The side effects of vaping has been a much disputed topic since the very concept of E-cigarette hit the market, as with everything novel and unheard of before.
Of the many researches about E-cigarettes and smoking cessation, there are quite a few that dealt extensively with the side effects of vaping, about which this article will venture a brief summary and offer some thoughts on how to regard and counter these side effects.
Let’s take a look at what are some of the most prevalent side effects vapers might experience.
1. Dry mouth. This happens due to the nature of propylene glycol, one of the major components of virtually all E-liquids, which attracts and holds water molecules from the surrounding environment, causing your mouth to be dry.
2. Dry throat/Sore throat. These may be caused by the PG in E-liquids, or by nicotine. If you are asking for strong throat hits, then your throat is likely to be dry or sore, contributed by both PG and nicotine.
3. Minor blood nose issues. Dehydration caused by PG certainly has a long reach—you nose may bleed when it’s too dry.
4. Dry skin/Itchiness/Burning sensation on face. Again, these symptoms are in no way universal, and are likely caused by the dehydration effect of PG.
5. Headaches. Dr. Farsalino’s research found that about 11% of new vapers experience headaches. This, however, like coughing, does not prove to be persistant, often dissipating after some time. Headaches could be a sign of too much nicotine intake, or that there is too much PG in the E-liquid, causing dehydration, which in turn, induces headaches.
6. Dizziness. Usually experienced by first-time vapers because they are not used to it and by chain vapers because their nicotine usage could be dangerously high. It is nicotine that causes headaches and dizziness.
7. Stomachache. Very likely to be caused by high doses of nicotine. The symptom is usually temporary and there has been few reports of stomachache compared with other side effects.
8. Allergies. With the thousands of different flavors being used as a indispensible component of E-liquids, it is not hard to imagine occasions for allergies. This is virtually unpredictable and therefore unpreventable until you’ve experienced it. However, thankfully the efficacies of allergies are minor and the prevalence of it incredibly low. There has not been reports of serious allergies caused by vaping yet.
9. Coughing. This is especially true when you are a first-time vaper, or when you are vaping with a high-wattage device. Surveys found that about 57% of vapers coughed when they vaped the first time and only about 11% of vapers reported consistent symptoms.
10. Unproved long-term harms of vaping. The oldest vaper might have tried his/her first E-cigarette fourteen years ago and most vapers started vaping only a couple years ago. There is no way we can vouchsafe the absence of major harm of vaping without serious long-term observation and research. Any substance introduced into the body may, and can cause serious side effects, known or unknown. Therefore the statement that vaping is safe and commendable since there has been no reported and widespread serious harm caused by vaping is utterly hasty and irresponsible.
Is vaping the culprit?
However, it can be difficult to determine which of the side effects are caused by vaping, or whether anything being experienced is actually from vaping, because when people quit smoking cold turkey, their bodies undergo major changes during an adjustment period, many of which cause similar symptoms to those experienced by vapers, such as dizziness, dry throat, various skin issues and headaches.
Since many people take on vaping in order to stop smoking, it is hard to decide the cause of these symptoms experienced. There have not been any studies that compare the side effects of vaping on vapers who stopped smoking, dual users (vapers who also smoke), and vapers who never smoked respectively that I know of, otherwise with controlled experiments, it would be possible to determine the cause of every symptom, and to tell if vaping is the culprit.
How to tackle these side effects?
Luckily for vapers none of the side effects mentioned above are too serious as to rendering vaping unjenjoyable. There are simply methods which upon being applied would considerable relieve and rectify side effects all together. Let’s take a look at what vapers could do to lessen their symptoms.
The first four side effects listed above are all symptoms of dehydration and will abate with the help of increased water intake, either by direct consumption or by application of moisturizers.
The next three, namely headaches, dizziness, and stomachache are very likely to be the results of high nicotine intake, and may eventually diminish with decreased nicotine consumption. The eighth side effects—allergies—unfortunately is unpredictable and therefore cannot be forestalled. Many times you only get to know it when it happens, and my advice is to take smaller doses of E-liquids and evaluate your reaction before committing yourself to larger intakes.
The last two side effects on our list is what should disquiet vapers the most, being of a nature unknown and therefore cannot be dealt with too lightly, for their penetration mechanism and long-term effects may prove to be harmful beyond our predication.
A research led by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that, being exposed to certain E-cigarette flavorings—hot cinnamon candies, banana pudding, kola, vanilla and menthol tobacco—lung cells are affected adversely. Sometimes the treated cells no longer could replicate at normal rates, and at high doses, these flavorings even killed the cells.
In a study by Laura Crotty Alexander, it is observed that mice that vaped for 2 weeks showed signs of lung inflammation, and they are less able to fight off infection than were mice that had not vaped.
There are more researches that indicated or proved the detrimental effects that vaporized E-liquids have on lungs, and I think we should give due weight to these studies and revelations which concerns our health. Besides that, nicotine is definitely not benign. Though not lethal taken in small doses, but who in the right mind would inhale a poisonous substance everyday and expect their health not to be adversely affected? What is not proved to be deadly may nevertheless have far-reaching and tenacious tentacles, and it is most imprudent to overlook a factor this important.
So vapers, consume as much water as possible and apply moisturizers to relieve dehydration, take smaller doses of nicotine to make your headaches, stomachaches and dizziness lessen, and take small doses of E-liquids and evaluate your reaction before committing yourself to larger intakes, to prevent allergies. Even though it is not clear whether vaping is the culprit behind these side effects, nevertheless, be cautious, and do not abandon yourself to vaping, for there are things in the vapor whose effects we do not know yet.
Tags: E-cigarette, Vaping side effects