How people become addicted to cigarette smoking and remain addicted despite repeated attempts to
quit requires piecing together a rather complex puzzle. The present review contextualizes the role of nicotine and
smoking sensory stimulation on maintaining smoking, describes nicotine’s effects on feeding behavior and body
weight, and explores the impact of smoking outcome expectancies, including the belief that nicotine suppresses
appetite and body weight, on the decision to smoke or vape (use of e-cigarettes). The analysis concludes with a
review of rat models of human nicotine intake that attempt to isolate the effects of nicotine on appetite and weight
gain. Animal research replicates with relative closeness phenomena observed in smokers, but the rat model falls
short of replicating the long-term weight gain observed post-smoking cessation.
Keywords: Smoking, vaping, nicotine, weight gain, food intake, reduced nicotine, E-cigarettes.
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