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How to Stop Headaches From Vaping: Are They Really A Big Problem?

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Key takeaways:

  • Vaping involves exhaling and inhaling vapor produced by electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).
  • E-cigarettes consist of a mouthpiece, liquid tank, heating element, and battery.
  • Vaping has become an alternative to smoking cigarettes, but it also has side effects like headaches, dehydration, anxiety, and hair loss due to nicotine use.
  • E-cigarette use can lead to health risks, including cardiovascular, respiratory, and lung injuries.
  • The use of e-cigarettes can cause headaches, which can progress to migraines.
  • Vaping can also cause anxiety and dehydration due to the ingredients in e-liquids.
  • Nicotine in e-cigarettes can make users feel tired and affect their sleep patterns.
  • Proper adjustments, such as reducing nicotine levels, can help alleviate some of the side effects of vaping.
  • Addiction recovery centers, like Lantana Recovery, can provide assistance to those struggling with nicotine addiction and its side effects.

Vaping is the common activity of exhaling and inhaling vapor produced through a device. If you have not heard of vaping yet, you might know what e-cigarettes are. Around 4 million people around the world are indulged in vaping. This is because it is now regarded as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Just like any other smoking addiction, vaping has side effects as well which include headaches, dehydration, anxiety, and hair loss from extreme nicotine use, to name a few.

  • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are electronic devices that vaporize chemical compounds, consisting of a mouthpiece, liquid tank, heating element, and battery.
  • E-cigarette use can lead to health risks, including cardiovascular or cardiopulmonary consequences and respiratory diseases.
  • The health risks not only affect the primary user but can also cause harm to others through secondhand and thirdhand exposure to aerosols.
  • The use of e-cigarettes has been associated with acute lung injury, although the exact cause remains unclear.

Even though vaping and nicotine addiction are not deemed as serious as other addictions, they can still cause a lot of problems for the host. While full-time resident facilities might not be necessary for nicotine addiction, an outpatient treatment program, like what we offer at Lantana, is a must if you find yourself addicted to nicotine.

Here we explore if headaches from vaping are that much of a problem:

E-Cigarettes Give You A Headache

Yes! Vaping cause headaches. One of the most common side effects is headaches. Alongside headaches, another common side effect is the incidence of throat and mouth irritation. One specific type of headache associated with vaping is known as a ‘nicotine headache’. Now the causes of headaches and the types of vaping headaches may vary, but every vaper certainly experiences one form or another, including what’s commonly referred to as a ‘vape headache’.

On the other hand, some vapers disclosed that when they started using the device, the amount of nicotine in those E-cigarettes triggered their headaches, but with time, it can increases and get worse. Moreover, the hair-loss from nicotine  has also been one of the commonly reported side-effects of smoking vapes.

In that case, your normal headaches will soon turn into migraines!

Vaping Triggers Migraines

If vaping gives you headaches, then we have bad news for you. It might just be the beginning, and those headaches can progress to become severe headaches or migraines. The frequency, as well as intensity of these migraines, can increase depending on the use.

The number one cause of this side effect is the e-juice. So far, there is not much clarity on which ingredient or component in the e-liquid causes headaches because people are sensitive to different components present in e-cigarettes. It could be too much PG (propylene glycol) or VG (vegetable glycerin). Just like smoking. Because of several factors like the sensitivity of the senses of the human body and the components used in e-cigarettes, you cannot really pinpoint what component is it that is triggering headaches or worse, migraines. There could be another reason behind vaping triggering a headache!

Some consumers have shared that certain brands and flavors trigger their headaches which increase to macroscopic levels and vaping results in anxiety if continuously used for longer periods of time.

Are Headaches From Vaping Really A Big Problem?

Vaping Causes Anxiety Due to Nicotine Withdrawal

Vaping and anxiety are both factors of a vicious cycle. For instance, vaping by adolescents and young adults is a legitimate concern as there is a risk that some may start smoking and that electronic cigarette (EC) use may have adverse effects on the developing lungs of adolescents. They may have anxiety, and the side effects of vaping in turn make them more anxious. But that is not a healthy way to go about your anxiety! The first step to progress is identifying your triggers. Once you know your triggers, it will be easier for you to quit whatever it is that’s causing you stress.

If you find out that vaping is the reason for your, look out for a healthy vaping cessation option and reach out to professionals like Lantana to help you.

Vaping Causes Dehydration Due to Propylene Glycol

Vaping Causes Dehydration

Another common side effect that vapers suffer from is dehydration or dry mouth. Vaping makes you dehydrated due to the same points we discussed above. Dehydration is associated with the same base ingredients discussed above: VG and PG.

“Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are electronic devices designed to vaporize chemical compounds” (Vaping: An Emerging Health Hazard, Oriakhi, 2020.)

It has been reported that PG’s high percentages lead to dryness of the mouth. However, relying on VG is not the safest either. Both, VG and PG are humectants. Because of this, they keep things moist. Furthermore, they are hygroscopic, which leads to them absorbing water.

Mix both and they’ll literally suck the liquids out of you!

Lack of proper hydration causes one to feel tired and lazy all the time, which brings us to our next topic…

Vaping Makes You Tired

Vaping Makes You Tired

Since you started vaping, have you ever felt immensely tired and lazy? We come back to the one ingredient again, nicotine. Nicotine is the sort of stimulant that increases mental alertness but as soon as it wears off, you end up feeling tired and consumed. If you have heard of caffeine crashes before, you might know what this means. But let’s define it a bit more.

Moreover, many studies have shown that excessive nicotine consumption can weaken immunity that can also translate to low energy levels and hence the fatigue.

Vaping makes you feel tired or fatigued because you are either doing it too much, or again, the amount of nicotine in the hits is too much. You need either lower the strength of nicotine or try leaving it altogether. Because at this very stage, the nicotine level is not suiting you. A change for you is important and you should consider it!

Being tired and fatigued all the time affects your sleep patterns drastically. Because of shooting up too much nicotine, you’re either hyperactive or extremely tired all the time.

Vaping Affects Sleep

When we are talking about vapes or e-cigarettes, nicotine is a concern. People use these devices as an alternative to smoking, but they also include ingredients such as nicotine which can have serious side effects. Nicotine can cause blood vessels in the body to constrict, leading to less blood flow to the brain. This reduction in blood flow can cause migraine attacks, severe headaches, and sensitivities to pain. So if you are wondering if vaping also affects sleep, here’s your answer: Yes! Additionally, monitoring your nicotine intake can help mitigate these negative effects, including headaches and sleep disturbances.

The next thing that you need to do is to work on your nicotine level.

Most of the vapers are those who were once heavy smokers. This means that you may already be used to a certain amount of nicotine in your system. However, it is not as simple as that. There is some difference in the sort of nicotine that is supplied to your body through regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

You need to keep a check on the amount of nicotine you are using. For nicotine overload, there are two main reasons. The strength of nicotine in your e-liquid might be too much or because of your new love for vaping, you might be vaping a bit too much that you should.

Bottom Line

So, now you know that vaping cause headaches but those headaches can escalate to bigger problems pretty quickly. The good thing, however, is that you can make by making adjustments, and reaching out to an addiction recovery center like us in time can help solve those problems. Vaping might look like a less harmful alternative to smoking but in reality but a headache caused by vaping is the least of your problem. It is the other physical and psychological problems that you should be worried about. Acknowledging the challenge of nicotine withdrawal, including symptoms like headaches, insomnia, and tobacco cravings, is crucial in the journey towards reducing nicotine intake and embracing a healthier lifestyle.

It is never too late to start a healthy lifestyle and leave what’s harming your health!


Alan Goodstat

Alan completed a postgraduate degree in social work from Columbia University in New York City and is a licensed clinical social worker in FL, NJ, NC and SC. Over the past 30 years he has worked in various leadership roles in privately held organizations and private equity portfolio companies.

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Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.