Smoking-related weight and appetite concerns and use of electronic cigarettes among daily cigarette smokers

Psychol Health Med. 2019 Feb;24(2):221-228. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2018.1537495. Epub 2018 Oct 22.


Weight control is a common motive for cigarette smoking. Some individuals also report using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) for weight control. This study tested the hypothesis that the tendency to use combustible cigarettes for weight/appetite control would be associated with higher odds of current e-cigarette use among adult daily combustible cigarette smokers. Participants (n = 577; Mage = 44.42; 52.7% female) were recruited to participate in an online survey. Smoking for weight/appetite control was assessed via the Smoking-Related Weight and Eating Episodes Test (SWEET). Results indicated that higher scores on two SWEET subscales were significantly associated with increased odds of current e-cigarette use: smoking to suppress appetite (OR = 1.356,CI95% = 1.116-1.646, p = .002) and smoking to prevent overeating (OR = 1.314, CI95% = 1.101-1.567, p = .002). Scores on the other SWEET subscales were not significantly associated with current e-cigarette use. These findings indicate that daily smokers who smoke to manage their appetite and eating may be more likely to use e-cigarettes, potentially because e-cigarettes will also serve this function. Future research should evaluate beliefs about e-cigarettes in management of appetite and eating behavior, and the acute effects of e-cigarettes on weight and eating behavior relative to combustible cigarettes.

Keywords: Electronic cigarettes; cigarette smoking; e-cigarettes; tobacco; weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Cigarette Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged