What really are the side effects of vaping? There’s a lot of scaremongering in the media, with click bait about vaping coming up regularly, most of which highlights the supposed ‘bad side effects of vaping.’
Misinformation is common on the internet, and vaping is no different. Some studies are unreliable as they don’t compare vaping to smoking, and others are just badly interpreted by the media reporting it. Now, I’m no scientist, nor am I journalist, what I am is a guy who vapes, and writes a few blog posts and reviews. In this post, I’m not going to pick apart scientific studies, or go on a rant about how media outlets have misrepresented the facts, as many other posts have already talked about that – I’m just here today to tell you what you can expect as a new user.
I’ve read a lot of articles revolving around the infamous question of ‘the bad side effects of vaping’ and other negative stigmatisms surrounding vaping. My aim here, is to condense all those lengthy scientific articles down to the basics of what you might experience. If you want to learn more about anything I mention here, a quick google search should bring up more information – just keep in mind you can’t trust everything you read on the internet, so look for reliable sources.
Some of the Misinterpreted Side Effects of Vaping Explained
Before I dive into it, I should mention one thing: Most of the side effects people report from switching to vaping aren’t actually side effects of vaping – they are withdrawal symptoms from quitting smoking! So, really, it’s not the side effects of vaping that’s the issue; it’s the effects of switching from cigarettes to vaping that people may initially find difficult.
With that in mind, let’s first take a look at a quick list of health issues caused from quitting cigarettes (regardless of whether you vape or not):
- Depressed mood
- Sleeping problems
- Irritability and frustration
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased heart rate
- Increased appetite, weight gain
- Coughing (as your lungs clean themselves)
- Cold symptoms / more susceptible to catching a cold (sneezing, headache, earache, sore throat, malaise)
- Mouth ulcers
- Drowsiness and fatigue
So, if you’ve made the switch to vaping and are having some of these issues, are you sure it’s vaping that’s the problem and not just that you quit cigarettes?
Switching from Smoking to Vaping
When you first make the switch from smoking to vaping you can experience any number of these, simply because vaping doesn’t have the same chemicals as cigarettes – but these aren’t side effects of vaping.
These symptoms are experienced because your body is cleaning itself of all the rubbish that it was getting regularly when smoking cigarettes. Once that influx of poison stops, the body starts cleaning itself and that can cause a lot of the feelings listed. Also, your body is going to have to adjust to not having some of the chemicals in cigarettes which it’s adjusted to dealing with. There’s a chemical in cigarettes that can cause diarrhoea, so when you’re smoking your body must adjust to dealing with that – no surprise then that when your body stops receiving that chemical it can get constipated.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Don’t worry though, it isn’t all bad news! There are many positive benefits to quitting smoking or switching to vaping, which are detailed in one of Mist’s earlier blog posts.
Vaping Side Effects Vs. Smoking Side Effects – Vaping a Clear Winner?
Ever since it was unleashed into the mind pit of social media, vaping has been receiving all sorts of negative press concerning health risks.
However, day-by-day vaping is proving its cynics wrong, as more and more positive tests are showing signs that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking.
If you were to pitch the side effects of vaping against the side effects of smoking, it’d be pretty clear who the immediate winner was. Despite not having enough years under their belt, the fact that e-cigarettes have the option of using 0 nicotine e-liquids automatically removes cigarette’s biggest flaw.
I’m not going to list all the reasons why vaping is the healthier option, that’s been done to death by every vape blogger, vlogger and pro-vape journalist. While all of these statistics cannot be proven yet, it looks a pretty safe bet to assume that vaping is safer than smoking, at least for the time being!
Some of the Rare Side Effects of Vaping
Ok, now let’s take a look at the possible side effects of vaping:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin (in rare cases may cause a rash)
- Puffy/dry eyes
- Caffeine sensitivity
- Small nose bleeds (minor and very rare)
Well, that really doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Especially compared to what is caused simply by quitting smoking.
Avoiding these Possible Side Effects is Easy!
Experiencing dry mouth? Simply drink a bit more water to keep hydrated, should solve it quickly. Coughing? Maybe slow down the vaping a little and let your body adjust (cigarettes contain a chemical to suppress coughing – vaping doesn’t have this chemical). Dry skin? Moisturiser! That usually helps if you experience itchiness too. The rare cases of minor nose bleeds can also be very easy to avoid – simply blow the vapour out through your mouth, not your nose, when vaping. Sorted.
To be honest, the only one to really keep an eye on is the caffeine sensitivity if you’re in the habit of having a few cups of coffee throughout the day. It won’t do you any harm to reduce your caffeine intake if you start to experience symptoms of anxiety, or other caffeine side effects. When I first started vaping, I worried I was vaping too much, or maybe too little – turns out it was neither. I just needed to reduce my caffeine intake!
It’s worth noting that these are side effects experienced by smokers switching to vaping – non-smokers who decide to start vaping nicotine can experience a few other side effects, because their body will not be used to nicotine. These can include:
- Changes in taste
Vaping Side Effects Are Easily Avoidable, Just be Sensible!
If you’re an ex-smoker, it’s unusual but not unheard of for you to experience some of these when switching to vaping. The side effects you may experience are caused by nicotine, so if you do get any of these you can either slow down or take a short break from vaping until the symptoms subside, and it might be worth going down to a lower nicotine strength next time you buy e-liquid. It’s also important to stay hydrated, as a lot of these symptoms can be down to dehydration and not actually from the vaping at all. Even if it is from the vaping, drinking a glass of cold water can help with many of these side effects.
So, in summary, not everything you may be feeling will be from vaping, and when in doubt have a drink of water! It’s usually that simple.