There is a long list of benefits that you will get to enjoy when you decide to stop smoking cigarettes. Within just hours of quitting, your heart rate will slow down to a normal speed and your blood pressure will stabilize.
The carbon monoxide levels in your blood will begin to drop, and oxygen will start to reach your heart and muscles more easily. You will experience a renewed sense of taste and smell, and within just weeks, your lungs will start the recovery process and begin to clean themselves out.
You will likely notice that you will cough less, your immune system will be improved dramatically, and you will start to feel healthier overall. But there is one big drawback that often comes along with quitting, and it’s one that some people struggle with for a long time once they quit: Weight gain!
Nicotine is believed to be an appetite suppressant, so even though you might not necessarily notice it when you’re smoking a cigarette, it helps kill off the cravings that your body feels for food. This is why many smokers are able to simply smoke a cigarette when they are hungry and immediately feel a sense of relief.
The problem, though, is that when you remove that nicotine from your body when you quit smoking, you start to crave food almost all the time and you usually begin to eat more than ever before. It’s why so many ex-smokers pack on the pounds once they decide to quit smoking, and it’s also why some smokers return to smoking after they quit. Outside of the fix that nicotine provides, it helps people keep weight off and prevents them from eating more than they should.
According to The Guardian, the average person gains more than 11 pounds when they stop smoking. But there might be a solution to this problem. A new study published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal indicates that e-cigarettes might help people who are giving up cigarettes to avoid the weight gain that typically comes along with it. It’s still too early to tell if e-cigarettes are the answer that people are looking for when it comes to quitting smoking, but the study could be a sign of good things to come.
How E-Cigarettes May Help Stop Weight Gain
“E-cigarettes allow you to hit your sweet tooth without putting sugary candies, cookies, cakes, and other foods into your mouth.”
Many people turn to nicotine replacement therapies like patches and gums when they decide to quit smoking cigarettes. And while these forms of treatment can give your body the nicotine it craves and prevent you from putting on too much weight, the problem with them is it’s virtually impossible to control how much nicotine is entering your body when you use them.
You put a patch on your arm or you stick a piece of gum into your mouth and it sends nicotine into your system, but you have no real way of knowing how much nicotine you are getting. And at some point, you have to wean your way off those types of nicotine replacement therapies, and that’s when you can run into issues with weight gain.
If you are used to smoking one or two packs of cigarettes every day, you will likely require more nicotine at first when you quit, and e-cigarettes will allow you to get that nicotine into your system. However, over time, you will be able to slowly reduce the amount of nicotine that you use, and before long, you can actually eliminate nicotine altogether.
By taking this approach, you will reportedly find that you won’t experience the same kinds of cravings for food as you would if you simply cut nicotine out altogether at some point. The study shows that people seem to gain less weight when they use e-cigarettes over the more traditional nicotine replacement therapies.
Other Potential Benefits of Using E-Cigarettes
Controlling the nicotine that you use on a daily basis is just one of the potential benefits of using e-cigarettes to avoid weight gain when you stop smoking. One of the other big benefits that the researchers involved in the study pointed out is that many people shy away from certain sweets and other kinds of junk food when they vape with certain flavors.
E-cigarettes allow you to hit your sweet tooth without putting sugary candies, cookies, cakes, and other foods into your mouth. The tastes and aromas of the e juices you use in your e-cigarette will often serve as a substitute and appease your senses.
The researchers also believe that the physical act of preparing an e-cigarette for vaping can also stop some people from eating. When you vape, you will need to fill the tank inside your e-cigarette with your preferred e juice.
This takes time, but many vapers find it to be a relaxing activity that makes them appreciate vaping even more. It also keeps them away from the kitchen cabinets, and as one of study’s co-authors Linda Bauld said, when people are busy re-filling their e-cigarettes, they’re “not reaching for the bowl of M&Ms.”
That might sound a bit silly on the surface, but when you think about it, you will spend a lot of time experimenting with e juices when you start vaping. And it will help keep your hands and, maybe more importantly, your mind occupied and off of food.
So, Are E-Cigarettes the Solution?
After reading all of this, you might be tempted to try and quit smoking right now by using e-cigarettes. And while this might end up being a great idea one day, the researchers involved in the study stopped short of saying that e-cigarettes are the best solution for avoiding weight gain during smoking cessation.
There is some evidence that suggests that e-cigarettes could help dramatically throughout the process, but there isn’t enough known about the long-term health risks associated with e-cigarettes yet. So the researchers have called for more research to be done in the future to see whether or not e-cigarettes are truly a solution for so many people who have struggled to stop smoking due to weight gain.
The researchers were also quick to caution people against using e-cigarettes simply to try and lose weight. If you aren’t a smoker already, they said, you shouldn’t pick up vaping as a means to lose a few pounds.
At least, not until more is known about using e-cigarettes and nicotine. “We are not suggesting that we should promote e-cigarettes to people who haven’t smoked,” Bauld said. “But for people who are thinking about the best way to stop smoking and are concerned about weight gain, I think what we are suggesting is that e-cigarettes should certainly be considered.”
Hopefully, this particular study will lead to other studies in the future that will shed more light on the possible benefits of vaping when you’re trying to quit smoking. But for now, this study is, at the very least, an encouraging sign for vapers everywhere and could ultimately help show why e-cigarettes should be a viable option for those who want to cut cigarettes out of their lives.