Perceptions of Smoking and Vaping on Weight Control Among Adult American Indians Who Smoke

J Community Health. 2019 Dec;44(6):1120-1126. doi: 10.1007/s10900-019-00694-x.


Interest in electronic cigarette (EC) use, or vaping, to help control weight is increasing. Many American Indian (AI) populations have a high prevalence of smoking, obesity, and EC use, but their perceptions of EC use for weight control are unknown. In Oklahoma in 2016, 375 AI adults who smoke completed a survey including perceptions about smoking and EC effects on weight control. Only 24% believed that smoking helps control weight, and 8% believed that vaping helps control weight. Perceptions differed by EC use, with ever users more often than never users perceiving that smoking (30% vs 12%, respectively; p < .01) and vaping (10% vs 5%; p = .04) help to control weight. Sex, age group (18-44 years vs 45 + years), education (high school graduate/equivalent vs less than high school), smoking cessation attempt in past year, and likelihood to quit in 6 months were not associated with weight control perceptions for either smoking or vaping. Uncertainty regarding EC effects on weight control was less common among EC ever users compared to never users (41% vs 53%, respectively; p = .04). Most people who did not believe or were uncertain that smoking controls weight also did not believe or were uncertain that vaping controls weight. However, only a minority (29%) of people who believed smoking controls weight also believed that vaping controls weight. Among adult AI who smoke, both smoking and vaping were infrequently perceived as helping to control weight, but such perceptions were reported more frequently among those who ever used ECs.

Keywords: Adult; Attitude; Body weight changes; Cigarette smoking; Electronic nicotine delivery systems; Indians; North American; Vaping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaping / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult