In this article we want to talk about the side effects vaping can have. I don’t know about you, but when I hear “side effects” I always think of bad things happening to me. All these side effects, when they occur due to vaping, should pass after a couple of days. Most of the times your body just needs to get used to vaping and should be okay after a few days.
What is vaping?
Before going into detail and talk about the side effects vaping can have on your body, let’s talk first a bit about what vaping is. In short terms, vaping means inhaling an aerosol through an ecigarette. Inside an e-cigarette, you will find a battery as well as a heating element. This heating element is responsible for making the inhalable aerosol. Instead of tobacco, e-cigarettes use a so called e-liquid or vape juice. This eliquid is heated up by the heating element inside the e-cigarette, which makes it become an aerosol which then can be inhaled.
You can buy these e-liquids with or without nicotine. Most vape shops not only offer e-liquids with different flavours, but also with different amounts of nicotine. This gives you more control over the amount of nicotine your body consumes. Over time, you can decrease the amount of nicotine in your e-liquid until you don’t need nicotine at all. Most vape shops offer the following nicotine ratio: 0mg-6mg-9mg-18mg-24mg of nicotine.
Because of the fact, that you can decide how much nicotine you want to have inside your vape juices, a lot of ex-active-smokers use vaping as an alternative to smoking real tobacco. Because of the different flavours and the smoke (called: vapor), it nearly has the same “smoking” experience like a real cigarette, but it contains about 7000 toxic chemicals less. For this reason, vaping is often advertised as being healthier than smoking.
There have not been long-term studies on the effects vaping can have on your body, if you vape for many years. Vaping is healthier compared to smoking, but it is still not healthy. Vaping should be used to quit smoking. Over time the nicotine inside the e-liquid can and should be decreased so that in the future, you can quit vaping as well.
What are the side effects of vaping?
In the following list I would like to explain the possible side effects of vaping. So let’s start with…
One of the most common side effects vaping can have is a dry mouth. This is probably the number 1 side effect that nearly every vaper has experienced. Getting a dry mouth is normal when you start vaping and should pass in the next couple of days. The reason for getting a dry mouth after vaping are the ingredients inside the vape juice. A standard eliquid contains two main ingredients: Propylene glycol (PG) and Vegetable glycerin (VG). Both of them are strong water absorbents which is the reason why you get a dry mouth when you vape. As soon as the vapor gets in touch with the inside of your mouth, a lot of the water of your saliva gets absorbed by the PG and VG mixture, which leaves you with a dry sensation.
The best and easiest way to prevent that, is to drink a lot of water. Especially in the beginning of your vaping experience, it can be very helpful to drink more water than usual. Before or/and after every inhaling of the vapor, take a sip of water and after a few days you should be fine. The body needs about 3 days to get accustomed to new things, so about this time your body should be used to the new vaping experience.
A throat ache can be a side effect of vaping, especially if you are using an eliquid with a high amount of PG. Most eliquids are sold in the ratio 50:50 of PG and VG. This ratio is the best for most users because it combines the positive affects of the Propylene Glycol as well as the Vegetable Glycerin. VG is perfect for the use in eliquids because it gives a smooth touch to the vapor you inhale whereas PG is responsible to give you a throat hit, that most of you are used of a tobacco cigarette.
And herein lies one of the reasons why some of you may experience a throat ache or a sour throat in the beginning of your vaping experience. As with everything, your body needs to get used to the inhaling of PG. If you have a standard eliquid with half and half of PG and VG, after a few days you should be fine.
If you have a higher ratio of PG than VG in your eliquid, then we would recommend to lower the PG amount in your vape juice, at least in the beginning. For the beginning it is always best to start with a ratio of 50:50. When you are used to vaping and have more specific wishes, then you can start and try out a higher PG ratio for a harder throat hit or a higher VG ratio, if you prefer to have even more vapor around you.
Another reason that you get a throat ache or a similar sensation after vaping can be a slight allergic reaction to PG. PG is used in many products of our daily lives and is considered to be generally safe by the FDA. Nevertheless there have been incidences reported in which vapers got a slight PG allergy and got a contact dermatitis or sensations in the throat such as a cough or throat ache. You can rule this out by changing your e-liquid to a higher amount of VG or even 100% VG. Vegetable Glycerin is commonly used if a PG allergy is existing. If the symptoms decrease after changing to 100% VG, it is possible that you might have a slight allergy to PG.
Coughing is something we often connect to smoking a real cigarette. But this can also happen to vapers, especially to the newbies. There are several reasons why you can get a coughing after vaping. One of the very common reasons is that it is a natural reaction. Every time we inhale something new, a cough is a natural reaction of the body. The ingredients, the sensations, all of it is new to the body and especially to the throat. You even get it when you inhale medication for the first time. Normally, your body gets used to it very quickly and you should be without coughing after a few days.
Another reason is the nicotine. Even if you are an ex-smoker, the nicotine inside the ejuices can irritate the throat and make you cough. A good and easy-going dosis of nicotine is 3mg, with this dosis most vapers don’t have to cough after vaping. The problem is, that if you have just recently quit smoking and are now starting to vape, in the beginning you probably need a higher amount of nicotine, for example 12-18mg. This dosis makes it more likely that you have to cough after vaping, but again, these side effects of vaping are not cast in stone, so it is possible that you don’t get these. And also, if you vape a higher amount of nicotine and need to cough, after a few days your body should be used to it and you don’t need to cough anymore.
As well as the feeling of dizziness, a headache after vaping can mean, that you are not yet used to the nicotine inside the e-juice or a using a higher amount than good for your body. Remember that there are different nicotine levels one can choose. If you get a headache after vaping, the first thing we would do is lower the nicotine inside the vape juice and see, if the headache still occurs.
If you are doing the sub-ohm vaping, a feeling of a headache and/or dizziness is even more likely. Because of this big and high amount of vapor, your body is introduced to more nicotine at once than with a normal vaporizer. If you are using the sub-ohm vaping, try to lower the nicotine level here as well or try to vape at a higher resistance.
This side effect of vaping is more a side effect of using nicotine in your e-liquids. If you are an ex-smoker, then you may know this from your first cigarette. Many smokers report that the first cigarette made them feel dizzy and/or they got a headache. The same feeling can occur, when you are starting to vape, especially if you use a high amount of nicotine.
If you feel that you are getting dizzy after vaping, try to lower the amount of nicotine. Often, this is the only thing that you need to do and suddenly all the dizziness goes away.
If you are vaping e-liquids without nicotine, try to lower the amount of PG in your e-liquids. Although there are not many people that can develop an allergy against PG, there have been reports especially of people getting a contact dermatitis. To rule this out, it is best to vape a higher amount of Vegetable Glycerin than Propylene Glycol.
If you just stopped smoking, a feeling of dizziness can also be the side effect of having quit. Especially, if you are using less nicotine in your e-liquids than you had in a normal cigarette. In this case the dizziness is just a symptom of having quit smoking.
Another side effect that can occur when you are vaping for the first time is the feeling of nausea. This side effect can be related to the nicotine inside your e-liquid.
If you are vaping eliquids that don’t contain nicotine and have never smoked before, the feeling of nausea can be a natural reaction of the body to the new thing you are introducing to it. As with all new things, if you continue doing it your body should acclimate itself after a few days.
If this does not go away after a few days, another possibility is, that you have an allergic reaction to PG. Propylene Glycol is used in a lot of daily products and even some medication. Further, it is considered to be generally safe by the FDA. Even though it is used in many products of our daily lives, there are some allergies against PG that have been reported. In this situation it is best to change your e-liquid to a higher amount of Vegetable Glycerin (VG) than PG. The normal ratio between those two is 50:50. Get a higher VG amount or vape an e-liquid with 100% VG.
Just be aware that vape juices that contain a higher amount or even 100% of VG are hard on the hardware. Make sure that you use a specific vaporizer that can handle a high amount of VG, as those liquids are very thick.
Tiredness and Fatigue
The feeling of getting tired or fatigue can also occur when you are new to vaping. The reason again is most likely the nicotine that you are vaping. Nicotine can make the body more alert and give it a rush. As soon as the rush is over, you can feel some sort of tiredness and fatigue. You can compare it with the caffeine rush some people get. If you consume a lot of caffeine, in the beginning you may feel full of energy, but as soon as this rush is over, you then feel tired. The same thing can happen when you are vaping e-liquid that contains nicotine.
Weight loss or gain
Even though this is not a proofed side effect that vaping has, we still want to mention it. Many ex-smokers know this phenomenon, they stop smoking and all of a sudden they start gaining weight. How can this be? In my experience the reason is, that people try to compensate the not smoking with something else.
Their brain and body are used, often at specific times or occasions, to smoke a cigarette. Because someone stopped smoking cigarettes does not mean, that the body has forgotten the habit to do something with the hands. That’s why ex-smokers try to compensate this “doing something with their hands” with eating more than they usually do. Which will eventually lead to a weight gain.
If you use vaping as an alternative to smoking, then you will move your hands again, just like your body was used to it when you were still a smoker. Now, there is no reason to try to compensate for not smoking and eating more than necessary, because now you can just take a drag on your e-cigarette.
Vaping can make you addicted
We need to be real and honest, so we also need to point out that vaping can make you addicted the same way a real cigarette can do. If you have never been a smoker but are vaping with eliquids that contain nicotine, be aware that nicotine can make you addicted. The main reason for vaping is, that it can help active smokers to reduce the nicotine inside the eliquid to eventually skip all the nicotine inside it.
If you don’t have a nicotine addiction yet, then there is no reason for you to vape with nicotine. The advantage of vaping is, that you can do it even without nicotine but still having the same taste of the delicious flavours. So please keep that in mind when you start buying eliquids for you or friends.
Positive side effects of vaping or not smoking at all
After all those more or less negative but possible side effects vaping can have, we now want to talk about the positive side effects vaping can have on your body. To be fair, you would have the same side effects if you quit smoking and vaping together, which is the healthiest solution. But an addiction is an addiction and if it were that easy to quit, then there wouldn’t be so many people struggling to quit smoking.
So if you are still smoking and unsure, if you should give vaping a try in order to someday quit this as well, let me give you a little inside on the positive affects vaping can have on your life.
Please be aware that vaping is the healthier way to smoking, the best and really healthy way is to quit smoking and vaping altogether. All these positive affects would also occur if you just quit smoking.
Better smelling capacity
If you are an active smoker of tobacco cigarettes, then you maybe know that during your smoking years, your ability to smell and taste had decreased. Often active smokers are not aware of this fact until they stop smoking. I remember when I was a child and my father finally stopped smoking, that he was really surprised about all these things he could suddenly smell and taste. He never realized that his smelling and tasting senses weren’t that good while he was still smoking.
A tobacco cigarette has over 7,000 toxins that are bad and often even cancerogen for the body. Therefore it is no wonder that delicate parts of the body, such as the smell and taste senses, are one of the first parts damaged when smoking.
When you stop smoking altogether or you use vaping as an alternative to smoking, you will fast realize how many things you can now smell and taste.
You won’t like the smell of cigarettes anymore
A very funny thing that I observed is, that vapers who have been smokers before, suddenly behave like non-smokers when they are around smokers. Even though their bodies have been used to smoking for sometimes even decades, when they stopped smoking or started vaping, suddenly they could not stand the smell of a cigarette smoke anymore. So if you are planning on quitting smoking and still have friends who smoke tobacco cigarettes, be aware that this might happen to you as well.
Having an addiction is bad and often costs a lot of money. Besides being healthier and less harmful than a tobacco cigarette, vaping has another advantage: it is less expensive. If you are not yet ready to quit your smoking addiction, then vaping is a good and cheaper alternative.
One of the reasons why it saves money is, that you use e-liquid which is not burnt inside the e-cigarette. When you light up a tobacco cigarette it will burn until there is no more tobacco to be burnt. If you smoke and talk, all along the cigarette will burn and will get less, and less, and less. But if you use an e-cigarette, you only use up the e-liquid while you are consciously inhaling it. If you don’t take a drag on your vaporizer or e-cigarette, nothing gets consumed which means you use less and therefore, compared to a cigarette, you can definitely save a lot of money.
As you can see, all of the above mentioned side effects are not that bad and should disappear after only a few days. A lot of the mentioned side effects of vaping occur, when you are using eliquids that contain nicotine. Always remember that nicotine can make you addicted and has negative effects on the body. If you are an ex-smoker and using vaping as a healthier solution, try to decrease the nicotine inside your eliquid more and more.
If these vaping side effects do not go away after a few days and do not change after having tried a few of our solutions, please seek a medical advice. It is possible that those symptoms you have may have nothing to do with vaping but have other reasons. In this case it is advised to go to a doctor and check, why you have them.