“…the opportunity to harness this potential into public health policy, complementing existing comprehensive tobacco control policies, should not be missed…”
Public Health England on vaping and e-cigarettes…
Some Minor Vaping Side Effects But it’s Still 95% Safer than Smoking
There’s a lot of fake science and dire warnings around the side effects of vaping but not all of it is rubbish.
Indeed there are a couple of things that pretty much every single vaper out there has experienced at one time or another.
For some of you one of the main side effects of vaping can be a dent in your bank balance.
Sure most of us quit smoking and took to vaping for health reasons and we all thought we’d save a ton of money too.
If you’re happy with your one mod and tank and only need to buy juice and coils every now and then well done you and enjoy spending your extra cash!
However there are a lot of us out there that need that new shiny mod – crave that funky new tank and indeed have now become ‘collectors’ lol.
Hands up who has more than 3 mods?
Hands up who has more than 3 tanks – RDAs and the like!
So yeah for some of us the ‘saving money’ by quitting smoking can be a bit of a myth and an expensive ‘side-effect’.
And before we go any further let’s just be clear.
Vaping is proven to be 95% safer than smoking but nothing you put in your body can technically be called 100% safe.
I mean if you drink too much water in one go – water intoxication – it can be deadly.
Like I said nothing is 100% safe.
However, armed with the facts you are then free to make up your own minds and know how to deal with any vaping side effects – which takes us back to my favourite phrase ‘education NOT legislation’.
So what are the more common side effects of vaping – are they serious and how can we lessen them?
Let’s take a look at some annoying but ultimately easy to handle side effects.
But first as disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this article is meant as a guide. If you are in any way concerned about any side effect you may be experiencing it is important you visit your GP.
Vaping and Dehydration
Given the UK is currently in the grip of a heat wave if you vape it’s more important than ever to keep hydrated!
Propylene Glycol – the PG found in your e-liquid – is a bit like a chemical sponge and it will suck up moisture.
So if you’re feeling thirsty – your piddle is a darker colour than normal and obviously you’ll get that dry mouth sensation – drink plenty of water!
In fact you really should be drinking plenty of water during the day anyway – vaping or not 😉
Read more about PG and VG in your e-liquid here.
Sore Throat and Coughing
If you’re new to vaping then chances are you will be coughing up all the crap smoking has filled your lungs with over the years – that’s a good thing and hopefully it will pass soon.
If you’ve been vaping a while and are still coughing there’s a chance you might be having a reaction to the PG in your e-liquid.
PG is known to be more of an irritant to some than others and is generally what gives the throat hit many new vapers crave.
Try decreasing the PG levels in your e-liquid and take fewer puffs.
Your everyday sore throat can also be down to the PG levels as well as how you’re vaping.
Maybe you have the wattage up to high giving a too warm even too hot vape – so turn it down a little.
Chain vaping can also irritate the throat – so calm down a bit even if that juice is delicious!
Again you could be dehydrated – so drink when you vape – especially water!
If these symptoms persist and you’ve tried everything do go and see you GP!
Tummy Ache – Stomach Cramps – Heartburn
This is probably one of the most talked about side-effects of vaping out there and strangely it seems to hit both newcomers and more established vapers out of the blue.
There’s no specific scientific ‘findings’ explaining why this happens however a quick trawl of the e-cig websites and forums throws up [not literally lol] a number of possible explanations.
First up it could be that PG allergy again.
If it doesn’t tickle your throat causing bouts of coughing fits [see above] it could affect your digestive system.
I know for instance that our old friend Vic Mullin [Vaping with Vic] suffered awful stomach cramps during the early days of his vaping journey.
After seeking advice from friends he was advised to drop the 50-50 PG and VG e-liquid and change to a 70-30 and the cramps stopped.
However a very interesting comment on the e-cigarette forum caught my eye and it makes a lot of sense and could definitely explain why some of us more established vapers can suddenly get tummy gripes.
The post that popped out was one from user KP who suggested it’s the nicotine and e-liquid flavours playing tricks on your brain!
Bare with me here because if you’ve ever spent a morning chewing gum and your tummy has rumbled and become sore it could be down to your brain fooling your tummy its eating and to release those acid juices ready to digest.
With no food to digest the acid just hangs around causing those cramps!
KP says after seeing his GP about his vaping tummy troubles it was explained that nicotine is telling the brain to tell the stomach that food is inbound – hence the acid indigestion and even heartburn.
Now as a gum chewer and indeed a vaper that makes total sense to me and like KP says to combat this don’t vape on an empty stomach – even a biscuit or glass of milk will help!
This is purely anecdotal but I rarely if ever eat breakfast and have noticed heartburn and a slight tummy grumble/rumble after my first few morning vapes – this past two days I’ve had one of those breakfast biscuits and a glass of milk and – no pain!
So yeah it’s working for me – but as I say I’m no doctor and if you’re at all concerned and you’ve dropped your nicotine level and tried everything else – see your GP!
Headaches – Dizziness and that ‘Nic Rush’
Anyone who smokes or has smoked will at one time or lit up too many cancer sticks in a short space of time.
What follows is a nasty headache and feeling of nausea that passes in time.
Something very similar happens with vapers chain-vaping on e-liquid containing nicotine.
Even a low 3mg nicotine juice can give you that dizzy nicotine ‘rush’ as your body tries to cope with the stimulant [nicotine] as it floods your body.
Given nicotine and its affects are closely aligned with caffeine – you get the same ‘rush’ and dizziness from too many coffees and energy drinks in a short space of time.
If you’re not chain vaping and still getting a ‘nic rush’ then time to look at the nicotine strength you’re using.
It’s normal for new vapers to begin at higher levels such as 12mg right up to 20mg.
You may be surprised as to how quickly your body realizes it doesn’t need that high level – so start to lower the nicotine levels quite quickly into your vaping journey.
One of the first things I noticed a couple weeks into packing up the roll-ups was I hated the taste of strong lager!
How the hell I’d been drinking that stuff for decades I have no idea – it was foul – but it shows the effect smoking has on taste!
I’m now an extremely happy real ale drinker and I can thank my taste buds being kicked back into life after all those years of smoking!
However for some of us the dreaded vapers tongue can hit out of the blue turning the taste of our favourite e-liquid into an extremely bland tasting experience.
I seem to have been plagued with ‘vapers tongue’ over the years and bloody annoying it is too.
However, it is a great time to use up all those e-liquids you don’t really like and given I don’t seem to like many at all – I have a ton in my cupboard 😉
OK, so taste doesn’t just come from the tongue – the nose plays a big part too.
So if you have a cold or some other kind of infection than it stands to reason food – drink and your favourite e-liquid is gonna taste funny or of nothing.
With a cold or illness you just have to wait it out – but if the vapers tongue fairy visits overnight there’s a few things you can do that may help alleviate this most annoying of all vaping side-effects.
- Try a strong menthol e-liquid
- Suck on strong mints
- Nasal inhaler
- Drink water
- Sniff coffee beans
- Tongue scraper or mouth wash
Any other side effects from e cigs you have encountered? Let us know in comments – no matter how weird!
Whilst these won’t work for everyone anecdotal evidence suggests some or all works for many – but time is your best friend here.
Once again be careful here because if there appears to be no obvious reason why you have a loss of taste and even smell for everything and it lasts a long time – check with your GP!