Vaping is becoming an increasingly popular alternative for many smokers, but it is important to understand the physical and mental side effects that come along with it. In this blog post, we’ll look at the short and long-term effects of vaping and give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision for your health. Read on to learn more about the side effects of vaping and tips for quitting successfully.
What is vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor, which is actually a form of aerosol, produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. The vapor is created when a liquid, typically containing nicotine and flavorings, is heated. Vaping has become increasingly popular over the past decade as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, with a variety of nicotine levels and flavor options available. As the popularity of vaping continues to grow, research into its effects will no doubt advance.
Physical Side-Effects of Vaping
Vaping has become a popular alternative to smoking, but like most things, it does come with its own set of side effects. In the short term, these side effects can manifest in several physical ways. The most common physical side effects of vaping are headaches and sore throats. These are caused by the allergens that can be present in the vapor. Allergens, such as plant pollen, can cause inflammation in the throat and sinuses, resulting in headaches and soreness.
Another physical side-effect of vaping is increased thirst, as dehydration is common when exhaling vapor. Vaping also has the potential to cause mild nausea, fatigue, and dizziness due to rapid blood-sugar shifts as nicotine and flavoring chemicals enter the bloodstream. The effects of nicotine, artificial sweeteners, and other added compounds can also cause difficulty focusing and other cognitive troubles. In the short term, it is important to watch out for these physical side effects when vaping. Additionally, it is recommended that you moderate the amount of vapor you inhale and makes sure to stay hydrated and rest adequately.
The long-term physical side effects of vaping are still being studied as the technology only emerged in the last decade. However, there have been some alarming discoveries so far. Studies indicate that chronic vaping could result in changes in lung function and inflammation, changes in heart rate, raised blood pressure, and risk of respiratory infections. As vapor aerosols carry traces of nicotine, these studies have indicated possible associations with tissue damage and lasting pulmonary disturbances, such as chronic bronchitis and coughing.
Vaping has also been linked to respiratory illnesses such as popcorn lung. Alarmingly, the presence of toxins, carcinogens, and heavy metals, such as lead and nickel, have been discovered in the aerosol. Long-term vaping has been shown to increase the levels of lipid by-products in the blood, linking it to atherosclerosis, a condition that results in hardened or blocked arteries, as well as other cardiovascular complications. Consequently, long-term vapers may be at risk of developing serious health issues. Mental health conditions may be brought to the surface, and existing symptoms can worsen over time. The more the body takes on, the more the mind is forced to compensate for as well.
Mental Side-Effects of Vaping
It is important to be aware of the potential mental side effects of vaping so that users can make informed decisions about their usage. The vapors produced by e-cigarettes may contain chemicals that cause adverse mental effects. For example, nicotine, the addictive substance found in vape products, can cause short-term feelings of pleasure and relaxation, but can also cause feelings of anxiety. Long-term, nicotine can lead to changes in energy levels, mood, and behavior, and can even cause depression.
Recent studies have revealed that nicotine, which is a major component of most e-liquids, can affect the brain in several ways. First, it can act as a stimulant and lead to elevated emotions, trouble concentrating, and decreased judgment. Second, it can lead to nicotine dependence and addiction, which is associated with increased anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. Finally, nicotine, and therefore vaping, can affect the user’s mental health by causing insomnia, depression, and mood swings.
Though vaping has been considered a safer alternative to cigarettes and can help some people quit smoking, it can still negatively affect mental health. Quitting vaping, or never starting in the first place is the best way to avoid these risks. It is a good idea to speak to a mental health professional if you or someone you know is struggling with the mental side effects of vaping.
Helpful Tips for Quitting Vaping
Quitting vaping can be a challenge, especially if you find yourself relying on it as a source of comfort or stress relief. While it may have provided some short-term relief, it can lead to addiction and long-term health risks. Following some helpful tips can help make quitting vaping easier.
One helpful tip is to have a plan. Rather than quitting cold turkey, determine your specific goals and milestones, and create a timeline so you know when you’ve achieved them. Talk to your doctor or a local health professional who specializes in quitting vaping to ensure your plan is realistic and sustainable, and that helps you avoid nicotine withdrawals. You can also consider getting transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatments, which have been found to help people with smoking cessation. Consider enlisting the help of friends and family members as you go through the quitting process.
Another helpful tip for quitting vaping is to set yourself up for success. Remove any temptations from your life, such as vapes, e-juices, or related products. Change your routine to remove the triggers of vaping. Make deliberate lifestyle changes to fill the time you used to spend vaping, like exercising, reading a book, or picking up a new hobby.
Also, try and reduce your stress levels as much as possible, as many vapers smoke in moments of stress. Smart strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, or speaking with a therapist can help provide some relief. Quitting vaping is not easy, but following these tips can help you stay on track and break free from the addiction.
If you’re looking for more help, speaking to a therapist may be a step in the right direction for you. Learn more about getting started with mental health care today, or give us a call at 844-867-8444 for a free mental health consultation and to be matched with a therapist.
Vaping is often seen as a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, but it does carry its own set of physical and mental side effects. From headaches and sore throats to anxiety and depression, vaping has a range of potential effects. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the risks associated with vaping and to make sure you stay informed so you can make an informed decision. For those who have already begun vaping, the above-mentioned tips can help quit vaping and get back on track to a healthier lifestyle.