Some people think vaping is risk free as it isn’t smoking cigarettes. However that isn’t the case, and talking about the negative sides effects of vaping is important.
If you are going to introduce anything into your body that isn’t meant to be there naturally, you should consider that there might be some resulting side effects.
Saying that, we do want to point out, like all health warnings do, there are always going to be people that are affected negatively by vaping, whereas others don’t experience anything other than the pure joy of vaping.
So no, side effects don’t happen to every vaper, and to put things into perspective, you can experience negative side effects from just about anything, even ingesting the most seemingly innocuous substances - for example think of the way that dairy affects some people and not others.
So we want to cover some of the negative side effects of vaping that you might experience, why they occur and what you can do to mitigate against them.
Potential side effects of vaping, why they occur and what you can do
1. Dry mouth
Dry mouth from vaping is a result of the base ingredients of the e-liquid, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, having a dehydrating effect on your mouth.
When you inhale these liquids as vapour, the vapour itself draws out water from its surrounds as it is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb water, leaving your mouth feeling drier than the Sahara Desert.
This one is an easy fix - simply drink more water to replace the lost fluids in your mouth.
If you aren’t used to inhaling nicotine you can find yourself succumbing to the effects of the nicotine, namely too much nicotine can make you dizzy. It is simply a result of taking in more nicotine than your body can handle.
3. Sore throat
This could be down to several factors - the levels of propylene glycol in the e-liquid which can irritate the airways, the flavouring in the e-liquid or even the metal the coil is constructed from. Because some coils are made from nickel, and nickel allergies are quite common.
If you think the issue might be the level of propylene glycol in the e-liquid, you can switch to one with a lower level. If you think it might be the flavour that is making your throat scratchy, switch flavours. But if you think you might be allergic to nickel, you’re going to have to find coils that are made from stainless steel.
If you’re coughing whilst you’re vaping, it’s because you’re doing it wrong. Chances are you are either experiencing a high nicotine hit direct to your lungs, or you’re trying to smoke your vaping device like you would a regular cigarette.
If you do find yourself coughing when you vape, check the airflow on your vape device. You will find it is one of two types: either mouth to lung, or direct lung.
- Mouth to lung devices are the ones you can suck on like you would a cigarette.
- Direct lung devices are for inhaling the vapour straight to your lungs and exhaling immediately. You should only be using e-liquids with these devices of 6 mg/ml strength or lower. Otherwise you’ll irritate your lungs and cough.
5. Dry skin
Dry skin, like your dry mouth, could be a result of the propylene glycol in the e-liquid, a known chemical that absorbs water, meaning it can draw the water out of your body.
Switch out your usual e-liquid for one with a lower propylene glycol level or remedy dry skin by increasing your water intake.
Recommended water consumption is 8 glasses per day, so try and hit that; having a glass of water everytime you vape will help. And consider investing in some moisturiser for any bad dry patches.
Itchiness could be linked to dry skin and dry skin is linked to the propylene glycol in the e-liquid. So you can either reduce the propylene glycol level of your e-liquid, or up your water intake.
Itchiness could also be a result of an allergy to one or more parts of your vaping device. You could be allergic to the metal in the coil, in which case you might want to think about switching the coil to a stainless steel one, or it could be you’re allergic to the flavour of e-liquid you’re vaping. In which case you might want to find a new favourite flavour.
One of the most common side effects for vapers who have recently quit nicotine cigarettes and taken up vaping, is insomnia. And the chances are, the insomnia is a result of a higher than you’re used to nicotine levels in your e-liquid.
Nicotine is a stimulant at the end of the day, and it has the same effect on the body as caffeine. So if you’re vaping right up until bed, and you’re vaping nicotine, expect to be counting sheep well into the wee, small hours.
Switch to a nicotine free e-liquid of an evening and have a good night’s sleep.
This list is not exhaustive of all the possible side effects of vaping, however, these are the most commonly reported ones. And remember if you are experiencing anything unusual, always speak to your doctor, as it could be symptomatic of an underlying health issue.