Posted October 3, 2016 by Daniel Archibald-Jones in Information & Articles

What Are The Most Common Side Effects Of E Cigarettes?

Conventional tobacco smokers who are considering making the switch to vaping rightly have many questions that they want answered and one of the most frequently asked is what are the most common side effects of the electronic cigarettes.

There may be a few side effects but the most common ones are nothing really to do with the e-cigs themselves – instead they are symptoms of giving up the regular tobacco smoking.

E cigs are often promoted as a healthier alternative to the traditional cigarettes – the burning of a standard tobacco cigarette creates a staggering four thousand chemical compounds – several of which are toxic, carcinogenic or both. None of these – many of which are responsible for causing cancer – are found in e-cigs. Tar, carbon monoxide and ammonia can all be found in regular cigarette smoke and again is not present when vaping – however as the body adjusts to the switch to vaping that is when some side effects can take place.

When someone gives up regular smoking their body begins to detoxify – as the toxins get pushed out, they commonly go out through the pores in the face and hence this can cause acne. Another frequent issue when giving up the standard cigarettes is the coughing up of tar, which has the simple explanation of the lungs being finally allowed to start the process of cleaning themselves out! Bleeding gums is another common issue.

There are a couple of side effects that can be caused by the Propylene Glycol contained in the e-juice that fuels the electronic cigarettes – firstly it is converted into lactic acid in the body which in turn can cause aching muscles. The excess lactic acid can be got rid of by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water. The Propylene Glycol is a humectant. This means it absorbs moisture and can leave the vaper with a sore or dry throat. Again the solution is the drinking of plenty of water and this side effect commonly only lasts a few weeks as the throat adjusts to the vapour after being used to the regular tobacco smoke. It is worth pointing out that for those who have allergies to the Propylene Glycol, 100% VG E-Juice is used instead.

Despite their fundamental differences from a conventional cigarette, e cigs are still very much capable of providing the user with a buzz. This is dependent on whether the e-cig contains nicotine (most flavours come in a choice of strengths including nicotine free). If the nicotine is still present, the buzz will be created the same way as the nicotine goes into the lungs before rapidly hitting the brain where a dense network of neurons are the ones responsible for providing that buzz.

Like anything we take into our bodies there are some side effects that come alongside vaping. For many people they are relatively benign, for a few they may cause some discomfort, but best of all is that none of them are cancer, heart disease and so on. Here’s a run through of the most common side effects that people experience through vaping.


This is a very common one and can be caused through a number of reasons.

  • Vaping too much. This is especially the case when using high strength e liquids and vaping solidly throughout the day, try cutting back and lowering strength and see if that helps.
  • One of the key ingredients of e liquids is Propylene Glycol that is known to cause dehydration, which can in turn cause headaches. Try e liquids that have a higher content of vegetable glycerin instead.
  • Vape carefully! Try not to strain a muscle when taking a draw; if you’re struggling to get the vape through your device then there’s likely an issue with it.
  • Be careful with caffeine. A small number of people become extra sensitive with caffeinated beverages when vaping – nobody quite knows why and it’s largely anecdotal, just one to be aware of.

Shakiness, Irritability & Sweats

This is very likely because you are either taking in too much or too little nicotine, and is especially common when people are making the transition over from nicotine.

  • Try and find a level of nicotine that suits what you are accommodated to – heavy smokers will need correspondingly higher nicotine e liquids to start with.
  • If symptoms persist it could be an allergy.

Dry Skin And/Or Mouth

This is really common and is again due to the dehydrating effects of thePropylene Glycol. It does this because it is ahygroscopic form of liquid that causes the mouth to hold moisture.

  • Take small regular sips of water to keep hydrated.

In general, most of the side effects that come around through vaping are simply due to the amount of nicotine being ingested. It’s really easy to vape too much so perhaps try to regulate when and how much you take at a given time, and adjust the nicotine strength accordingly.

In very rare cases people may find themselves with dizziness, racing heartbeats and bleeding noses. Such symptoms may be an allergic reaction, or they could be the sign of something more serious. The best advice is to get checked out by the doctor especially if the symptoms continue after putting down the vape.