This year, Public Health England reaffirmed their 2015 claim that e-cigarettes were at least 95% safer than combustible cigarettes.
The 2018 review came a few weeks after the US National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine concluded that, on the available evidence, “e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes.”
They both agree that, as an alternative to smoking, vaping has the power to significantly improve health outcomes.
But this doesn’t mean that vaping is perfect. More than half (55%) of e-cigarette users have experienced at least one side effect while vaping.
While they are generally not as serious as the side effects of using tobacco, they can be uncomfortable.
One reported side effect is getting a headache. Not every vaper complains about headaches, but some do, and it can be quite concerning.
Generally, a vaping headache is nothing to worry about. And there are some easy steps that you can take to avoid and cure vaping headaches.
What is a vaping headache?
An international survey of 19,000 e-cigarette users found that headaches was one of the most common side effects of vaping.
Along with a sore or dry throat, which was the top side effect, 11% of the survey respondents experienced headaches during or after vaping.
Descriptions of the headaches vary, but looking at descriptions on forums it looks like many vapers experience a ‘low grade,’ but consistent headache that can last a long time.
Some vapers claim that they used to get headaches when they first started vaping, but over time the headaches got less frequent and eventually stopped.
Vaping headache causes
There are a number of reasons why you can get a vaping headache. The most common are because of dehydration, nicotine and e-liquid ingredients.
Every noticed how hitting your vape can leave your mouth feeling a dry?
This is because propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), the two key base ingredients in almost every vape juice, have dehydrating properties that ‘suck up’ moisture.
As well as contributing to a dry or sore throat, this kind of dehydration can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded and give mild or severe headaches.
You should drink plenty of fluids when you feel dehydrated. Keep taking small sips and gradually drink more if you can.
Make sure you take on more fluids if you are vaping more. You should drink enough throughout the day so that your pee is pale clear in color.
The ingredients in your favorite e-juice could be causing your headaches.
Unfortunately, it is not always clear which component of the ingredient list is causing your headache because different people have sensitivities to different ingredients.
You may be sensitive to too much VG or PG. If high VG e-liquids frequently give you a headache then you could try higher PG e-liquids and vice versa.
Remember that you can buy max VG e-liquids, but these juices are a thicker than high PG e-liquids. You should only use high VG e-liquids with a powerful box mod to prevent your atomizer clogging up.
It’s not just PG or VG that can cause headaches. You may have a sensitivity to one or more flavorings in an e-liquid.
Some vapers complain that particular flavors and brands give them a headache. If you are experiencing headaches from vaping, make sure you try lots of different brands and see if your experience differs.
It’s unclear which flavorings or ingredients cause headaches.
Some vapers advocate unflavored e-liquids over e-liquids with more complicated flavors, but you can never really know for sure.
Just make sure you experiment and remember which e-liquids disagree with you so you can avoid them in future.
Nicotine can cause headaches whether its delivered through combustible cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
The chemical causes blood vessels in your body to narrow slightly, which reduces the blood flow to your brain and can trigger a headache.
Most vapers are former smokers, so there is a high likelihood that you are used to nicotine. But there are some slight difference between how nicotine is delivered into your body with e-cigarettes and regular tobacco cigarettes.
If you have just switched from a combustible tobacco product to e-cigarettes, it may be that you are using too much nicotine.
There are two key causes of this kind of nicotine overload. The nicotine strength of your e-liquid may be too high or, with your new found vaping freedom, you may be hitting your vape too frequently.
Make sure you’re nicotine strength is at the level that’s best for you and prevent yourself from hitting your vape too often by keeping it out of reach or only using it in certain places, like in the kitchen or outside.