Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health Psychology

First Advisor

Caroline Cobb

Second Advisor

Andrew Barnes

Third Advisor

Oswaldo Moreno

Fourth Advisor

Suzanne Mazzeo


Background: Weight control is a common motive for continued cigarette smoking, and weight concerns pose a barrier to quitting. These effects are driven in part by nicotine’s ability to reduce overall appetite and ultimately body weight. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) have been marketed and used for weight control, suggesting that the use of these products potentially may share similar effects as well as barriers to quitting as observed for cigarette smoking. However, little to no controlled clinical lab evidence exists supporting ENDS use for weight control. The present study tested the influence of an ENDS on acute eating behavior and associated subjective effects.

Methods: Current ENDS users (n=34; 18-65 years) completed two randomly-ordered clinical lab sessions after overnight abstinence from tobacco/nicotine and food/drinks (other than water). Sessions differed by the product administered over 20 minutes: active ENDS use (20 puffs of a JUUL device; 5% nicotine tobacco-flavored pod) or control (access to an uncharged JUUL with an empty pod). About 40 minutes after product use, participants were provided an ad lib buffet-style meal with 21 food/drink items. Subjective ratings of satiety, satisfaction, hunger, and cravings for specific foods were assessed at four time points: baseline, after product use, and before/after the meal. Energy intake (kcal) was calculated using pre-post weights of buffet food items. Repeated measures ANOVAs and pairwise comparisons for subjective measures were used to detect differences by condition and time (alpha<0.05).

Results: Thirty-four participants completed the study (mean age 25.7 years, 61.7% male, 44.1% White). Energy intake (kcal) did not differ significantly between active (1011.9 ± 98.8) and control (939.4 ± 88.4) conditions. Significant main effects of time were observed for subjective ratings of satiety and cravings towards fatty, salty, savory, and sweet foods. Significant interactions of condition and time were observed for satisfaction and hunger. Following active product administration, satisfaction significantly increased and hunger significantly decreased relative to baseline. Conversely, in the control condition, satisfaction ratings remained constant and hunger significantly increased relative to baseline.

Conclusion: Findings indicate that acute ENDS use suppressed subjective hunger and increased satisfaction but did not influence energy intake during a buffet meal. Results support further investigation of the ability of ENDS to reduce appetite.


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