The most commonly asked questions relating to vaping are probably regarding side effects. The side effects of vaping are yet to be completely discovered, as the simple fact is, vaping has not been around long enough for researchers and scientists to present certified evidence of their true side effects over many years, or even decades, of continuous use.
However, this doesn’t stop the media from constantly trying to cast a negative light over vaping with sensational stories of terrible side effects. It's often speculated that this negativity towards vaping is fuelled by big money tycoons who have interest in the tobacco industry and don’t want to see any disruption to their industry from this new alternative to smoking.
Misinformation is a common thread online and the rise of fake news is only causing more controversy. However, I won’t go over and over the reported health versus hazard claims as it’s becoming a tiresome subject. What I am going to do is simply detail what you can expect to experience by filtering out many of the myths and negative stigmatisms surrounding vaping.
Side Effects of Vaping Explained
The most important point to note is that many of the side effects people claim to be experiencing from vaping aren't actually caused by vaping at all. These side effects come from the user's withdrawal symptoms from quitting smoking. You may be replacing the nicotine but there are many other things contained in tobacco that are not in eliquid and your body will take some time to adapt to this if you have been smoking for a long time.
This is the most important thing to remember. Your body and mind will have many changes to deal with because quitting smoking is no easy task, you must remain strong in order to pass the initial withdrawal symptoms.
So, let's take a look at some of the most common issues that come from quitting smoking:
- 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
In short, don't assume these effects are caused by vaping as they may be caused by the withdrawal from smoking. If you feel as though these are not going away, there are other withdrawal treatments that you may want to consider. I myself am a vaper and I can now happily say that I experience none of these side-effects, aside from vaper's mouth, the only issue that comes specifically from vaping.
Switching from Smoking to Vaping
Think of it this way, when you make the change from smoking to vaping, your body is trying to not only adjust to going cold turkey but it's also trying to dispel and clean all the toxins and bacteria that have been thriving in your throat due to smoking. Once these have been expelled from your body, it will start to heal and replace antibodies that were hard at work defending your lungs and heart against the tar and and other effects of smoking cigarettes.
All of this is quite stressful for the body. So, whatever you do after you quit smoking, your body is still going to feel the impact. Only once the side effects of smoking have passed, will your body be able to take comfortably make the switch to vaping.
This really is nothing to worry about, side effects are guaranteed when anyone quits smoking and while vaping will help you to make the transition, you may still suffer some withdrawal and side effects. Don’t assume all these effects are due to vaping, as they may be from stopping smoking rather than starting vaping.
Vaping Side Effects Vs. Smoking Side Effects
When it comes to the results of googling 'benefits of vaping' or 'vaping vs smoking' most articles will fall in favour of vaping. Why? Well, there are many reasons that vaping can be claimed to be much healthier.
Since its introduction to the world of social media, vaping has been criticised from almost every angle, mainly with reports claiming the ingredients you’re vaping, mainly VG and PG, could be just as bad as tar. The keyword here is ‘could’. However, as time goes on, vaping is becoming increasingly popular and people are beginning to feel the benefits of the switch.
Pitching vaping and smoking side-by-side is almost embarrassing for smoking, as on paper, vaping is the clear winner with one major positive; the fact it doesn’t require nicotine or tar to function. Since vaping has immediately removed smoking's number one health issue (nicotine), it's already doing a pretty good job of being the healthier alternative. You can however, opt to use nicotine but this is entirely up to you.
Some of the Rare Side Effects of Vaping
Obviously, we're not claiming that vaping is as healthy as inhaling just air, but we would urge you to read for yourself some of the official medical research results that are available online. For example, an expert independent evidence review published by Public Health England (PHE) concluded that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.
Some key findings of the review were:
The current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking.
Nearly half the population (44.8%) don’t realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking.
There is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers
However, in the interest of being fair we’ve listed a few of the potential side effects that you may encounter:
- Dry mouth
- Vaper's Tongue
- Dry skin (in rare cases may cause a rash)
- Puffy/dry eyes
- Caffeine sensitivity
- Small nose bleeds (minor and very rare)
Do these potential side effects seem as bad as what smoking can do to you?
How to Avoid Vaping Side Effects
There are many ways to avoid the side effects of vaping and they're pretty simple.
Dry mouth is the most common side effect, the solution? Drink water! You might have seen vapers carrying around bottles of water to keep themselves hydrated. This is not essential but if you feel as though your mouth is becoming a little dry, sip some water.
Dry skin? Use moisturiser! It is quite rare for you to develop dry skin because of vaping, either way, moisturising and keeping your body healthy and hydrated will stop this.
Coughing? Slow down! Especially if you're new to vaping, it's important that you start slow and don't jump into anything to manic. It's just an adjustment period, it'll pass.
Nose bleeds? This side effect is very rare and is more likely to occur when vapers attempt to blow smoke out of their nose. Do not do this if it causes your nose to bleed.
Non-smokers turning to vaping
Some people are surprised by what vaping has to offer them. So, they take it up, just to see what all the fuss is about, or simply because they're looking for a safer form of relaxation (in comparison to smoking). Here are some of the side effects that you might experience if you're new to vaping:
- Changes in taste
Vaping side effects are easily managed
In summary, the most important thing to remember when looking to avoid side effects is to use common sense. Your body will go through a big adjustment if you just quit smoking and switch to vaping. The majority of side effects are usually caused by nicotine, so either avoid it completely, or learn to adjust your intake so that you're not affected by such side effects.
It comes down to allowing time and being patient in making the switch. So, go out and explore the amazing world of vaping and let me know in the comments below what you've discovered. Our blog talks about all kinds of vaping topics, with one of my most popular articles addressing the Worst E-Juices of 2017! Maybe avoid these e-liquids if you're just starting out!