Electronic Cigarette Side Effects and Symptoms
Tobacco Withdrawal Symptoms and Electronic Cigarette Side Effects New Users May Experience:
So you’re just beginning the transition from tobacco cigarettes to electronic, and you’re curious about a few strange symptoms that seem to plague your body; you may be coughing more, have enhanced sense of taste and smell, strange gastrointestinal movements or even wild dreams. Be rest assured that most of these symptoms are simply your body’s response to a big change: quitting tobacco smoking and beginning electronic cigarette smoking is generally smooth when compared to say trying to stop smoking cold turkey, but some common tobacco withdrawal symptoms – what could be called Electronic Cigarette Side Effects but really are signs of your body adjusting (to a way better choice in this writers firm and experienced opinion!).
These transitional “Electronic Cigarette Side Effects & Symptoms” will come and go for a few days, and beyond exceptions, they should only last a few weeks.
Most of the things you can expect during this process stem from quitting tobacco; if you are a tobacco smoker that has recently quit, it is important to be in-the-know about these well-known, common symptoms. Additionally, some effects will be caused by changes in nicotine levels as you make the switch; these symptoms will fix themselves as you find the right nicotine strength for you. There are also some symptoms, such as throat irritation and allergies to ingredients, that are caused by the electronic cigarettes themselves, but we’ll look at these more thoroughly in a separate article.
Today we are looking only at what you can expect from your body after it wakes up one morning to discover that there is no carcinogenic smoke pouring into its mouth and lungs. These symptoms may not be the most pleasant, but they are simply good news from your body; little messages that it is healing and recovering from the damages caused by tobacco smoke. However, if any of the nastier symptoms persist, it is advised that you consult with your doctor!
So here are some of the common symptoms for those switching from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes, complete with details about why they are happening, how you can deal with them and how long to expect them to persist!
Coughing, Congestion, Phlegm, Sputum and Constant Throat-Clearing – Call Them Electronic Cigarette Side Effects If You Like, But They Won't Last, and Are A Good Sign – You're Body Adjusting From A Lot Of Toxic Junk in Tobacco!
You thought kicking those cigarettes to the curb would get rid of that smoker’s cough and the nagging urge to clear your throat, but it actually seems to have made these problems worse! Don’t worry though, increased coughing fits and constant throat clearing are the most common symptoms for individuals who are transitioning away from smoking tobacco. Many ex-smokers also experience some annoying phlegm and sinus congestion that can make the process a bit rougher. These symptoms are definitely a tough part of the transition, but depending on how heavy a smoker you were, they will be gone in no time!
Your lungs are coated in tar from all of those chemicals that were in your tobacco cigarettes, and now that there’s no more coming in, your body wants to get it out of there. There are these little organelles that line your lungs called “Cilia”, and they are causing all this coughing and congestion as they work tirelessly to clean out all of that mucus and tar, sending it back from whence it came in the form of phlegm. Yeah, it’s not the most beautiful process from the outside, but it’s a makeover that your lungs sorely need, so embrace it for the healthy change that it is.
Based on studies and experiences from everyone that has quit smoking tobacco; you can expect a morning cough for about a week and a lot of throat clearing for not more than a month, usually. After this month, your lungs will be ever closer to the tip-top shape they were in before you took your first puff!
Recommendation: Water, and lots of it. Drinking H20 will soothe your throat and ease this process along. Also, if you’re experiencing bad sinus congestion during the process, try an over-the-counter medication.
As the cleaning process goes on and your throat is being beautified with brand new tissue to replace the old, your voice may begin to sound very hoarse. You may even begin feeling like that beloved puppet, Kermit the Frog. But this symptom, just like the coughing and throat-clearing, will pass as the process goes on.
Recommendation: Once again, water do wonders to help soothe your throat. Even better, suck on some throat lozenges or cough drops whenever you can.
The Common Cold Seems Even More Common
In studies of quitting smokers, it’s been shown that the common cold becomes more prevalent during the quitting process. As you’re quitting, your immune system is working it’s white blood cells on double overtime and it doesn’t have as much time to protect against that sneaky cold virus.
Recommendation: Again: water, water, and more water. More importantly for this one, take it easy and give your body time to recover. And definitely don’t forget to take your vitamins!
Oh no, it feels like you’re in high school again, your face is breaking out and you find yourself tempted by those awful ProActiv informercials again! Do not fear, these mild acne breakouts are common to those quitting tobacco. They even have a name for them: “quit zits”.
The cause for this symptom is once again found in the cleansing process you’re going through; the body is releasing those built-up toxins and your face will feel the effects for a short amount of time. Those that had more breakouts in their youth will feel this effect worse than others, but they will pass as your body adjusts.
Mouth Ulcers and Canker Sores
Every time you stepped outside for your smoke break, you were taking in irritants by the puff. In response to this attack, your gums and mouth slowly built up a crust to protect themselves. Now that the irritants seem to be gone, your body is chopping up the unneeded crust and replacing that damaged tissue with a newer, healthier kind.
The short term result of this transition is small lesions forming on your gums, roof of your mouth and the insides of your cheeks. These lesions and sores are a small price to pay; that crust was made of tough stuff and the new tissue will improve your quality of life in the long term!
Recommendation: Rinse your mouth out with water whenever you can, this will promote healing and soothe irritation.
Anyone that has dabbled in nicotine gum or lozenges knows that this is one annoying symptom. Hiccups are a non-dangerous, though extremely annoying, result of nicotine being swallowed into the stomach.
Hiccups can also occur with electronic cigarettes if the vapor is held in the mouth where nicotine can be absorbed into saliva and swallowed.
Recommendation: Just breathe in the vapor, no need to hold it in your mouth.
Heartburn (also known as acid reflux) is a relatively rare symptom of quitting tobacco smoking. However, it is less rare in those who are taking in too much nicotine. This can happen accidentally if you are puffing on your e-cig all day and your cartridges are too high of a strengh.
Recommendation: Adjust the levels of nicotine in your cartridges until you find a lower amount that doesn’t give you heartburn. If your acid reflux persists, consult your doctor!
Headaches, Nausea, Shaking
Making the switch involves a big change in nicotine intake because the measurement of nicotine levels is different for tobacco and electronic cigarettes. If you are experiencing headaches, shaking or nausea than you are probably taking in more nicotine with your electronic cigarette than you did with your tobacco cigarettes.
Recommendation: Don’t start off with the highest level, 18mg cartridges, make adjustments slowly and find the right nicotine level for you.
Crazy Dreams and Sleeplessness
This transition from tobacco to electronic smoking is a big life change, it’s psychological effects should never be underestimated. Quitting tobacco has been known to cause more elaborate dreams (some people enjoy this), insomnia and is perhaps most noted for causing nightmares at first. The insomnia is also influenced by an increased sensitivity to the stimulant Caffeine during the transition.
Recommendation: Give yourself time to get to sleep at night, lower the strength and amount of your coffee or tea intake during the day and generally prepare for these effects on your sleep pattern at first.
As your lungs begin to adjust to the cleaner air that you’re now breathing in, the amount of oxygen in your blood increases and your circulation improves! As great as this is, it can cause dizziness as you adjust.
Another cause could be the nicotine levels in your new e-cigarette. You may need to adjust the strengths of your cartridges or analyze how many puffs you are taking throughout the day until you find a regiment that doesn’t disrupt your balance. If dizziness and lack of balance persists, consult your doctor.
Prickly, Tingly, Itchy Skin
These symptoms are also the result of your improved circulation! So just be patient and take comfort in the fact that your blood is pumping faster and stronger than it once was.
Taste Buds Taste Differently
Perhaps the greatest immediate symptom of quitting tobacco is that you can taste things better! As the buildup in your mouth breaks down for newer tissue and the chemicals and tar exit your body, your sense of taste and smell will improve. Some examples of this are: foods that once tasted good will now seem overpowering or foods that you thought were bland may suddenly taste just right.
This doesn’t only apply to foods but your e-cig cartridges as well. You will have to experiment with flavors to find the kind that suits your new sense of taste! You may have loved the strength of lemon flavored things as a smoker, but you may find lemon too sour once your taste buds are born again. Try different cartridge flavors until you find the kind that’s right for you.
Menthol cartridges have also been shown to cause a dulled sense of taste at first; a sensation often referred to as“menthol mouth”. This means that if you are using menthol cartridges with flavors, you may not be able to taste the individual flavors until your taste buds recover from all those tobacco-smoking years.
Recommendation: Stop using menthol for a bit until your taste buds are back to pre-smoking form. Cough drops have been reported to help bring back some flavor as well.
Muscle Issues: Cramps, Spasms and Aches
While more oxygen and better circulation are generally considered positive changes to your body, they are known to temporarily cause aches and pains. This is a normal symptom of the transition from a tobacco to tobacco-less lifestyle.
It should be noted that this can also be a symptom of dehydration caused by ingredients of e-cigs on your mouth and body. Drink water and you’ll be all set.
Certainly the most embarrassing after-effect of quitting smoking, you may be a bit gassy for a few weeks. However we’re sure that your loved ones will tolerate your gas with the knowledge that you are making a very important life decision to quit smoking tobacco!
Recommendation: Stay away from gassy foods! Especially greens like cabbage and broccoli, as well as beans.
This may be a side-effect of quitting smoking, but it may also be caused by an intolerance to the propylene glycol base in your nicotine cartridges. If this is the case, try switching to vegetable glycerin based cartridges and see if the symptoms subside.