According to Public Health England vaping is 95% less health risk than smoking. And this makes it a very viable alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. As smoking is a process of combustion, lighting a cigarette leads to the release of over 7,000 chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens. With vaping, you get to avoid that and you will be inhaling is heated e-liquid, which is, in most cases, Propylene Glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavorings, and nicotine.
With that, vaping is not without faults. And there are a number of side effects you can experience as a vaper. In this mini-guide, we will address some of the common issues that vapers may be faced with and the ways of dealing with them.
Dry mouth and skin issues
One of the most frequently experienced side effects of vaping is dehydration. Vapor has the nature of attracting water molecules from its surroundings. Thus, you may notice an itchy feeling in your throat and mouth, and even feel your skin getting drier as you vape.
The simplest and most efficient way of dealing with this condition would be to stay hydrated, to make sure you drink water regularly and, if your skin is affected, try using a moisturizing lotion.
If you are feeling dizzy after vaping, it probably means that you are consuming more nicotine than your body can handle. This often happens with new vapers, who have just made the transition from smoking to vaping, and are still not certain about what level of nicotine they should settle on when picking their e-liquids.
If you feel dizzy after a vaping session, the solution is very simple: lower the amount of nicotine, which you are taking by switching to a vape juice with a lower concentration.
Some new vapers report that in their first months of vaping they’ve experienced an increased sensitivity to caffeine. What happened was that they felt like consuming more caffeinated drinks than they would normally do but, at the same time, they would also experience mood swings and anxiety after consuming them. The best recommendation here would be to lower your caffeine intake in your first few weeks of vaping and give your body some time to adjust to the new habit experience.
This is probably one of the most common and most frequently experienced side-effects of vaping. This figurative term is used to describe a condition when you suddenly feel reduced or completely diminished flavors while vaping.
So, what causes the vaper’s tongue? There can be several factors in play here.
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons behind of vaper’s tongue. Even seasoned vapers often make the mistake of not staying hydrated enough while vaping and, may get really dehydrated without even noticing it. In order to prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to set a reminder on your watch or phone to drink water at regular intervals.
Sticking to the same flavor for too long can also lead to a vaper’s tongue. It’s absolutely normal that you would have a favorite flavor that you may feel like vaping all day long. But, if you are starting to notice that you are not actually tasting your e-juice anymore, try giving your favorite e-liquid a break and experiment with a few others so that your taste buds get some time to reset themselves.
Certain medications have also been known to cause a loss of taste and smell. These include Lithium, Penicillamine or Rifampin to name a few.
Apart from physical causes, your mental state may also aggravate the condition. Stress and anxiety have both been shown to cause changes in tastes and smells.
As the name itself suggests, vaper’s tongues are not the condition that you want to have. In order to avoid it (or get rid of it), try the following:
- Drinking more water
- Alternating flavors
- Drinking lemon juice or smelling coffee beans (these are known as effective quick fixes to reset your taste buds and often used by professional food tasters).
- Practicing proper dental hygiene
(While vaping has not been known to have any specific negative effects on your teeth, it’s still better to take some extra precautions. For instance, rinse your mouth with mouthwash a few times a day to make sure your tongue is as clean as possible.)
Propylene Glycol Allergy
As you may well know, your e-liquid can be PG-based, VG-based or mixed. The type of e-juice you go for depends on what you want to get from the experience.
PG liquids are based on propylene glycol and are often preferred by those looking for a stronger throat hit.
VG liquids consist primarily of vegetable glycerin and are noted for their ability to make big clouds.
Then, you have a whole range of e-liquids that use both PG and VG, mixed in different proportions.
Choosing your e-liquid composition is mostly a matter of personal preference and depends on what vaping device you are using and how you want to vape. Unless that is, you are allergic to propylene glycol. According to statistics, about 4% of people in the world will experience an allergic reaction with an e-liquid containing PG.
So, how do you know you are allergic?
PG allergy symptoms
There are several common symptoms that a PG allergy is associated with. These symptoms may range from a light dry throat feeling to hives.
Before diagnosing yourself with a PG allergy, consider if the symptoms you are experiencing may be connected to what is known as “a smoker’s flu”, a set of temporary symptoms associated with smoking withdrawal.
These typically include headaches, nausea, sore throat, dizziness, and even mouth ulcers. These can also be the signs that you are using an e-liquid with a very high nicotine content — if this is the case, try lowering your nicotine intake. Dehydration is another common side effect of vaping — try drinking more water to compensate for PG and VG e-liquids attracting moisture.
Then, there are several symptoms that are direct indications of an allergic reaction to PG. These often include :
- Gum swelling
- Rashes and hives
- Sinus discomfort
- Severe pain when swallowing
If you experience any or a combination of these symptoms when vaping a PG containing e-liquid, you may be allergic to propylene glycol.
How to deal with a PG allergy
Just because you are sensitive or allergic to PG e-liquids does not mean you have to stop vaping — unless, of course, you have other reasons for wanting to quit. Going back to cigarettes, however, is hardly the best solution.
Especially, when there is an easy way to deal with a PG allergy when vaping. All you need to do is find a 100% VG e-liquid and you can continue exploring the advantages of vaping over smoking further. Check with your preferred e-liquid brand if they make juices that are 100% VG.
In fact, some e-liquid makers, having recognized the need for pure VG e-juices, have released special product lines with the focus on just that. Note, however, that a switch to VG e-liquids may also require a transition to a different vaping device.
While these are some of the most common side effects of vaping, individual experiences may vary. And if at any point in time, you feel discomfort while vaping, it’s best to stop using your vaporizer for some time and consult a medical professional.