Compulsive exercise and vaping among a sample of U.S. College students aged 18–26 years

Kyle T. Ganson*, Jason M. Lavender, Rachel F. Rodgers, Mitchell Cunningham, Jason M. Nagata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the association between compulsive exercise and vaping among college students aged 18–26 years, and to characterize the type of vaping used among participants who report compulsive exercise. Methods: Cross-sectional, pooled data from two survey years (2018–2020; N = 2125) of the national (U.S.) Healthy Minds Study were analyzed. Compulsive exercise was measured based on number of occurrences in the past 28 days (analyzed continuously and among those who reported ≥ 1 and ≥ 20 occurrences). Vaping was measured based on reported use in the past 30 days. Most recent type of vaping was assessed only among participants who reported vaping. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate the associations between compulsive exercise and vaping, while adjusting for covariates. Results: For every additional occurrence of compulsive exercise reported by participants, their odds of also reporting vaping increased by 5% (95% CI 1.01–1.09). Participants who reported 20 or more occurrences of compulsive exercise in the past 28 days, a clinical threshold, had 3.71 (95% CI 1.28–10.76) higher odds of vaping in the past 30 days. Among participants who endorsed vaping, nicotine vaping was the most common recent type for those who reported any (76.2%) or 20 or more (50.2%) occurrences of compulsive exercise. Conclusion: Compulsive exercise is associated with vaping in a national, U.S. sample of college students, with nicotine vaping being the most common type used. Screening for both compulsive exercise and vaping, particularly if either is reported, among college-age young adults is necessary to implement prevention and intervention strategies. Level of evidence: V, cross-sectional descriptive study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1161
Number of pages9
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • College students
  • Compulsive exercise
  • Disordered eating
  • Nicotine
  • Vaping
  • e-cigarettes


Dive into the research topics of 'Compulsive exercise and vaping among a sample of U.S. College students aged 18–26 years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this