Side Effects of Vaping
As mentioned in this post vaping turned out to be a major disappointment to everyone officially in 2019, marking the beginning of the great decline from its creation in 2003. But you might be wondering why did vaping turn out to have such a bad press in the last few years?
Vaping, just like smoking, is giving a bad reputation to nicotine. Did you know that if you vaped without nicotine all the sides effects of vaping would basically remain? If you somehow were able to remove nicotine from tobacco in cigarettes the same thing would happen. The addiction of nicotine is so strong that it blurs the line between what caused what in the general perception of non-users who don’t particularly care as long as they don’t have to breathe it.
Are the side effects of vaping nicotine as bad as the effects of smoke? With all the talk about formaldehyde and heavy metals in from vaping and the amount of bad press, a little bit of perspective is needed. It seems like there is a story involving deaths from vape every now and then. We must remember that smoking kills roughly 480000 Americans every year, four hundred eighty thousand.
A quick search on CDC’s website shows the following:
As of October 22, 2019, 34 deaths in patients with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC. Of the 29 deaths among patients with EVALI analyzed in today’s report, 59% were men and the median age was 45 years. Patients with EVALI who died were older than the overall population of EVALI patients.
What? Anyways, here are the 7 most common side effects of vaping. The long term health effects will be discussed later on.
Let’s start with the first side effect, the best known to most vapers, which is dry mouth. This is one of the most common side effects of vaping and is largely due to one of the components of e-juice, propylene glycol. It has hygroscopic effects, that is, it retains water molecules. The more PG there is in your fluid, the more sensitive you may be to this phenomenon. Even so, even full VG vapers can suffer from this side effect. Both PG and VG are humectants, they are used in consumer products to retain and retain moisture. So if you vape and usually have a dry mouth you can just drink more water and make sure you stay hydrated, you can also use moisturizing mouthwashes for example, something you can find useful in your vaping journey.
The second side effect noted by vapers is sore throat after vaping. A sore throat or coughing problems in general, it will often be related to nicotine and very often favored by a propylene glycol level of 50% or more. So there, I advise you to opt for liquids that contain more vegetable glycerin and to lower your nicotine level. You may also use nicotine salt based nicotine, provided your vape is compatible. And for beginners, it is important to understand the difference between the two types of inhalation, direct inhalation and indirect inhalation, so either mouth to lung or directly to lung. And for inhalation directly into the lungs, we recommend a maximum of 6mg of nicotine.
Next we have headaches. For people who have just quit smoking, headaches may be due to their stopping smoking transition to vaping, especially for long term smokers who have never used e-cigarettes before. There are a lot of alkaloids in tobacco that may cause physiological effects on the user and stopping abruptly can cause headaches. Another possible cause is dehydration. Indeed the persistent dryness of the mouth from vaping e-cigarettes can possibly be associated with headaches. Too much nicotine, whether from cigarettes or e-cigarettes, can cause headaches.
And finally, in some people it is not uncommon to experience a little dizziness or a spinning sensation similar to the sensation of smoking for the first time. In general, this phenomenon will go away as you get used to vaping.
The fourth effect that can be noted is weight loss or gain. So there, I invite you to go see the video that I devoted entirely to this subject. I will obviously put the links in the description to consult it. I know this is a topic that interests many of you.
The fifth effect cited by vapers is nausea. So there can be several causes. If you are feeling nauseous, it may be that your flavor is just awful. And believe me we won’t be citing any brands here. No, no, but more seriously, in general, this phenomenon is rather linked to the dosage of nicotine. And besides, this symptom is also present in other substitution treatments such as chewing gum or even patches. So there, I advise you to already reduce your consumption and also the nicotine concentration of your e-liquid. If the phenomenon persists, discuss it with a healthcare professional who will be able to refer you to the best dosage of nicotine for your case.
Sometimes, some people report a phenomenon of fatigue which can also be explained by poor management of nicotine levels. Nicotine is stimulant, exciting, and if you get tired when you stop smoking, there may be a problem with your nicotine levels. It’s as if you drink your little espresso every morning, your body will get used to the caffeine which will stimulate it. If all of a sudden you stop taking it, you’re going to feel a little bit overwhelmed, a little bit sleepy, so it’s kind of the same kind of freak, you see.
And finally, we end with the seventh effect, the decrease in taste. The phenomenon that affects vapers is the loss of sensation of taste and perception of flavors. So this phenomenon is a bit unpleasant as you can imagine. When you vaporize your favorite juice, you don’t smell anything at all; it can be a bit unsettling. So there, the taste buds are too tired, too stressed and saturated. It’s not an effect that lasts very long; usually it comes back pretty quickly. And what can be good in this case is to completely change the taste and temporarily switch to a stronger liquid than your usual flavor such as a good polar mint for example.
Who shouldn’t vape?
The use of an electronic vaporizer with e-juice is contraindicated for the following people:
-Non-smokers. If you are not smoking cigarettes, do not start vaping e-juices that contain nicotine.
-Those allergic to nicotine should not vape.
-The pregnant or lactating should not vape.
-People with cardiovascular risk factors should not vape.
-People with long term hypertension should not vape.
-People with long term respiratory weaknesses should not vape.
Always seek medical advice if you are not sure.
Rare nicotine poisoning observed:
In December 2014, in New York State, a one-year-old child died after ingesting e-liquid for e-cigarettes. The number of calls to 911 concerning poisoning with e-liquids has been increasing for 2 years. This number must however be correlated with the expansion of the e-cigarette market and is much lower than tobacco-related accidents. In the United States, these incidents generated six times fewer calls than tobacco cigarette smoking poisoning.
The Controversial Study about Formaldehyde in E-Cigarettes And The Side Effects From Vaping Formaldehyde: Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols
Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many household products. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. In addition, formaldehyde is commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. Formaldehyde also occurs naturally in the environment. It is produced in small amounts by most living organisms as part of normal metabolic processes.
In their study published in 2015, the researchers indicated that vaping an e-cigarette released vapor that contains a new form of formaldehyde, at levels 5 to 15 times higher than those seen in common cigarettes. But these results made some scientists jump, because the vaping machine used for the experiment was set at the maximum heat level. For the opponents of the study they argued nobody uses an e-cigarette set in this way. Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, cardiologist in Athens (Greece), author of a blog post on the subject, said: “It produces an unbearable taste, and no one uses an e-cigarette under these conditions, and thus never exposed to such concentrations of formaldehyde. “
Abnormally high formaldehyde thresholds from e-liquids
In carrying out their new research, the American scientists analyzed the formaldehyde levels under lower heating conditions, corresponding according to them to the settings used by vaping consumers. They thus noted the presence of the new form of formaldehyde already detected in their previous research and of gaseous formaldehyde.
These two substances would even be present at a higher threshold than that defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American body which establishes regulations for occupational health. This administration indeed recommends an inhalation level of less than 5.3 milligrams per day. For American researchers, if the e-cigarette is set at a low heating vape level, the inhalation of formaldehyde is 10 milligrams per day, considering that normal vaping consists of 4 grams of e-liquid daily.
Conflicting Data Regarding the Dangers of Vaping
Conflicting studies on the dangers of electronic cigarettes are published regularly. In any case, its effectiveness to quit smoking is not yet confirmed. A study published in the Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin shows that in the short term as in the long term, vaping may reduce the consumption of classic cigarettes but not stop it completely. In 2013, around 7 million people in Europe were vaping, including one million in France.
Lead and Heavy Metals from Vaping
A new study in favor of the use of vaping
To quantify the level of harmfulness of e-cigarettes, a team of researchers from the University of Virginia decided to measure the level of different heavy metals in the blood of vapers. People who have never smoked or vaped served as reference samples. Drs Wiener and Bhandari, those responsible for this study, conducted their experiment between 2015 and 2016.
The conclusion of this study clearly shows that vapers do not have a higher level of metals compared to data collected from non-vapers or non-smokers. On the other hand, in the urine of the population of smokers, the concentration of cadmium and lead is significantly higher.
Implications of the evidence for policy and practice: Based on the findings of the evidence review PHE advises that:
- e-cigarettes have the potential to help smokers quit smoking, and the evidence indicates they carry a fraction of the risk of smoking cigarettes but are not risk free e-cigarettes potentially offer a wide reach, low-cost intervention to reduce smoking in more deprived groups in society where smoking is elevated, and we want to see this potential fully realized there is an opportunity for e-cigarettes to help tackle the high smoking rates among people with mental health problems, particularly in the context of creating smoke free mental health units the potential of e-cigarettes to help improve public health depends on the extent to which they can act as a route out of smoking for the country’s eight million tobacco users, without providing a route into smoking for children and non-smokers. Appropriate and proportionate regulation is essential if this goal is to be achieved local stop smoking services provide smokers with the best chance of quitting successfully and we want to see them engaging actively with smokers who want to quit with the help of e-cigarettes we want to see all health and social care professionals providing accurate advice on the relative risks of smoking and e-cigarette use, and providing effective referral routes into stop smoking services the best thing smokers can do for their health is to quit for good. PHE is committed to ensure that smokers have a range of evidence-based, effective tools to help them to quit. We encourage smokers who want to use e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking to seek the support of local stop smoking services given the potential benefits as quitting aids, PHE looks forward to the arrival on the market of a choice of medicinally regulated products that can be made available to smokers by the NHS on prescription. This will provide assurance on the safety, quality and effectiveness to consumers who want to use these products as quitting aids
- the latest evidence will be considered in the development of the next Tobacco Control Plan for England with a view to maximizing the potential of e-cigarettes as a route out of smoking and minimizing the risk of their acting as a route into smoking