Can E-Cigarettes Help Prevent Weight Gain After You Switch from Smoking?
I used to smoke, and I’ve had tons of friends who smoke, and they often say they’re afraid of gaining weight when they quit. Every time I thought of quitting, I’d get this image of me just shoveling popcorn and chocolate covered cherries into my mouth and putting the leftover crumbs in an ashtray. Where did this notion that we would gain weight if we’d quit come from?
In the late 1920s, tobacco giant Lucky Strike made women their target with the slogan, “To keep a slender figure no one can deny, reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.” Cigarette ads have manipulated women on this front, using unrealistically slim models accompanied by the words “thinner.” Sounds more like a scary Stephen King novel to me.
Nature.com recently published a study that investigated the effects of e-cigarettes on weight gain after participants quit smoking. The results fly in the face of what we’re used to hearing about the inevitable weight gain that comes after you quit smoking.
The study found that:
“It is possible that by providing a coping mechanism for conditioned smoking cues EC use could mitigate hunger associated with smoking abstinence. Moreover, EC use appears to improve cognitive effects during tobacco abstinence. Taken together these mechanisms suggest that EC use may limit post-cessation weight gain.”
How it Works
- You still get a little nicotine
- You have the hand-to-mouth sensation that makes you feel like you’re smoking
- There are so many flavors
When I was burning through nearly two packs a day, I weighed 185 pounds. I weigh 149 now. I wore a size 13 dress. Now I fit perfectly into a size 7 or 8. When I smoked, I drank. When I drank, I smoked. I drank old-fashioneds, whiskey, and wine (by the bottle). I’d smoke a pack of cigarettes and then stumble to 7/11 and buy another pack for $14. Then, when the bar closed, I’d stumble back to 7/11 and buy nachos. With extra cheese. And whatever that gooey meat stuff is. Then, I’d go home and eat and smoke and drink until I passed out on my couch. I’d wake up in the morning to find cigarette ashes and congealed nacho cheese all over my size 13/14 outfits.
I used to munch on snacks as I worked or when I was bored and couldn’t smoke. Now I just vape my snacks. If I want a peanut butter cup, I vape it. If I want an ice cream sundae, I vape it. At 3 p.m., if I want a caramel mocha frappe with extra sugar, I vape it. At 5 p.m., if I want a margarita, I vape that too.
As a vaper, I get the hand to mouth sensation that kept me smoking in the first place. I get access to more than 150 mouthwatering flavors that include blueberry cobbler, banana dessert, and the brand-new Custard’s Last Stand, which tastes just like biting into a custard-filled donut, without all the 500-plus calories and guilt.
This is just my personal experience, but you know what? It’s certainly food for thought.