What Are The Side Effects Of Electronic Cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes, which are also known as smokeless cigarettes, have become increasingly popular with smokers who are concerned about their health or are trying to quit the habit. Although an electronic cigarette looks and tastes very much like a regular cigarette, the small battery powered device contains no tobacco, tar or carbon monoxide and does not give off any unhealthy or unpleasant second hand smoke.

Although these e-cigarettes, as they are also commonly known, are considered to be safe, there are some possible side effects of electronic cigarettes.

smoking side effects imageBecause these cigarettes are a relatively new invention, having been widely available only since around 2006, the possible side effects and the effects on health in general are still being studied to some extent. In addition, not everyone who uses them will experience the same effects from smoking an electronic cigarette, or suffer them to the same degree. If you have been smoking for many years and switch to e-cigarettes, you may find the side effects more severe or more noticeable.

However, many of those who make the switch from ‘real’ cigarettes to the electronic variety seem to suffer from no adverse or unpleasant side effects. Because e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, anyone using them is just as likely to experience some of the same nicotine related effects and symptoms as they would get from smoking an actual cigarette, and can also experience withdrawal symptoms when giving up e-cigarettes.

These electronic cigarettes still contain nicotine, although it is in a liquid form. However, it is very easy to inadvertently suck some of the liquid nicotine into your mouth, which can potentially be dangerous, and can harm the body’s respiratory system. To avoid doing this, most e-cigarette manufacturers recommend taking short drags on their product; ideally of less than a few seconds, although as many smokers know, this is not always an easy thing to do. Because they still contain nicotine in some form, they can still be addictive and many experts argue that they can even be more addictive for some people than actual cigarettes. One trend has been towards the introduction of artificial cigarettes that are entirely nicotine free, yet which still closely mirror the experience of smoking.

The nicotine and chemicals present in these virtual cigarettes can also cause various other side effects; it is not always obvious that these are being caused by smoking, making it difficult to diagnose accurately. Too much nicotine can cause headaches, which can vary in their severity, and the propylene glycol present in the device can also lead to a dry or sore throat or nose. These e-cigs also require an adjustment from inhaling smoke to inhaling vapor, and this can also cause a sore or dry throat in some smokers. Some smokers also report an unpleasant aftertaste, when they make the switch from real cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes can also cause other side effects. The propylene glycol present in the devices can release lactic acid into the body, which can cause aching muscles. Switching from smoking real cigarettes to using the electronic ones can also lead to bleeding gums, the reason being that smokers often tend to have stronger gums. If you experience bleeding gums because of using one of these devices, the problem should disappear by itself after about a week or so. Other more minor side effects can include a feeling of tightness around the shoulders and neck, sinus congestion and dry eyes. Some smokers become jittery, and may notice that their hands are shaking.

One side effect of these artificial cigarettes is that they can perhaps encourage smoking among children and teens. Because they are widely advertised as being both safer and healthier than cigarettes, they are often perceived as not being cigarettes at all, or as being some type of fun product or gimmicky device. Some brands of e-cigarettes are even available in a variety of enticing flavors, such as mint, strawberry, chocolate and caramel, which can not only attract children to try them, but non smokers as well.

Although the side effects of electronic cigarettes are not generally severe, there are still risks associated with this product. You should always buy a reputable or trusted brand of electronic cigarette; there have been problems in the past with less reputable brands containing far more nicotine than they should, or was indicated on the packaging.

The FDA has not officially recognised the electronic variety of cigarette as being a much safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. It is certainly a safer and healthier alternative to real cigarettes, and many non smokers appreciate the fact that they are not breathing second hand smoke; you can also smoke them anywhere and they cost a lot less than real smokes. However, a much better solution for anyone considering these e-cigs would be to give up smoking altogether.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Abass Toriola March 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Since the FDA has identified carcinogenic substances in some e-cigs, I think we should all stay clear of them.
Secondly, e-cig manufacturers have yet to come out to disclose all the ingredients used in their products. So, this alone should raise a warning flag.

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Steven Webb May 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I think you’re dumb.

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Jim Dandy July 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I you are rude,….
The guy was only speaking his opinion! ! ! !
It is probably going to be some side effects not discussed in
medical terms as of now, because wide spread use and/or abuse of this device has not been as pervasive as will be in the future,……But, I will bet your life that there is some serious side effects inherent with the fact that a vapor of sorts is made available with nicotine or sort of stimulant in it,…….

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Yolanda April 11, 2013 at 12:50 am

I absolutely enjoyed reading every bit of this article but I still think that there is not enough data to conclude any real positive or negative side effects from e cigarettes. We have years to come before we know the truth.

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charissa ingram April 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Me and my husband both switched from real cigarettes to e-cigarettes. The ones we smoke have bo carcinogens in them. People truly need to do research before starting a new alternative. And any respectable business has all of their ingredients on their product, like our do. Highly recommend a true electronic cigarette.

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Carmen April 23, 2013 at 7:44 am

I just started the ecigs and I did not like how I felt and still feel. I have a quizzy feeling, tired, sleepy and just don’t like it. I hate to say it but I may just go back to reg cigs. The reason I’m trying ecigs is due to a friend that started ecigs and has not had a reg cig for 6 months now.

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KooksRN May 23, 2013 at 12:22 am

Hello Carmen, Your withdrawing from nicotine in the traditional cigarettes you’ve previously smoked. This is probably due to the choice of e-cig you purchased. Bullen et al. performed research and found that there is a large difference from the blood nicotine level an individual receives from traditional cigarettes when compared to e-cigs. There is also a difference between the blood nicotine levels from the variety of e-cig brands. “Bullen et al. found that whereas smokers obtained a fairly typical blood nicotine concentration of 13.4 ng/ml from smoking a single cigarette, they obtained only 1.3 ng/ml from us of a V8 e-cig, using a cartridge labeled as containing 16 mg of nicotine.” (Foulds, Veldheer, & Berg, 2011, p. 1037).

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Dennis James April 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I wonder, since I started these e-cigs, sometimes I get short of breath… I’m wondering if that’s a side effect??? I get the same feelin’ when I smoke a reg cig….. Any thoughts???…..

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bill May 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I’ve been using my ecigarette exclusively for eight days in an effort to become smokefree. Here’s what I experienced, fatigue, that’s the big one, and it comes and goes. I did experience pain in my lungs when I tried Blu, but I’ve gone to the more conventional tank/atomizer/battery set up and have had no further problems with that. Your shortness of breath could be from the accumulated crud from cigarettes and it’ll take some time for your lungs to heal. The vapor is heavier than air so when you exhale, more of it stays behind, I think. Try a lower nicotine percentage, that’s what I had to do and it helped.

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Stephanie April 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I am not ever smoking mine again. I am currently trying to recover from the sore/dry throat and eyes from this. I also have achy muscles and tight neck and shoulders for the past two days.
Does anyone know what I should do? Do I just give my body time to heal? Anyone else experience this? I feel absolutely awful! Like I have a cold or minor flu, but I don’t. It’s all from this e-cig.

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bre May 2, 2013 at 12:28 am

Yes, dry eyes…really bad..but it did get me completely off of cigs…I am stopping all of it, as well.

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Silvia May 22, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Well this is due to the fact that the e cigs contain propylene glycol which causes what you experience,the FDA says its safe but it’s still a toxin to your body. Plus, the FDA thinks a lot of poisons are “safe”

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Norm April 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I started using the e-cigbrand electronic cigarette 9 days ago. Followed the directions “slow and steady” get used to it. It tasted ok, (I normally smoke cloves cigs) , I cut down from a pack a day to a half pack the first day. After two days I woke up in the morning with dried blood in my nose, day three a blood clot and dried blood. I thought it might just be a sinus thing no worries. Day 4 and 5 more blood. Day 5 was filled with a bit of stress so I smoked more cloves and used the e-cig less, day 6 & 7 I didn’t touch it at all. Day 8 no blood in my nose at all in the AM. Picked up the e-cig, smoked 4 cloves all day. Morning day 9 nose bleed. I’m done with this thing…
Peace To Us All

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Jen May 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

I tried the zero nicotine e-cigs, to solve the weight gain issue from not smoking the real thing. It has helped a lot, BUT, the first few days, I was using it way too much, the novelty of the thing I think, got a queasy feeling that just stuck with me. The lady at the smoke shop I bought it from said that since as a real smoker I was down to smoking only 4 to 5 cigarettes a day, that I should only use the e-cig the same way, and only for 4-7 minutes at a time max, then put it away till my next normal cigarette would have been or if I get a real craving for a sweet, to take 3 or 4 puffs with a couple minutes between then make sure to put it away again. That has taken care of my queasy stomach and I haven’t noticed any other side effects since using it as I would regular cigarettes vice a new and interesting gadget.

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Mark May 4, 2013 at 8:20 am

I started ecigs 4 months ago. The disposable types are the worst, because you can keep drawing on it long after most of the nicotine solution is gone, hence dry throat, etc. I am now using a ‘tank’ type of ecig, which does not dry out, and delivers the same potency consistently. No side effects yet, other than really missing the cigarettes (gee, I wonder what else they put in the tobacco that might be addictive). My cardiologist thinks they are great, if it is the only way you can get yourself off of the cancer sticks.

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Abe May 5, 2013 at 2:34 am

Tried ecigs and have not looked back since. I started with a reputable brand with good customer service, Panda ecigs. The electronic ones hit all the triggers I needed to fool my mind that it was a real cigarette. The taste, feeling in my throat when I inhaled, the feeling in my hand, the nicotine I am addicted to, the cloud of “smoke” and even a little light in the tip. After a week of mixing the 2, real and electronic, my mind accepted that the ecigs were giving it what it wanted and I was off tobacco with no withdrawal what so ever. After 30 years of smoking, no tobacco craving is like a dream. I am slowly taking away the triggers my habit thought it needed. I switched from the type that look like cigarettes to clearomizers that look like little light sabers. I have changed from the tobacco flavor to the tastier flavors available-the ones everyone is in a panic about because kids will want it. Well I buy the liquid from DIY flavor shack, they taste great and don’t sell to kids. I am also slowly cutting down on the level of nicotine.
Side effects? You bet, I can breathe better than I have in 30 years, I have more energy, I am more active, lost weight, and snore less and less as time goes on. I also no longer have the secret fear that I am doomed to die a horrible death from lung cancer.
All that with 0 zero withdrawal symptoms, and I am saving a ton of money.
I loved smoking, didn’t know what I would do with myself if I ever quit. Couldn’t imagine ever being able to quit or being without my cigarettes.
Now I can see a way to have my health and life, not suffer through quitting, end my addiction to nicotine, and actually have fun doing it.
If I chose, I can even continue “vaping” with zero nicotene after I have beat the addiction. Café Napolean eliquid is yummy and no calories.
This way is working great for me with no suffering because of it. Find whatever will work for you. But whatever you do, quit tobacco.
Good luck and good life to you.

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Becky May 6, 2013 at 5:11 am

I bought a non menthol Blu cig. I now have laryngitis. Has anyone had this happen? Is it just coincidence? I am also experiencing blocked sinuses when I wake up in the morning . Thank you for your in put.

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bill May 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I tried Blu and it made me sick. I hate Blu, the one I use is SOV eGo, and I like it a whole lot.

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mick uk May 28, 2013 at 1:23 am

Hi Becky
I have been having the same probs that’s why I am here trying to get some info
anyone else ?

Thanks Mick

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John June 11, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I also have rhe ego and i love it, will use it forever if necessaryI too have had nothing but a positive experience with my e-cigarette. At first I still craved a smoke but raised my nicotine solution and have NO cravings for the real thing at all now. I breath better and feel better than I have in a long time. If necessary I will use this device forever, it’s much better than smoking and much cheaper in the long run. Am going on a trip w all the money I’ve saved!!

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Rg May 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I read the vapor does release nicotine into the air, so I guess it wouldn’t be safe to use around someone with allergies. Does that mean it will also leave yellow on walls and furniture over time?

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Benjo May 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Soooo many negative comments!!

Having smoked for nearly 20 years (and tried many different ways of giving up) I started on medium strength 10Motives e cigs, and haven’t looked back. I got bleeding gums after a week or so, but that’s to be expected when giving up real smoking, and with a few days of cordosyll it isn’t a problem anymore. I love the fact that I can smoke inside again, I love the fact that my breath and clothes don’t smell, and I love the fact that I’m no longer sucking in all that tar. I also quite like the taste to be honest…

I’ve had no problems aside from that, and I have no intention of ever giving them up, unless it turns out that they’re particularly bad for you. But on the balance of probability, I can’t see it being any worse than smoking tobacco!!

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jen May 31, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I tried the blu ecig on Tuesday. Wednesday morning I woke up barely able to move or lift my head off the pillow.my throat was so sore swallowing was completely out of the question. It’s now Friday I haven’t used it again my throat is still incredibly sore on an almost muscular level. I didn’t think it was the ecig until reading this page… I don’t think I’ll use it again… I’m far to big of a crybaby for this much pain… I’m going to chew the gum

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E- Dog May 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Going on my 2nd week of using my eGo CE5 Clearomizer and eGo-T XXL 1100mhz battery. Hardly any side effects, but at first, a little muscle ache. I smoked cigarettes for 22 years, a pack day, and I am reducing nicotine levels, weekly. Transitioning to 12mg this upcoming week.

I truly feel remarkable and I know the the side effects, do depend on many factors, such as: how often one smokes, the brand of device, the length of the draw one takes, the type and PG/VG ratio of E-liquid, etc.
I recommend 50/50. Nice balance of “throat hit” and nice vapor cloud. Tried 100% VG and it was nasty, in my opinion, but wow, huge vapor cloud.

Anywho, that’s my two cents. If Blu or any other e-cigs are giving you bad side effects, try an Ego or 510.

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JBo June 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Had a scary thing happen with an e-cig a few nights ago.
I’ve been using an e-cig almost a year to the day, loved it, significantly cut back on my tobacco use often using none at all for months. Usually tend to be more of a social smoker, but e-cigs helped a ton.
Anyway I switched from a normal V2 cartridge to a refillable one with liquid nicotine as it is far cheaper. However I first noticed the refillable cartridge was malfunctioning in some way when I put my e-cig in it’s holder and less than an hour later noticed the cartridge was empty and had leaked nicotine juice all over my stuff. I should have immediately discarded the cartridge and not used it since the seal or something else was faulty. But instead I refilled it and this time it didn’t seem to leak. However when I went to the bar that night I took it out and smoked on the new cartridge for the first time. Less than a minute later I became incredibly sleepy, almost like narcolepsy, and fell backward totally asleep. My friend picked me up and asked me if I was okay, I woke up but then immediately passed out again. He woke me up and took me to my car where I felt sleepy for about 5 more minutes and then felt fine. I went researching and found that acute nicotine poisoning and spike or crash your blood sugar causing such an event as I went through. It was pretty scary & alarming. When I passed out I dropped my e-cig battery but truthfully I think I’ll just go cold turkey rather than risk dealing with that again.

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Bernard June 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I was smoking 50 cigs a day, And changed to e cigs, Mix my own juice to suite my taste, And rewick my own tanks, Trial and error, But got there in the end, Noticed if i mixed to much PG in my mix, I would get headaches and dry throat, So i now smoke, 70% VG, And 30% PG, No problems, When i smell someone else now smoking, It smells horrible, So ecigs worked for me, And now the wife has stopped and changed to e cigs, We was spending around £100.00 a week before, And now maybe £10 a week, Save a fortune, And feel healthier, No more heavy breathing when running up the stairs, Would recommend it to anyone,

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Troy June 10, 2013 at 3:14 am

Switched from real cigs, about a pack a day to this Ego Vapor 123. I have cut back a ton on real cigs and almost don’t need them at all. Unfortunately my neck/upper back area has been aching very intensely, I thought this was from sleeping wrong or being on the computer too often until i looked up the E-cig side effects. I think I am just going to go cold turkey since this vape flavor I currently have tastes terrible. Never try the L”Smoke” Marlboro Menthol flavor, it tastes like ass 16mg.

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