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October 20, 2017

Are Electronic Cigarettes Making You Gain Weight While Increasing Your Cardiometabolic Risk?


According to research (full article – requires subscription to Obesity Reviews) published by Obesity Reviews, the answer is yes. Electronic cigarette smoking has the same deleterious effect on weight and metabolic parameters as traditional cigarettes. Noting that smoking increases insulin resistance and contributes to other features of the metabolic profile, Ann A. Verhaegen, M.D., and Luc Van Gaal, M.D., Ph.D., from Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium, and colleagues examined the impact of e-cigarettes on metabolic parameters.

The researchers note that based on animal model experiments, e-cigarette smoking has similar effects as regular cigarette smoking on weight and metabolic parameters, even without nicotine exposure.

Animal studies available today suggest that e-cigarette smoking has comparable deleterious effects on weight, body fat distribution, glucose and lipid parameters, and other cardiovascular risk factors as regular cigarettes, although they might be less pronounced. Until more human data are available, e-cigarette smoke should be used with caution, not only because of the pulmonary and carcinogenic effects, but also because of the possible cardiometabolic effects.

Article Summary

The prevalence of non-cigarette tobacco use in electronic cigarettes, also called vaping, is rapidly increasing, especially in adolescents and young adults, due to attractive marketing techniques promoting them as healthier alternatives to conventional tobacco cigarettes. Although smoking is associated with weight loss, it increases insulin resistance and attributes to other features of the metabolic syndrome, increasing the cardiometabolic risk profile. Whether vaping has the same deleterious effects on metabolic parameters as regular cigarette smoke has not yet been studied thoroughly in humans. However, animal model experiments attribute comparable effects of e-cigarette smoking, even without nicotine exposure, on weight and metabolic parameters as compared to smoking cigarettes. In this review paper, we want to give an overview of published data on the effects on weight and cardiometabolic parameters of e-cigarette use and formulate some mechanistic hypotheses…

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