What Are The Side Effects of Vaping?

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Studies on the side effects of vaping is a relatively new area of research. Compared to the side effects of cigarettes, which have been studies since the early 1950's. How vaping affects the body, especially the lungs is still not certain.

The image below points out some of the areas that vapers felt affected. Based on a survey of data collected from 19,000 vapers globally.

Side Effects of Vaping | Ruthless Vapor


Common side effects vapers have reported in the survey mentioned above involving over 19,000 people worldwide included:

  • Sore Throat
  • Dry Mouth
  • Mouth Sores
  • Gum Bleeding
  • Dry Skin / Rash / Itchiness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Cough
  • Chest pains
  • Headache
  • Nausea / Dizziness / Lightheaded
  • Sleeplessness
  • Heart palpitations

It’s important to mention that the health effects of vaping are not widely understood, and not everyone will experience these perceived symptoms. As the study above cited, 40% of participants didn’t report any noticeable side effect at all.

With that being said, about 65% of the reported symptoms were related to dry mouth, sore throat, cough, or gum problems. What’s even better is that 90% of these symptoms are avoidable or partially resolvable.

To better assess why you are experiencing some of these reported symptoms, you will learn the following:

  • What are the negative and positive health effects of vaping and how to avoid them!

Smoking to Vaping Side Effects?

Smoking to Vaping Side Effects | Symptoms of smokers quitting

If you are quitting cigarettes, you might mistake the symptoms of quitting for the side effects of vaping.

When you quit smoking, two things can cause you to have undesirable symptoms:

  1. Your lungs detoxing chemicals from cigarettes
  2. Nicotine withdrawal

Temporary side effects of your lungs recovering from quitting cigarettes:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Shortness of breath / Wheezing
  • Chest Pains
  • Mouth ulcers

You may experience negative effects from quitting, but it’s your body’s natural response to clearing up your lungs from the years of smoking. You may experience flu-like symptoms such as coughing and sore throat. The good news is that these health effects are temporary and it’s a sign that your body is healing.

To speed up the process, be sure to keep hydrated and having a humidifier will make it easier for you to cough up the mucus.

Side effects from nicotine withdrawal:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Constipation, stomach pains
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Intense cravings for nicotine
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability, Mood Swings, Anxiety, and Depression  

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and when you quit smoking, you will experience nicotine withdrawal. This is what makes it difficult for smokers to quit and one of the reasons why many smokers transition into vaping.

Vape juice also contains nicotine, but nicotine is absorbed differently in your bloodstream compared to smoking.

When you vape regular vape juice or freebase nicotine, it can take up to 30 minutes to get the equivalent amount of nicotine as smoking a cigarette in the first 5 minutes.

Due to the differences in how nicotine is delivered, when you start vaping, you can still get nicotine withdrawal symptoms with intense cravings for smoking a cigarette. It will also lead new vapers to vape excessively and cause symptoms of nicotine poisoning.

If you haven’t heard about nicotine salts, it’s a new thing on the block that replicates the nicotine sensation of a cigarette. Learn more about it here!

What are the side effects of vaping too much nicotine?

Side Effects Of Nicotine

Smokers who are new to vaping have a tendency to vape too much or chain vape. This is because vaping takes longer for the nicotine to be delivered into your bloodstream than a cigarette would. Beginners will have a tendency to think they are not getting enough nicotine and will continue to vape which will result in vapers to get sick from the nicotine.

Here are the possible side effects of having too much nicotine:

  • Headache
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • Drowsiness or fainting
  • Throat irritation
  • Restlessness, agitation, anxiety, or confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Rash
  • Breathing difficulties: quick and heavy breathing
  • Racing Heart or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure

These side effects can last up to an hour or two. For severe nicotine poisoning symptoms, it may last up to 24 hours. Remember, nicotine can be fatal among children if a child accidentally drinks an e-juice bottle or gets e-juice on their skin.

How to avoid getting nicotine sick

Getting nicotine sick or having mild nicotine poisoning is entirely avoidable. If you start to experience headaches, feel nauseous, or get the jitters, it’s best that you take a break. If you continue to vape, you will only make it worse. As long as you recognize the symptoms, you can avoid worsening the adverse effects.

If you get e-liquid on your skin, it’s not likely you will get nicotine poisoning unless you put your hand in a vat full of e-juice. If you do get e-juice on your skin, immediately run it through warm water and you should be good to go.

Another thing to consider is if you have a tendency to chain vape, you may want to choose a nicotine level that works best for you.

Read more on how to choose the right nicotine strength!

Side Effects of Vaping Without Nicotine

Side effects of vaping without nicotine

Nicotine is one of the main ingredients in vape juice that can cause adverse effects. However, you can order e-juice without nicotine although you can still get adverse effects from propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin such as dehydration.

Let’s explore some of the possible side effects from propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin.

Vaping Side Effects of Propylene Glycol

Side Effects of Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol (PG) is the main ingredient responsible for carrying the flavoring in your vape juice. PG is found in everyday items such as personal care products and foods. Although PG is approved by the FDA for human ingestion, the health effects of inhalation are not widely understood.

Due to its humectant properties, it is known to cause dehydration among vapers who use higher PG ratios.

Here are the side effects of propylene glycol reported by vapers caused by dehydration.

  • Coughing
  • Constipation
  • Dry throat / Throat irritation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dry Eyes
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

People who may be allergic to PG may experience these symptoms:

  • Skin Irritation / Rash
  • Extreme itchiness
  • Sinus problems

How to avoid the side effects of propylene glycol?

  • If you are sensitive to the effects of propylene glycol, you can order e-juice that is higher in VG ratio or buy e-juices that are 100% VG.
  • If you are getting dehydration symptoms, you will have to drink more water than you would normally. As long as you stay hydrated, you can eliminate most of the side effects caused by vaping.

Vaping Side Effects of Vegetable Glycerin

Side Effects of Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a viscous liquid that makes up for the majority of the e-liquid and it’s responsible for producing a smooth inhale and the thick clouds you see when vapers exhale.

VG is commonly found in shampoo, soap, deodorant, and baked goods. It is an FDA approved ingredient for human consumption, but not much is known on the effects of inhaling this chemical.

Similarly to PG, VG is used as an ingredient to preserve moisture and the side effects reported by vapers are mainly caused by dehydration.

Here are some possible side effects of VG reported by vapers:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Sore Throat
  • Dryness in Nose
  • Increased Thirst
  • Coughing

How to avoid the side effects of vegetable glycerin?

Being allergic to vegetable glycerin is rare, and vaping comes with a territory. If you are experiencing these side effects, you may not be able to avoid them completely, but you can reduce them.

  • Drink more water than you would normally to avoid dehydration.
  • Vape less. Find a nicotine strength that works for you and regulate your vaping habits.

What about the positive side effects of vaping?

Positive side effects of vaping

From what we know currently, the negative side effects stem either from quitting cigarettes, getting too much nicotine, or dehydration.

In a study conducted on online vaping forums, researchers have reported 405 different symptoms. 78 of them were related to side effects that could have been caused by not smoking cigarettes. Many of the positive side effects were associated with an improvement in the respiratory system when vaping with tested and high-quality vape juice.

Let’s go over some of the possible side effects reported by smokers who switched from smoking to vaping:

  • Better breathing
  • Less Coughing
  • Improved COPD
  • Fewer Sore Throats
  • Reduced bad breath
  • Improved fitness: stamina and endurance
  • Better Smell
  • Better taste
  • Improved overall health

Long-Term Side Effects of Vaping?

Long-term side effects of vaping are not yet known. We don’t know if the level of toxicants is at a high enough level to cause long-term damage.

In a study examining vapers who have vaped every day for the past 3.5 years, researchers haven't found any signs of lung damage. Although the study only looked at nine vapers who have never smoked, it is still a positive sign that vaping may not be dangerous in the long run.

Comment below on your vaping experience

Tell us what side effects you have reported and how you have resolved them? Feel free to share your experience so you can help others learn!

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