Vaping electronic cigarettes with flavoured liquids could help with weight control, according to a new paper co-authored by two Massey University College of Health researchers.
The commentary, titled 'Could vaping be a new weapon in the battle of the bulge?' was published in the international journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research today.
Associate Professor Marewa Glover from Massey's School of Public Health led the review of existing research, alongside Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling and UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, and Professor Bernhard Breier, Massey's Chair in Human Nutrition and a world leading expert on appetite regulation and metabolic health.
The researchers wanted to explore the notion that vaping could help battle obesity, by first establishing what the scientific consensus is to date.
Dr Glover says current knowledge supports the idea that flavoured vaping might help with weight control but further research is needed."Vaping's use of e-liquids with food flavours, along with the mouth-feel and aroma of the vapour and the hand-to-mouth actions of vaping, could play a role in helping people eat less," Dr Glover says.
Dr Glover, Professor Breier and Professor Bauld intend to investigate these possibilities further as part of their ongoing research.
"Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of disease and early death in several countries. If there is 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," Dr Glover says.
Professor Bauld says, "Our health care systems are struggling to cope with caring for people with chronic conditions caused by obesity. New approaches that could help address this are worth investigating."
Professor Breier says the role of taste perception and aroma as sensory triggers of satiety mechanisms shows considerable promise.
"Research investigating how taste and aroma enhance satiation will support the development of flavours that induce or increase the feeling of satiation while reducing food intake. Such approaches will advance knowledge about enhanced sensory attributes generated through the smell, taste, colour, temperature and mouth-feel of particular vapours," Professor Breier says.
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Marewa Glover et al. Could Vaping be a New Weapon in the Battle of the Bulge?, Nicotine & Tobacco Research (2016). DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntw278