hand-to-mouth action of vaping simulates the act of smoking.
· Inhaling vapour maintains the ‘throat hit’ without you having to inhale smoke.
· Vaping significantly reduces your lung exposure to dangerous carcinogens.
· Vaping is less anti-social than smoking, you can do it in more places and it doesn’t stink.
· You will soon start to notice that vaping is more cost-effective than smoking.
Does quitting smoking make you put on weight?
Studies show that people who quit smoking do tend to put on a little weight. There are several reasons for this:
Nicotine plays an important role in appetite control as it affects metabolism; the sudden absence of nicotine can slow down your metabolism to the tune of about 250 calories a day. What’s more, nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant, meaning you are hungrier when you cut it out.
Smokers often substitute meals for a fag – once you stop you might find you don’t skip a meal anymore.
Ex-smokers can miss the oral satisfaction of putting a cigarette in their mouths and so often substitute food for cigarettes. The boredom and stress associated with nicotine withdrawals can also be triggers for comfort eating.
Smoking can affect the olfactory function, with smokers having a poorer sense of taste and smell. There is anecdotal evidence showing that when smokers regain their sense of taste and smell, their appetite increases and their calorie consumption goes up.
How vaping helps to prevent weight gain
The good news is that vaping not only helps you to deal with tobacco cravings, it can also help to deal with sugar cravings!
Could vaping be the new weapon in the battle of the bulge?
In October 2016, an article outlining how vaping could help with weight control was published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The researchers claimed that food flavourings help to replicate the feeling of eating and prevent cravings.
Vapers Warehouse caught up with co-author Linda Bauld, Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, who said: “There are behavioural factors to vaping which prevent people from reaching for food - the hand-to-mouth action of vaping satisfies this habit. Then there are also the sensory aspects; inhaling flavours can be a replacement for eating – breathing in the vapour and holding it in the mouth, experiencing the aroma and mouthfeel, can be a substitute for food.”
Linda stressed that weight gain prevents some smokers from quitting and so it’s important to explore alternative ways of helping individuals to control this, whilst removing the risks of tobacco use. She said: “Obesity is a huge problem and is rapidly catching up with smoking as the leading preventable cause of early death, with 50,000 deaths and more cancers being linked to poor diet in the UK every year. If there’s 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.”
Vapers Warehouse research
We decided to test this theory with a SURVEY of a panel of 800 vapers, here are the results:
· Over a third of vapers say their taste has improved since quitting smoking.
· A third of vapers say using e-cigarettes helps to satisfy their craving for food, with just over half of these people saying it is the hand-to-mouth action of vaping which distracted them from eating and 30% saying the eliquid flavour helps to replicate the feeling of eating. Surprisingly, only 20% said it was the nicotine which helped to suppress their appetite.
· 38% of vapers (majority female) said sweet-flavoured vapes were their favourite guilty-pleasure food substitute, with 18% (majority male) plumping for meat-flavoured eliquids and 8% choosing cheese! Other vapers showed a more niche preference, saying the guilty-pleasure food they’d most like to see as an eliquid would be fries or curry.
· 45% of vapers said that, based on their own personal experience, they’d recommend vaping as a diet aid to help ex-smokers cut down on snacking and lose weight.