College students who vape appear to be at higher risk of having an eating disorder, a new study suggests. One of the researchers said, “The study’s findings are especially relevant as we have seen a surge in referrals for eating disorders and substance use disorders during the pandemic.”
The study of over 50,000 college students found that those diagnosed with an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia, were more likely to use electronic cigarettes.
This is a concern because vaping and an eating disorder together can lead to other health complications, including those of the heart and lungs, as well as neurological problems.
The study authors believe nicotine could be the common link between an eating disorder and vaping as nicotine vaping may be used by individuals to support eating disorder behaviors and goals, such as suppressing appetite and catalyzing weight loss, but warned that nicotine vaping can lead to dependence and future polysubstance use.
The researchers added that young people who are struggling with their eating or substance use should seek help from a health professional.
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