Using electronic cigarettes for weight loss?

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Could losing weight be as easy as smoking flavored electronic cigarettes? A Valley mom says it’s her solution to trying to shed baby weight and quitting tobacco lit cigarettes, all at once.

“I still eat a little here and there, but not what I used to,” said Aja Duff. “It suppresses that feeling because you have all the different flavors and it kind of tricks your taste buds and stomach.”

While Duff admits she has concerns about the long-term health effects of inhaling the e-cig vapors, she’s not yet willing to put down the electronic cigarette. She’s in a growing population, igniting a billion dollar industry that comes with variety.

“My favorite flavor is blue raspberry; cotton candy is awesome,” said Joel Vinson of Vape Escapes in Phoenix.

Vinson credits e-cigarettes for helping him off tobacco lit cigarettes. He now sells a product which worked for him and mixes new flavors, everything from dessert to cocktail inspired flavors.

“Happy hours is a candy lime martini,” Vinson described from a counter filled with dozens of vials of flavored liquids.

Vinson says some customers vape to be social, or even because they’re diabetic.

“They come in and say, ‘oh wow, apple pie and banana crème and chocolate mint!’ said Vinson. “They can get their fix off that, no nicotine, and that’s their substitute.”

But while inhaling dessert, free of calories sounds like a dream come true, doctors say not so fast.

“I just don’t think we know enough,” said Dr. Suzanne Sorof of Banner Heart Hospital.

While Dr. Sorof says e-cigarettes are a much better alternative to tobacco lit cigarettes for smokers, she does not advise using them for alternative reasons, such as weight loss.

“Basically taking any stimulant to suppress your appetite is never going to be healthy,” said Dr. Sorof. “These quick fads normally fade, and then you’re left with the repercussions of what it’s done to your lungs. That’s what we don’t know right now.”

“I have that fear every time I smoke it,” said Aja Duff. However, she said, for now, the lure of dropping pounds outweighs the risks.  However, she has made a promise to herself and her family.

“Once I lose that weight, I’m completely done smoking, period,” said Duff.