When it comes to nicotine the media loves a sensationalist headline. Yes, there are downsides to nicotine, i.e if you drink it you could get really quite poorly but that said if you drink bleach the same applies and it’s rare to see bleach getting a kicking in the press. This blog post highlights the ways that nicotine can cause harm (like above via ingestion) and common sense fixes to ensure that risks are incredibly minimal.
One of our concerns when it comes to misinformation is that smokers might be less likely to switch to vaping if they believe mistruths about the dangers of nicotine. The consequences of this reluctance can be far-reaching. Not only does continuing to smoke harm people, but there are also other concerns such as environmental issues and the monetary cost to the NHS related to smoking costs associated with doctor’s visits, treatments, hospital stays and more.
Vaping is now considered to be at least 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking, according to Public Health England, which is why spreading mistruths or exaggerating facts which lead to continued smoking is something that should be avoided.
Too Much Nicotine
When vaping a nicotine e liquid you are incredibly unlikely to be able to vape enough nicotine to cause a nicotine overdose, given that the amount needed to cause an overdose would be significantly higher than the normal amount vaped, it would be near-on impossible to overdose on nicotine at toxic levels by accident.
That said, too much nicotine, with lower margins, is much more likely to occur. When we say too much, we mean choosing too high a strength of nicotine when you are used to a lower amount. For example, a “normal” tobacco cigarette would have around 12mg of nicotine in it. If you were to vape 20mg (for example) your body would not be happy. You could experience dizzy, nausea, sickness, headaches and more. While nicotine leaves your body fairly fast, having too much nicotine (different to overdosing on nicotine which occurs at much higher levels) can leave you feeling pretty poorly.
Nicotine overdose or nicotine poisoning is much more serious. In order to achieve toxic levels when it comes to vaping, you would have to vape an enormous amount in a very short space of time. It’s very hard to do. Ingesting nicotine however or overdoing due to too many nicotine patches or nicotine on the skin is something else altogether. The side effects associated with FAR too much nicotine and/or ingestion include vomiting, irregular, pounding heartbeats, increased saliva, confusion, extreme headaches and diarrhoea and in extreme cases, unconsciousness, coma and even death.
It is very important to remember to never remove the labels from your e liquids or nicotine bottles so that you can see what they are and how much they contain, to never ingest nicotine, to not leave nicotine or nicotine-containing products near children or pets and to wash spilt nicotine product off skin as it absorbs quickly.
If you think that you or someone else has ingested nicotine or is likely to have ingested a nicotine-based product please seek immediate medical help.
It’s Not All Bad
All of this paints nicotine in a very bad light. If you read through it again you see that while ingested nicotine or too much nicotine can have negative effects at varying levels, you’ll also see that this is rare and hard to do if using common sense.
Nicotine does play a part in vaping and that part is one which enhances flavours and contributes to a throat hit. A throat hit is a slightly harsh feel that you get in the back of your throat when you inhale vapour and is a pleasurable feeling for most people. It is similar/the same as the throat hit you would have had as a smoker before moving over to vaping.
Unlike with smoking though, you don’t need to vape with nicotine. As well as having a number of different nicotine strengths available here at Go Smoke Free we also have a wide range of nicotine free e liquids. You can choose whether nicotine plays a part in your vaping experience.
Either way, please make sure that you understand what nicotine is, how it works and vape sensibly.