The article is verified by Melissa Mitri
Registered Dietitian, MS, Weight Loss Expert, Past President of CT Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
Does vaping make you lose weight? Most importantly, is it an effective & healthy weight loss strategy? Read on to find out the answers.
Table of Contents
- Can Vaping Possibly Affect Body Weight?
- Nicotine-free Vapes and Weight Loss
- Vaping is NOT a Healthy Weight Loss Strategy
- 4 Tips for Weight Management After Giving Up Smoking
- Final Words
Smokers tend to weigh less than non-smokers: it’s a scientifically confirmed fact . It is also true that quitting smoking can cause weight gain. It is estimated that people who quit smoking can gain up to 10kg within 12 months after smoking cessation—and sometimes more .
For this reason, some smokers are reluctant to stop smoking. Many even turn to vaping in the hope of keeping the pounds off. However, the effectiveness and safety of this strategy are questionable.
How does nicotine induce weight loss? Does vaping make you lose weight? Moreover, is it safe to use vaping as a method of losing weight?
In this post, we aim to find science-backed answers to these questions.
Can Vaping Possibly Affect Body Weight?
Vaping essentially means inhaling a mixture of nicotine, flavorings, and various other chemicals instead of smoking cigarettes.
As you might know, cigarettes that contain tobacco are bad for your health as they contain more than 7000 chemicals along with nicotine . Most of these chemicals are proven to be toxic .
Smoking is among the most harmful habits that can damage almost every system of the body, thus leading to various health problems . It can cause heart disease, cancer, and lung problems, among several other debilitating conditions.
Some smokers who want to quit may turn to vaping as a phasing-out strategy. Some, however, tend to take up vaping as a weight maintenance tactic.
The idea of using vaping as a weight loss approach mainly stems from the fact that smoking causes weight reduction.
Several studies support the fact that smokers are inclined towards a lower body weight than those who do not smoke, and ceasing smoking often results in weight gain .
Researchers suggest several mechanisms that may underlie this phenomenon, which we will discuss below.
Nicotine and Metabolism
One of the ways nicotine facilitates weight loss is by increasing your resting metabolic rate . It is estimated that nicotine increases calorie usage at rest by 7% to 15% .
Nicotine acts on the brain regions that regulate energy metabolism . When the number of calories burned exceeds the number of calories taken in, weight loss is induced.
Moreover, nicotine also promotes lipid (i.e., fat) breakdown in the adipose tissues .
Nicotine as an Appetite Suppressant
Another way nicotine brings about weight loss is by acting as an appetite suppressant. It is suggested that nicotine enhances the effect of leptin (the hormone that makes you full) by methods such as increasing leptin binding to its receptors .
Nicotine also acts on hormones like norepinephrine and dopamine, which suppresses eating and increases metabolism .
Smoking and Vaping as a Replacement Habit for Eating
Smoking or vaping may also act as a practice that replaces habitual eating. Its hand-to-mouth action may mimic eating, thus limiting the need to eat frequently.
On the other hand, ex-smokers who quit smoking cold turkey may find themselves reaching for high-calorie foods instead of cigarettes. This might increase their caloric intake, eventually increasing their weight.
Nicotine-free Vapes and Weight Loss
Vapes on the market offer a range of nicotine strengths, including zero strength.
This essentially means that these vapes don’t include nicotine as an ingredient. They contain compounds such as propylene glycol and glycerin along with flavorings and other chemicals.
While they take away the harmful effects of nicotine, there’s no guarantee that they are better than nicotine vapes as they still might contain various potentially dangerous chemicals.
Regarding weight loss, nicotine-free vapes are less likely to be effective. As we explained in the previous section, the weight loss effects of vaping are mostly based on nicotine.
Therefore, nicotine-free vapes, while might be useful in quitting smoking, won’t work as a weight-loss method. In fact, they might even increase your food intake as their flavor ingredients can trigger food cravings.
Vaping is NOT a Healthy Weight Loss Strategy
At first glance, vaping might seem like a low-risk and effective strategy for weight loss. However, while it certainly is less harmful than cigarette smoking, vaping has its own risks.
Vaping can cause lung damage and death. In 2020, CDC reported an outbreak of ‘e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury’ (EVALI) and EVALI-related deaths .
Although they contain a comparatively lower number of chemicals, most chemical ingredients in vaping liquids have not yet been identified .
In addition, just like in regular cigarettes, nicotine is the main ingredient in vaping liquids. And in some cases, vaping can expose users to higher nicotine concentrations than traditional tobacco cigarettes .
As nicotine is an extremely addictive substance, there’s a high chance of getting hooked to vaping.
While vaping is a relatively good option for those who want to quit smoking, it is definitely NOT a good idea to start vaping as a weight-loss strategy.
Moreover, research suggests that vaping can cause lung diseases, asthma, and heart diseases, so it is far from harmless .
4 Tips for Weight Management After Giving Up Smoking
If you’re worried about weight gain after giving up smoking, here are some tips to try without turning to vaping.
Try Sugar-Free Gum
Sugar-free gum is an excellent choice to keep your mouth working without introducing calories or addictive substances to your system. It’s also an effective way to manage unhealthy eating habits.
Take Up an Exercise Routine
Getting physically active not only burns energy but can also help you reduce your cravings. It also can replace harmful habits such as eating junk food or smoking as your natural endorphins begin to surface.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating habits can help you maintain your weight—or even lose some pounds. A balanced meal can also keep you satiated, thus reducing unhealthy food cravings in the first place.
An all-in-one weight loss app can assist you in easily creating a healthy eating routine that works for you.
Get Enough Sleep
It’s easier to give into bad habits when you’re cranky and tired. A good night’s sleep leaves you refreshed and focused, making it easier to make better decisions that benefit your health.
To summarize, does vaping help you lose weight? Yes, it can if you use nicotine vapes, but it doesn’t come without risks.
Nicotine suppresses appetite, increases metabolism, and can reduce food cravings. This can help you with weight control. However, you should read the fine print before considering it as a weight-loss option.
Although it comes with somewhat lower risks than tobacco smoking, vaping is not a healthy practice in itself. It can cause a host of health issues, can be highly addictive, and in certain instances, can deliver even higher doses of nicotine than regular cigarettes.
Vaping can help you phase out smoking and eventually quit the habit. In this case, you might try vaping as a short-term strategy for smoking cessation but not as a weight loss method.
And if you are a non-smoker, it’s not recommended to consider vaping as a means of weight reduction.
On the whole, sustainable weight loss is all about creating a healthy lifestyle that you can continue for years to come. While it might be tempting to try short-term weight loss methods, they mostly do more harm than good.
Turning to unhealthy addictions in the hopes of controlling weight can create long-term health issues that counteract the benefits of weight loss.
Therefore, the best strategy is to conquer your pounds with consistent and viable lifestyle habits. You can also get the help of a nutritionist if you feel like you need more support and professional guidance.
Can vaping help you lose weight? ›
In short, no, vaping does not help you lose weight. Although E-Liquids contain nicotine that can suppress your appetite, it does not actively take part in helping someone lose weight. But, in the event a smoker looking to quit cigarettes, chooses to swap vaping, they may notice that it helps them maintain their weight.Can vaping cause extreme weight loss? ›
Well the answer is yes, it could. While you aren't going to drop multiple sizes all of a sudden, vaping can speed up your metabolism and suppress appetite. So, in theory, it's true that using an e-cig could help you keep the pounds off. With that said, we'd never encourage anyone to start vaping just for that reason.Do Vapes speed up metabolism? ›
Vaping nicotine may well keep your metabolism up and suppress your appetite, so in addition to a healthy diet, vaping nicotine may encourage your body into a caloric deficit, and this will help you lose weight.Can nicotine make you lose weight? ›
Nicotine reduces body weight by raising the resting metabolic rate while blunting the expected increase in food intake in response to the increase in metabolic rate. Like many antiobesity drugs, nicotine is a sympathomimetic agent.What are benefits of vaping? ›
Benefits of vaping
Vaping can help some people quit smoking. Vaping is usually cheaper than smoking. Vaping is not harmless, but it is much less harmful than smoking. Vaping is less harmful to those around you than smoking, as there's no current evidence that second-hand vapour is dangerous to others.
You neither absorb or burn calories while vaping.Do Vapes make teeth yellow? ›
Even though e-cigarettes do not contain tar, some still contain nicotine, which will stain your teeth.Does vaping stain teeth? ›
Can Vaping Stain Teeth? Much like smoking, vaping can make your teeth yellow. Nicotine in e-cigarettes can cause teeth to become deeply stained.Does vaping make your face puffy? ›
The nicotine and chemicals used in vaping can also cause skin ageing as the nicotine can cause the breakdown of collagen which helps to keep our skin firm and plump, which is why smokers and indeed those who vape often develop lines around the lips and have puffiness around their eyes."How many calories are in a vape? ›
A typical vape cartridge contains about five millilitres of juice, so if it is 100% propylene glycol, it has a total of 20 calories. 2. “Six millilitres of vape oil = about 25-33 calories.”
Can vaping help with anxiety? ›
Stress and anxiety can trigger vape cravings, and make it harder for you to quit for good. You may be tempted to reach for your vape when you have these feelings, but vaping is not an effective way to cope.Does nicotine speed up weight loss? ›
The nicotine in cigarettes speeds up your metabolism. Nicotine increases the amount of calories your body uses at rest by about 7% to 15%. Without cigarettes, your body may burn food more slowly. Cigarettes reduce appetite.What are side effects of vaping? ›
- Shortness of breath.
- Eye irritation.
- Dry and irritated mouth and throat.
Scientists say that while people who light up may have better control of their overall weight, heavy tobacco use tends to push fat into central areas, resulting in a protruding tummy.What happens after you quit vaping? ›
When you go without vaping, the nicotine level in your bloodstream drops, which may cause unpleasant feelings, physical symptoms, and strong urges to vape. This is nicotine addiction.Do you feel healthier vaping? ›
Vaping exposes users to fewer toxins and at lower levels than smoking cigarettes. Switching to vaping significantly reduces your exposure to toxins that can cause cancer, lung disease, and diseases of the heart and circulation like heart attack and stroke.How can I drop 20 pounds in a week? ›
How to Lose 20 Pounds. Teaser alert, the fastest and easiest way to lose 20 pounds is with water fasting! AKA only consuming water (and maybe some electrolytes) – for MOST of us it will take about 1 week to drop 20 pounds.How do I lose 10 pounds quick? ›
- Try cardio for weight loss. ...
- Eat fewer refined carbs. ...
- Start counting calories. ...
- Choose better beverages. ...
- Eat slowly. ...
- Add fiber to your diet. ...
- Eat a high protein breakfast. ...
- Get enough sleep every night.
- Watch Your Calorie Intake.
- Low-Calorie Diet Plans.
- Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCDs)
- Design Your Meal Plans. Sample 1. Sample 2. Sample 3. Sample 4.
- Avoid Eating Junk Food.
- Watch Your Carbs.
- Try Interval Training.
- Eat More Lean Protein.
At only around 7 calories, vape liquid offers little in the way of weight gain potential.
Why am I gaining weight after switching to vaping? ›
If you're using tobacco e-liquids to quit smoking, you may find that you gain some weight initially. This is because e-liquids contain less nicotine than traditional cigarettes. Nicotine can affect your weight in two ways – it is an appetite suppressant, and it speeds up your metabolism.How many calories in a puff of vape? ›
A standard disposable vape with an average e-liquid capacity of 2ml has around 10 calories. This calorie count can be burnt off with a 30-second walk. The calories in disposable vapes vary depending on the ingredients used. The calories come from the VG/PG base and not the flavourings themselves.Can dentists tell if you vape? ›
Ways Your Dentist Can Tell You Smoke or Vape
These can include: Bad breath (halitosis) Dry mouth. Yellow or brown nicotine stains on your teeth and tongue.
Although not as damaging to your health as smoking tobacco, nicotine in any form can disrupt your sleep. E-cigarettes (vapes), patches and nicotine gum are a safer alternative to cigarettes but they're still likely to spoil your sleep. Nicotine is a nightmare when it comes to restful nights.Is vape worse than smoking? ›
1: Vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it's still not safe. E-cigarettes heat nicotine (extracted from tobacco), flavorings and other chemicals to create an aerosol that you inhale. Regular tobacco cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic.What is vapor tongue? ›
Vapers tongue is a phrase used to describe not being able to taste vape juice. It is said that most vapers will experience this from time to time. This inconvenience usually lasts for 1-3 days but at worst can last for up to two weeks!Does vaping make you tired? ›
Some new vapers may experience slight drowsiness when starting to vape due to taking deep draws and holding in too long. This may prevent the body from getting the oxygen it usually requires and is used to and make you feel a little sleepy at first when vaping.Does vaping cause acne? ›
We do know that vaping can dry out your skin, and cause significant dehydration. The dryer your skin becomes, the more likely it is to produce oil and sebum (which can clog our pores and potentially lead to acne breakouts).Does vaping change your voice? ›
If the delicate lining of the vocal cords are exposed to hot, vaporized chemicals, the tissues are likely to undergo change and lose their ability to behave normally. This may produce hoarseness, loss of vocal range, voice fatigue, or vocal injury.How long does it take to stop vaping? ›
The withdrawal timeline is also different for everyone, but according to a 2015 study, symptoms like these set in between 4 and 24 hours after the last use, peak on day 3, and typically subside during the following 3-4 weeks.
What's the best way to quit vaping? ›
- Exercise. Physical activity is a reliable way to crush a craving, according to many experts and young people alike. ...
- Use a distraction. ...
- Lean on your support system. ...
- Find stress solutions. ...
- Celebrate your accomplishments.
Does Vaping Affect Cardio? In short – yes, but not half as much as smoking. Vaping is often hailed as a less detrimental choice than smoking, especially as someone who enjoys cardio activity, due primarily to the lack of tar and other restrictive and damaging compounds being deposited in the lungs.How much nicotine is too much vape? ›
A 2019 review found that reported cases of nicotine poisoning from doses as little as 1.8 milligrams (mg) and as large as 100 mg .Does vaping help depression? ›
Dual vapers of nicotine and THC were also significantly more likely to say they felt less depressed after they started vaping, whereas nicotine-only vapers were more likely to report that vaping had no impact on their feelings of depression.How long do nicotine withdrawals last? ›
They are usually worst during the first week after quitting, peaking during the first 3 days. From that point on, the intensity of symptoms usually drops over the first month. However, everyone is different, and some people have withdrawal symptoms for several months after quitting (3, 4).How to use nicotine to lose weight? ›
Nicotine gum has similar effects to cigarettes in terms of appetite suppression, and there are some people who do not smoke, but use nicotine gum for the purpose of weight control or weight loss. Nicotine can also lower insulin levels in a person's bloodstream, which can reduce cravings for sugary foods.What is popcorn lung? ›
What is popcorn lung? Popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans) is an uncommon type of lung disease, but it is not cancer. It's caused by a build-up of scar tissue in the lungs, which blocks the flow of air. A possible link has been suggested between the disease and a chemical called diacetyl.What is the biggest side effect of vaping? ›
The biggest side effect of vaping nicotine is developing a nicotine addiction. Other side effects of nicotine include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. High doses of nicotine may cause tachycardia, high blood pressure, seizures, coma and death.Does smoking cause hair loss? ›
Smoking may lead to hair loss by vasoconstriction, by forming DNA adducts, free radical damage to hair follicle, by enhancing senescence and hormonal effects.Does smoking cause belly fat? ›
Does smoking cause belly fat? There are some studies that state smoking may impact fat distribution around the body, leading to a higher amount in the waist and hip region than elsewhere. Whilst interesting, evidence of smoking causing belly fat is not conclusive.
Does vaping make you fat or skinny? ›
Putting it bluntly, no, vaping won't make you fat. E-liquid consists of both vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) ingredients, which both have approximately 4 calories per gram. Also, you would have to drink these juices, which we certainly advice against, to gain these calories.Do smokers lose weight faster? ›
Since the blood vessels narrow down due to this addition of smoke, the functioning of your stomach starts getting disturbed. This is why you stop feeling hungry more often. Hence, you are losing weight but also losing your body at the same time.Does smoking speed up weight loss? ›
The nicotine in cigarettes speeds up your metabolism. Nicotine increases the amount of calories your body uses at rest by about 7% to 15%. Without cigarettes, your body may burn food more slowly. Cigarettes reduce appetite.Does vape affect sperm? ›
Lower Sperm Quality in Males
Vaping has also been known to reduce sperm quality, count, and motility in males. The lack of quality sperm production makes egg fertilization nearly impossible for couples hoping to conceive.
“Some people have this idea that nicotine can be used as almost like a stimulant to enhance exercise performance — that is definitely a misconception,” Dr. Choi says. “Smoking and vaping are not something that is encouraged to use at all, especially if you're worried about your exercise performance.”Can athletes vape? ›
Today, there are no professional sporting bodies banning the use of nicotine intake. This means that an athlete could theoretically choose to vape, smoke, use nicotine patches, chew nicotine gum, or use other methods. As a professional sportsperson, you may opt to vape alongside your training.