The newest quick fix to staying slim could be vaping electronic cigarettes, according to New Zealand researchers.

Two Massey University professors were part of a team that has published a commentary titled Could vaping be a new weapon in the battle of the bulge?, which says vaping electronic cigarettes with flavoured liquids could help with keeping weight off.

Massey University associate professor Marewa Glover, who was involved in the commentary, said current knowledge supports the idea that vaping might help with keeping weight down but further research is needed.

"Vaping's use of e-liquids with food flavours, along with the mouth-feel and aroma of the vapour and the hand-to-mouth actions of vaping, could play a role in helping people eat less."

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She said obesity is set to overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of disease and early death.

"If there is a chance that flavoured vaping could help even a small proportion of people reduce the diabetes, cardiovascular and cancer risks associated with excess weight, the population health gains would be significant," Dr Glover said.

Massey University Professor Bernhard Breier said the role of taste and smell being linked to feeling full "shows considerable promise".

"Research investigating how taste and aroma enhance satiation will support the development of flavours that induce or increase the feeling of satiation while reducing food intake.

"Such approaches will advance knowledge about enhanced sensory attributes generated through the smell, taste, colour, temperature and mouth-feel of particular vapours.

The review of research was led by Dr Glover, alongside Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling, and Breier.

Bauld said health care systems were "struggling to cope with caring for people with chronic conditions cause by obesity", and new approaches were "worth investigating".

Meanwhile an Auckland University study says very low nicotine cigarettes have huge benefits and few potential harms.

Co-author of the study Professor Chris Bullen said reducing nicotine makes smoking less addictive.

Researchers from Auckland University and the Universities of Pittsburgh and Minnesota showed that reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes could have benefits with minimal harm.

"The goal is to enable current smokers to stop smoking and prevent youth from being dependent on cigarettes.

"The approach aims to break the link between nicotine addiction and the use of burned tobacco which results in such harmful effects on health."