Are there any short or long-term side effects of Vaping?
Vaping has actually been around a lot longer than people realise. It first started becoming popular in the mid 2000s, with the first “Cig-a-like” devices being floated on to the market. And ever since, it’s gained more and more popularity and technology has advanced to create much more advanced devices compared to the ones first seen on the market. And ever since it was bought on to the public market, it’s always been met with criticism over what the side effects of Vaping are. Whilst there may be some short term side effects that people may incur, there are no proven long term side effects due to the length of studies required which isn’t possible due to the time Vaping has been prevalent in society. Let’s take a look at it in more detail:
Short term side effects of Vaping
Vaping has been declared 95% safer than smoking by Public Health England, and has recently been reiterated in their latest studies published by the Government. Vaping provides a much safer experience of getting your nicotine fix than smoking cigarettes, due to the fact there are not thousands of chemicals expelled from vapour like there is from a lit cigarette. I’ll detail side effects of smoking in the next section of this article, so I’ll focus on Vaping here. I’ve written an article on why you should stop smoking, and start vaping if you haven’t already. You can read that HERE
I’m not going to deny it or misinform you, there are some vaping side effects, but they are very minimal and really vary on a person-to-person basis. As what one person may experience, the other may not.
My honest opinion is most side effects are related to the Nicotine content in e-liquids. It may not apply to everyone, but from my experience, it certainly relates to a lot of them.
Headaches – People can suffer from Headaches from Vaping. This is normally caused by “over-vaping” where the person will constantly use their vape, and the overload of Nicotine may cause a headache to develop. This can be easily rectified by not vaping for an extended period of time until the headache has passed.
Sore Throat/Dry Mouth – A primary side effect caused by Nicotine, is the sore throat or a dry mouth. Nicotine is quite a harsh chemical, and can sting the throat and make it sore if the milligram content is too high. A lot of people who first start vaping may find they experience this as it’s a new sensation, and they also might be using a vape juice that is too harsh for them. This may also make someone cough.
The quality of the Vape juice also can cause this, if ingredients used to make the e-liquid are not of a high quality, you will notice it when you vape, as the Propylene Glycol or Nicotine will be harsh on your throat. Also, if you’re using a clapped out coil, then this will definitely play a part as the cotton will be burnt down and you’ll basically be vaping burnt cotton, not good.
Dizziness – A very common side effect of too much nicotine is a short spell of dizziness after you vape. It’s quite common if you over vape as Nicotine has an effect on the brain which can cause you to get a bit displaced if used too much. And I also find this happens to me when I take my first few puffs of the day with my coffee sitting at my desk. As I said, it is very short spell and shouldn’t persist for long.
Nausea – If you vape a lot, you may find the nicotine will start to make you feel a bit sick. Easy fix to this is to put your vape down, have a drink of water and wait for the feeling to pass. And maybe use your e-cigarette a little less!
If you find any of these side effects start to become not so short term and linger about, I would recommend to quit vaping immediately, and seek advice from your local GP or medical professional.
Side effects of smoking and tobacco
Smoking carries a lot more side effects than Vaping, with most of them not being short term, but long term, and in some cases unreversible health effects also.
Smoking is the cause of lung cancer in 7 of every 10 cases. It also can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, liver and multiple other vital organs.
Smoking also damages the lungs, and heart, and can cause coronary diseases, heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease amongst other things.
Smoking is severely damaging to your health, and can also harm others around you by passive smoking, and also a pregnant woman’s unborn child if they choose to continue smoking during pregnancy.
Whilst there may be side effects from Vaping, they are very minimal compared to smoking, and only last for an intermittent period of time, whereas contracting something serious like a smoking related disease can be very long term, and in some cases irreversible.
Long-term side effects of Vaping
As I’ve mentioned, there hasn’t been any proven long-term effects of Vaping proven, as vaping hasn’t been around long enough to form any concrete evidential studies.
I personally don’t believe that there would be any long term side effects of Vaping proven when the time comes.
Vaping is enriching people’s lives by helping them quit smoking and stopping the potential risks of catching a serious smoking related disease.
GPs and local stop smoking services are starting to suggest to use e-cigarettes as the first option to people who are looking to quit smoking, and I believe they wouldn’t be suggesting this if there was a cause for concern on the side effects from Vaping.
Vaping side effects and the Media
The media (papers, online, websites) have always been prone to printing misinformation about the “harmful side effects” of Vaping, and I’ll document what’s been said below
Popcorn Lung – In 2016, an outbreak of “Popcorn Lung” was seen and even now in 2022, these outlets are still saying that Vaping causes Popcorn Lung.
When in reality what actually happened is, a group of workers in a Popcorn factory started developing the lung disease because of the fact that the factory was using Diacetyl, a sweetener used to create the buttery taste of Popcorn.
This was found to be used in vape juice as a sweetener and a small number of cases were reported after people had vaped e-liquid that contained Diacetyl.
But rest assured, that this now cannot happen as the TPD regulations bought in to the UK in 2016 has stopped this being added in to any vape juice recipes.
EVALI – In 2019-2021, there was an outbreak of EVALI, which is a serious lung injury incurred by people vaping. However, this was heavily investigated and was found that the cause of this EVALI was due to Vitamin E Acetate being vaped, which causes problems in the respiratory tract and lungs. Vitamin E Acetate is not used in standard vape liquid due to it not dissolving correctly where Nicotine is present, and it was unearthed that people who were suffering from these injuries were in fact using THC containing cartridges and not traditional vape juice that you and I would use on a daily basis.
So yet again, rest assure as if you’re staying on the right side of the law, and vaping traditional nicotine containing e-liquid, you will not contract EVALI.
I hope this article has helped with any questions you may have had in regards to the side effects of Vaping, both short term and long term.
The side effects of smoking are considerably worse than that of Vaping, and a lot more long standing, where the side effects of Vaping are very much short term and can be reversed easily.