Side Effects of Vaping: What You Need to Know

Vaping has been growing in popularity as a healthier alternative to smoking. A lifelong smoker can find it difficult to quit smoking because it is addictive in nature. However, even though many consider vaping as “healthier”, it is not completely without any risks. There are still side effects associated with vaping.

What are the side effects of vaping?

The use of vaping devices can cause side effects to the user. It doesn’t matter if a person is using e-cigarettes, mods or squonk mods. Even though they are great alternatives for smokers, they are not perfect.

These devices still use e-juice or e-liquids. This means that whenever you vape, you are introducing a foreign material to your body. Our bodies are designed to defend themselves against foreign matter. When we inhale vapor, we are also inhaling the chemicals used to produce the e-liquid. Our bodies then put up a barrier against the effects of these substances. This results in the side effects that we feel or see whenever we vape.

The side effects of vaping are:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Dry throat/nose
  • Headaches
  • Vaper’s tongue
  • Canker sores
  • Allergies


man coughingCoughing is the most common side effect of vaping. This is often seen on those who are vaping for the first time. The more powerful the vaping device is, the more likely that you’ll see a user cough while vaping. This side effect might clear up after several uses or as the body gets accustomed to the vapor. However, this is not limited to new vapers. Even seasoned vapers cough from time to time, especially when a really hard hit catches them off guard. This is not something new for those who used to smoke. Coughing is also common among first-time smokers.

There are different reasons why vaping can cause you to cough. It might have something to do with the ingredients of the e-juice. E-juice contains propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG). Both these substances can cause dehydration, which can then lead to coughing. PG is also an irritant and can cause coughing especially for those who are sensitive to the said chemical.

Another theory is that coughing might be related to the nicotine content of e-juice. High nicotine content can cause a harsher hit which causes coughs.

How can I avoid coughing due to vaping?

Since high nicotine levels can be a cause of coughs while vaping, it is crucial that you find the right nicotine level on your vape juice. You can experiment with different nicotine levels until you find the level that can make vaping satisfactory without giving you coughs. For most vapers, a combination of high VG levels and low nicotine content helps stop coughs.

Using the right vaporizer and vaping technique can also help stop coughs. The speed by which you inhale vapor can also make vaping more enjoyable. Slow inhalations mean that there’s not enough air for the coil of the e-cigarette and this can cause coughs. A combination of quick inhales and slow exhales can help reduce coughing.

Using e-juices that are aromatic and have menthol can also lead to reduced coughing while vaping.

Sore Throat/Dry Throat/Dry Nose

As mentioned earlier, two of the ingredients of e-liquids are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine. These are the likely culprits that cause sore throats, dry throats, and dry noses. Both PG and VG draw in moisture from their environments.

When a person vapes, he draws vapor into his lungs through his mouth and it passes through his throat. This means that the throat and the nose become part of VG and PG’s environment. When moisture gets drawn from a vaper’s mouth and throat, it can cause dehydration. Vaping literally sucks moisture out of a vaper’s body.

Another cause of a sore throat is the nicotine level in the vape juice or e-juice. The different variants of e-juices have their own nicotine levels. These levels might be too high which can cause a sore throat. This is more noticeable for smokers who used to smoke cigarettes with low nicotine levels. If they switch to an e-juice with high levels of nicotine, it can result in a sore throat.

How can I avoid sore throat/dry throat/dry nose while vaping?

One thing that you need to ensure is that you’re always hydrated when vaping. As mentioned earlier, some ingredients of e-juice can cause dehydration which leads to coughing. A dry throat is easy to irritate which can result in coughs. When you stay hydrated all the time, you can make sure that whatever fluid you lose while vaping gets immediately replaced.

Regulating the nicotine levels of your vape juice can also go a long way towards avoiding these issues. We’ve already established that nicotine levels can cause a sore throat. If you’re used to low nicotine levels, try an e-juice that has comparable nicotine levels to what you’re used to. You can then make your way up to an e-liquid that has a higher level of nicotine content. Do this gradually so your body can get used to a higher nicotine level.

It is also important to ensure that you have a well-balanced PG and VG level on your vape juice. The ideal ratio of PG to VG is 70/30. With this combination, you are assured of getting a solid hit that still has a great flavor.


woman having a headacheHeadaches are also one of the most common side effects of vaping. The severity of headaches varies from one user to another. Most users complain of slight headaches that last for quite a while. However, this is a side effect often experienced while vaping for the first time. Headaches often decrease in frequency and eventually disappears.

The dehydration caused by vaping can be the reason behind the headaches experienced by vapers. Dehydration can make someone feel lightheaded. This can then cause mild headaches.

The ingredients of the e-juice can also be the cause of these headaches. Some users might be sensitive to high concentrations of VG or PG. This can be the reason for some users complaining about headaches when using a particular brand or flavor of e-juice.

Nicotine can also cause headaches. When nicotine enters the body, it causes blood vessels to constrict or narrow. This reduces the blood flow to the brain which then triggers a headache. Nicotine can cause headaches even to former smokers. Although e-cigarettes and regular tobacco cigarettes have different delivery mechanisms, they both deliver nicotine to the body and can cause headaches.

What can I do to avoid getting headaches from vaping?

Avoiding nicotine overload can help prevent headaches while vaping. There are two ways to ensure that you’re not taking in too much nicotine while vaping. The first one is by using an e-liquid with low levels of nicotine. The second way is by controlling the intake of nicotine by regulating your hits. Hitting your vape too fast and too frequently can lead to nicotine overload.

Vaper’s tongue

Cat sticking out tongueVaper’s tongue is a condition wherein a vaper can no longer taste the vape juice he is using. This is a condition that occurs without any warning. Most vapers experience this condition from time to time. It is a condition that usually lasts between 1-3 days although there are also cases wherein the condition persisted for up to 2 weeks. Vaper’s tongue doesn’t have any effect on the way that a vaper absorbs nicotine. It also doesn’t have any noticeable effects on the way that you produce vapor. However, the ability to taste the full flavor of an e-juice is crucial towards achieving an enjoyable vaping experience.

Vaper’s tongue was first noticed years ago. Vapers noticed that there were instances when they felt that their tongues covered in a thick coating. The coating seemed to have blocked their ability to taste the flavor of the e-juice they are using.

What causes Vaper’s Tongue?

Our taste buds are in our tongues. These taste buds work hand in hand with the saliva that we produce so they can work properly. There are instances when vaping can result in a fatigued tongue. When this happens, our mouth dries out and we are left with a tongue without any saliva. This lack of saliva means that we are unable to properly taste anything. In some cases, users have even reported that they cannot taste anything at all.

Aside from a dry tongue, another cause is flavor fatigue. Whenever you vape, you use both your sense of smell and your sense of taste for you to experience the full flavor of the e-juice you are using. There are five tastes that the taste buds in the tongue can recognize: bitter, sweet, sour, umami, and salty. When you have different flavors that belong to the same type of taste, you rely on your sense of smell in order to differentiate each flavor.

However, when you’ve been exposed to a flavor for a long time, your sense of smell loses its ability to sense the aroma of a particular e-juice.

Those who used to smoke are also more prone to developing Vaper’s tongue. This is especially true for those who have been smoking for a long time. Smoking can impair one’s sense of taste and smell. However, your body can recover its sense of smell and taste after some time. There is no particular time frame for recovery though. A former smoker might regain his taste of smell and taste in just a few days.

How can I get rid of Vaper’s Tongue?

The most effective way of getting rid of Vaper’s tongue is by ensuring that you stay hydrated. There are several ways to do this. The simplest and most effective way is to increase your water consumption. This is crucial especially if you are an avid vaper. You should also cut back on caffeine and alcohol intake. Alcoholic drinks and those that contain caffeine can dry out the mouth. These drinks are also classified as diuretics. Diuretics are those that make you urinate frequently. There are also oral hydration products that you can use. Oral hygiene aids such as Biotene can temporarily cure a dry mouth. You can get these products in various forms. Biotene comes in mouthwash, toothpaste, overnight gel or spray forms.

Keeping your tongue clean can also help you get the optimal flavor out of your vape. Brush your tongue whenever you brush your teeth. There are also tongue scrapers you can use to remove the film that accumulated on your tongue.

If you feel that flavor fatigue is the cause of your Vaper’s tongue, switching to a new e-juice flavor might help you. Try using a new flavor for a while. You can always switch back to your favorite flavor after a few days. You can also switch to unflavored e-juice. Since an unflavored e-liquid doesn’t have much taste, you’re not really missing out even if you have a case of Vaper’s tongue. Another way of fighting flavor fatigue is by using a menthol-flavored e-juice. Menthol-flavored e-juice can help you reset your taste buds.

Canker Sores

woman making grossed out faceCanker sores are small and shallow blisters that form inside the mouth. Aside from vaping; canker sores can also be caused by injuries to the mouth, acidic and spicy foods, hormone disorders, or vitamin deficiency.

Neither vapor nor e-liquid can cause canker sores. However, you can get canker sores from the mouthpiece of your e-cigarette if it is not completely clean. The mouthpiece of your e-cigarette can accumulate a lot of gunk if not periodically cleaned.

Needless to say, it is important that you always clean the mouthpiece of your e-cigarette if you want to avoid canker sores or any other diseases caused by germs that your vape may have picked up.


An allergic reaction is the body’s response to an allergen. Allergic reactions can be mild such as sneezing, itchy eyes, rashes, or coughs. However, there are severe allergic reactions as well. A severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

The e-juice used in vaping can contain ingredients that a vaper is allergic to. This is more common to flavored e-juices. This is because the flavor of an e-juice is often derived from plant products. E-cigarettes also affect IgE. This is a substance involved in the immune system’s response and allergic reactions.

There are also people who are allergic to PG. When a person is allergic to PG, he will exhibit signs of allergic contact dermatitis. The most obvious sign of PG allergy is skin rashes. This rash might have small lumps surrounding it. With vaping, you inhale PG through the mouth. This means that the rash should be around the mouth and the nose since these are the parts that are in contact with the e-cigarette. These rashes are often accompanied by a burning and stinging sensation.

How can I avoid allergies from vaping?

woman with allergic reactionIf you want to avoid allergic reactions caused by vaping, you need to be vigilant. The first thing that you need to do is determine what you are allergic to. Once you have determined what causes your allergic reactions, you need to make sure that the e-juice you will use doesn’t contain any ingredients that can trigger your allergies. In this regard, it might be a good idea to purchase your e-juice from a physical store. This way, you can read through all of the ingredients used in making the e-juice. You can even talk to the sales people so you can get all the information that you need. If you’re planning to purchase your e-juice from an online store, choose a store that lists all of the ingredients that they use for their e-juice.

If you are allergic to PG, you can switch to a VG-based e-juice. It is easy to find a VG-based e-liquid since most of the e-juices sold today are primarily VG-based. However, you will still find PG in a VG-based e-juice. This is because a pure VG e-juice will have some issues with wicking.

Low PG content should not result in serious allergic reactions. Reactions differ from one person to another so it would be best to try the lowest possible PG content first and see if you can tolerate PG in small numbers.

Vaping is a great help for those who want to quit smoking. It has been proven multiple times that smoking is not good for health. This is why many smokers turn to e-cigarettes as their smoking-cessation devices. They turn to vape devices that can provide their nicotine needs without the more harmful effects of conventional cigarettes.

Vaping might be safer when compared to smoking but it is not completely safe. There are side effects associated with vaping. These side effects can range from mild ones to those that are severe. It is important to understand these side effects and learn what to do to minimize or completely eliminate them.

If you want to fully enjoy your vaping experience, the first thing that you need to do is to arm yourself with knowledge about it. Find out what unpleasant effects it might have and learn how to counter them. This way, you can enjoy your vape without constantly worrying about how it can negatively affect your body.

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