Vaping addiction

Vaping Addiction: What You Need To Know


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Written by Sheza Ahmad

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

01 Sep, 2022

What is vaping?

Vaping by definition is when you puff (breathe in and out) on a battery-operated device called an e-cigarette. The e-cigarette, which can come in mods, vapes, vape pens, etc., contains a vaping liquid.

The vaping liquid is inserted into the device. When this is heated, it creates a vapour that is inhaled through the mouth into the lungs.

Vaping is not inhaling “water vapour”; many people have this misconception that you’re simply inhaling water vapour, but that is far from the truth. Vaping is inhaling a combination of substances and chemicals. Most vapes also contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance in tobacco.

What is the difference between vaping and smoking?

Many people vape because they believe it’s better than smoking. Although that is technically true—vaping is far from harmless.

When burned, cigarettes contain more than 4000 chemicals, the majority of which are toxic. While there is no doubt that e-cigarettes expose you to fewer toxins than traditional cigarettes, less isn’t much better.

You are still exposed to thousands of toxic substances, the majority of which are harmful. Plus, most vapes also contain nicotine—a highly toxic and addictive substance that causes you to crave smoking and suffer withdrawals when you don’t.

Is vaping bad for your heart and lungs?

Nicotine is the primary substance in most vapes, and it is highly addictive and dangerous for your health. It is a toxic substance that raises your blood pressure, which increases your heart rate. Even in a short time, this significantly raises your chances of having a heart attack.

Even though there isn’t enough research on all the chemicals that make up the vapour, and how it affects your health over a long period of time, emerging data states that vaping is detrimental to your health.

Regardless of the unknowns, you’re exposing yourself to all kinds of chemicals which can cause sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, and lung damage.

Is vaping addictive?

The primary substance in e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes is nicotine which is highly addictive and toxic. In fact, research has found that nicotine is as addictive as illicit substances.

Furthermore, many users get an excess of nicotine because they can buy extra-strength cartridges which have a higher concentration.

Is vaping addiction becoming a problem?

The short answer is yes. Among youth, vaping is more popular than any other tobacco product.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 14% of 12 to 17-year-olds have tried an e-cigarette, and nearly 64% of current smokers aged 18-24-year-olds have tried an e-cigarette.

There are many reasons why vaping has become so popular amongst the youth.

Firstly, there is the idea that vaping is less harmless than traditional cigarettes. Secondly, they come in many different flavours—including mint, fruit, and chocolate—making them more appealing to the young. Thirdly, youth do not find smoking appealing, but the lack of smell in e-cigarettes makes it nicer to use. And finally, they have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes.

Vaping without nicotine: Is it any better?

Although the majority of vapes have nicotine, and most people vape with nicotine in it, people do have the option to smoke without it. But is it any better?

Vaping without nicotine is obviously less harmless than vaping with nicotine, but it still has severe side effects. The side effects vary depending on the base fluid, flavouring, and other chemicals.

Since there are still so many unknowns, the research into short-term and long-term consequences of vaping without nicotine is ongoing.

Below is what is currently known about the side effects of vaping without nicotine.

What are the side effects of vaping without nicotine?

Long-term side effects are still very much unknown, but below are some of the short-term effects.


When heated, the chemicals in the vapour may irritate the mouth and lungs. When inhaled, the chemicals may form cancer-causing or carcinogenic substances.


Vaping without nicotine can also cause inflammatory responses. Exposure to the chemicals and substances can activate an immune system response in certain white blood cells, which can affect how these cells function and how your immune system responds.


There is no doubt that the chemicals and substances in vapour fluid are harmful. The extent to which they are toxic is unknown, but they are toxic.

Exposure to flavouring additives can potentially harm blood vessels in the heart. The death of these cells can lead to vascular conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Thus, this can also significantly impact long-term health.

Want to quit vaping?

The sooner you quit, the quicker your body can rebound and start to heal. If you’re currently struggling, know that you are not alone and that there are a lot of support options available.

Talk to your doctor about vaping cessation options and what works best for your individual needs. Alternatively, there are many therapists who specialise in vaping addiction who can help you today.

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Sheza Ahmad

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Sheza has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Distinction and years of relevant work experience in the field of mental health. Her education, paired with her extensive work experience, feeds her passion to write about mental health.

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