Vaping is being promoted in Malaysia as an aid to weight loss, according to a story in The Star.
The principal investigator of the National E-cigarette Survey (NECS) 2016, associate professor Dr. Mohamad Haniki Nik Mohamed, was quoted as saying that vaping was being touted as an appetite suppressant.
Vaping devices were being promoted as inhalation weight management aids and were clearly targeted at women and young girls, he said.
The Star said that a Google search had shown that online stores were promoting electronic cigarettes with fruit, green tea, and plant extracts, purportedly containing vitamin and weight control properties.
Meanwhile, a member of the Universiti Malaya’s Nicotine Addiction Research & Collaboration Group (NARCC), Dr. Nur Amani Natasha Ahmad Tajuddin, said the amount of these “supposedly beneficial” extracts were too little to be of use.
“What’s the percentage of green tea extract in the liquid?
“How much green tea does your body need for it to have an impact?
“These liquids [presumably e-liquids] contain more harmful chemicals than anything,” she said, adding that vaping nicotine killed taste buds and suppressed appetite but that there was no proof that it was safe.
Meanwhile, the University of Cambridge behavior and health research unit director Professor Dame Theresa Marteau said some flavors and marketing strategies were aimed at those with weight issues.
“If someone’s smoking because of weight concerns, and they want to stop, they’d be better off vaping,” she said.
“If vaping is attracting them because it’s highlighting the fact that you can smoke chocolate rather than eat chocolate, that may not be a bad thing although I wouldn’t recommend it.”
According to an article in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal last year, vapers were claiming that vaping helped them to control weight gain after they stopped smoking.