Does Vaping Make You Lose Weight?
For many smokers thinking of making the switch from cigarettes to vapes, the question of weight gain can be one of the most prominent factors and possibly, even a cause for concern.
In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between vaping and aim to dispel any myths or misleading misinformation about how vaping can impact your appetite, and whether it can affect weight.
The Link Between Vaping and Weight Loss
The association between weight gain and stopping smoking is longstanding. That’s because nicotine is thought to suppress the appetite by encouraging calories to burn faster. This understanding can lead to the question, does nicotine make you lose weight? However, it’s not realistic to assume every ex-smoker will gain weight simply because they stop smoking. How you look after your weight will depend on the food you eat and how active you are.1
Some smokers find that they gain weight after giving up smoking. In fact, it’s reported that the average amount of excess weight in the first year is thought to be around 5kg, according to one source.2
Most disposable vapes or vape juices found in vape kits or pens also contain nicotine - unless you opt for a nicotine-free product. Some users switching to vapes are often interested to know do vapes have calories? While brands of vaping products vary on what they include in their juices, many do use sweeteners. Therefore, the calories associated per vape or per mls of liquid is likely to be minimal.
When it comes to other smoke-free options, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which is also thought to support smokers on their smoke-free journey, some researchers suggest that vapes could be a better option at tackling associated weight gain.
Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, notes that for those who stop smoking cigarettes, it’s possible to “start off on a higher strength e-liquid and then they can taper down quite gradually in a much more sophisticated way than they can with NRT”2.
How Vaping Can Help You Maintain Your Weight After Quitting Smoking
While nicotine can suppress appetite by increasing metabolism,3 vaping should not be used as a weight-loss tool. Vaping alone will not help you lose weight. At the beginning, adult vapers should treat their habit in the same way as they would smoking - by matching nicotine intake, then gradually reducing it over time.
If you’ve recently quit smoking, there are many other reasons why stopping smoking can cause an increased appetite. One of them is that ex-smokers are used to keeping their hands and mouths busy. For some, the action of vaping, or taking a vaping break, is one similarity that users can replicate. Vaping is also an experience that mimics the action of smoking, and therefore by keeping your mouth and hands busy, vaping can fill the hand-to-mouth smoking action and rituals. Vaping satisfies those nicotine cravings, too. All things considered, this makes vaping an effective tool for stopping smoking.
For any adult giving up smoking and making the switch to vaping, managing weight through eating a balanced diet, and taking regular exercise will support a smoke-free lifestyle. Besides using stopping smoking aids, the NHS gives recommendations for anyone stopping smoking. These include keeping busy and exercising to prevent the urge to smoke again.4
Tips for Safe Vaping Habits
First, and very importantly, if you have never smoked before, it’s not advisable to take up vaping. There’s plenty of information available about calories found in some vapes. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution with these, as online results aren’t always verified. Trying to keep track of your calorie intake from vaping by looking at what’s on the internet isn’t advised.
Instead of counting vape calories, being mindful of how much you’re vaping in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle is likely the most sensible approach. Having an awareness of how much you vape, regardless of any concerns around weight loss, will help to keep your vaping motivations on track. Vaping in moderation alongside a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise is an ideal way to vape without this affecting your weight.
Choose The Right Nicotine Strength
Choosing the right nicotine strength of your disposable vape/vape juice is important for several reasons - all of which relate to your personal preference and tastes. Are you looking for a low-nicotine-strength juice? Are you opting for one that offers a balance of flavour and vapour production? Different strengths of nicotine in vape juice are available to help you manage your cravings. It’s worth remembering that nicotine is just an option in vape juice - there are some that come with 0 mg of nicotine. To learn more about nicotine-free vapes, try our article, ‘Are Nicotine-Free Vapes Safe?’
In many disposable vapes, you’ll find strengths between 0-20 mg available, and this goes for vape juices, too.
Some of our newest disposable vapes from brands you’ll know and some you don’t, offer 20 mg of nicotine. The Elf Bar NC600, IVG Bar Crystal Disposable Pod, and the Strapped Stix V2 Disposable Pod are among our favourites. Our article on the best disposable vapes around tells you everything you need to know about the top disposable vapes available now, with ratings by vapers - so you can see how they stack up.
Nicotine salts, commonly known as nic salts, are available in 10 mg and 20 mg strengths. These vape juices usually come in size 10 ml bottles and with plenty of flavours to choose from - making it easy for vapers to find the right flavour in the right strength.
On vaping.com, you’ll find a wide range of vape juices for rechargeable devices - whether you’re looking for shortfills, nic salts or nic shots - and 10 ml liquids in a variety of nicotine strengths.
What Ingredients are in Vapes?
Precisely what is in your prefilled disposable vape, or your vape juice, entirely depends on the brand, and typically, the product itself. Generally speaking, vapes are made up from several ingredients including nicotine. Most also contain the following:
Vegetable Glycerin (or glycerine) typically appears on packaging as ‘VG’. This product is a sweet-tasting, odourless, colourless liquid extracted from plants and is responsible for the clouds that vaporise from your device. VG is a food-grade liquid and is frequently used as a thickening agent in all sorts of food-safe products, from foods and toothpaste to medication.
Propylene Glycol (or PG for short) is a clear, mostly odourless liquid which acts as a carrier for nicotine and any flavourings. Given PG is also a food-grade substance, this too can be found in a wide range of familiar food-grade safe products like liquid sweeteners, ice cream and even artificial tears!
Food-grade flavourings are added to vape liquid to give the juice its signature flavour. This is another food-safe product that’s found in all kinds of food products.
At vaping.com, you’ll find vape juices designed to suit your rechargeable device - whether you’re looking for a balanced 50VG/50PG vape juice, or something for above ohm-vaping of 0.8ohm resistance and higher.
Learn more about ‘What Happens When You Stop Smoking and Start Vaping’ Are you curious to learn more about how vaping affects your teeth? Explore our guide to ‘The Dental Dilemma: Can Dentists Tell If You Vape?’
Vape in Moderation
Knowing what strength of nicotine works for you is key when it comes to vaping. The nicotine content of a vape differs from that of a cigarette, and it’s important to know that a vape isn’t like for like when it comes to switching from smoking. For example, did you know that disposable vapes and vape juices can sometimes provide a higher nicotine strength than some cigarettes?
With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to check the nicotine content of vapes and e-liquid, so that you’re able to properly assess whether what you’re choosing is in fact the right product for you. Adding this as a standard practice will ensure you know what you’re vaping. It can also help you monitor your preferred level of nicotine sensibly.
- NHS Scotland, Myths Around Stopping Smoking: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/stopping-smoking/when-you-stop/myths-around-stopping-smoking
- The Guardian article, published 2016: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/25/vaping-could-help-prevent-ex-smokers-piling-on-the-pounds-research-suggests
NHS, Better Health to Quit Smoking: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/