High school students’ use of flavored e-cigarette e-liquids for appetite control and weight loss
Background: Although weight-related reasons for smoking and vaping have been examined in adults, research in adolescents is lacking. Thus, we examined the prevalence and correlates of using flavored e-liquids for appetite control or weight loss in high school adolescents.
Methods: The analytic sample included 529 students who completed a school-based survey in Connecticut in Spring 2017 (50.6% female, 79.5% White, mean age 16.27 [SD = 1.18], range 13–19 years). Inclusion criteria were past-30-day vaping, using ≥ 1 flavored e-liquid (past month), and having non-missing data on flavored e-liquid use for appetite control and weight loss. Participants reported on sex, age, race, past-30-day vaping and smoking frequency, nicotine e-liquid use, flavored e-liquid use (e.g., tobacco, mint, fruit, candy), and flavored e-liquid use for appetite control and/or weight loss.
Results: Adolescent e-cigarette users (past 30-days) reported vaping flavored e-liquids for appetite control (13.8%) and weight loss (9.3%). Using flavored e-liquids for appetite control or weight loss, respectively, was associated with more frequent vaping (OR = 1.21; 1.21) and using more flavored e-liquids (OR = 1.33; 1.28, p-values < 0.01). Vaping candy-flavored e-liquids (OR = 1.16, p = 0.02) uniquely was associated with vaping for appetite control.
Conclusions: A subset of adolescents reported using flavored e-liquids for weight-related reasons. These adolescents reported vaping more frequently than their counterparts, raising concerns about increased nicotine exposure. Research is needed to understand where adolescents learn about weight-motivated vaping (e.g., friends, social media) and whether weight-related motives promote e-cigarette initiation among e-cigarette naïve individuals or continued/escalating use among current users.
Morean, Meghan E., Krysten W. Bold, Grace Kong, et al. 2020. "High school students’ use of flavored e-cigarette e-liquids for appetite control and weight loss." Addictive Behaviors 102: 106139.
Adolescent, E-cigarette, Vape, Weight, Diet, Appetite