Nicotine has a bad rap when it comes to vaping, smoking and as a standalone substance. Half the problem here is that nicotine is somewhat misunderstood. There are a number of myths associated with nicotine and a general lack of understanding which needs to be addressed.
Phrases such as nicotine overdose are something that can make smokers reluctant to move over to vaping. In reality, however, it just takes a little common sense and understanding in order to be able to enjoy a perfectly safe vape without the risk of vaping too much nicotine, and not just by choosing zero nicotine e liquid.
Nicotine E Liquid Overdose and Nicotine Poisoning
A truly toxic amount of nicotine for an adult would be anywhere between thirty milligrams and sixty milligrams at once. When you consider vaping and how much nicotine you actually vape, i.e. between three milligrams up to usually twelve milligrams maximum (unless a very heavy vaper/heavy ex-smoker), it is very unlikely you would vape anywhere near a toxic level. Studies have shown that for a dose of nicotine to be truly toxic, i.e. to cause death, you would probably need to vape a significant amount more all at once. In short, it would take an enterprising spirit and much effort to vape a toxic amount of nicotine. You certainly couldn’t do it by accident.
Too Much Nicotine
While vaping a toxic amount of nicotine may be incredibly, highly unlikely, vaping too much, or rather more than you are used to is easier. It is suggested that when you switch from smoking to vaping that you initially at least keep to the same level of nicotine that you are used to. Generally speaking, a “normal” strength tobacco cigarette has around 12mg of nicotine in it.
Vaping too high an amount of nicotine, or rather higher than you are used to can be quite unpleasant. Nausea and headaches, dizziness and even actual vomiting may be an issue dependant on how much nicotine you use. Nicotine does tend to work through your body and be gone fairly quickly, however, having had too much nicotine you may feel fairly ropey for a while.
If you have had far too much nicotine (not toxic levels) this is where the vomiting, increased salivation, extreme headaches, confusion, diarrhoea and more kick in. Having vaped an extreme amount of nicotine or extreme in the sense that it is much more than you are used to it would be likely that if experiencing these severe symptoms that you could be looking at nicotine poisoning.
This is rare and easily avoided however needs to be mention as in very extreme cases seizures and serious illness could occur. Again, you would need to vape a significantly higher amount of nicotine than you are used to in a very short space of time for this to occur. It certainly isn’t common.
The Risks Associated with Drinking Nicotine
Needless to say, ingesting nicotine is not a great idea. Where nicotine e liquids are generally made up of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin e liquid bases and flavourings, the nicotine aspect is a key reason that makes e liquid something that shouldn’t be drunk! This is one of the reasons that vapers are advised to keep e liquids well away from children and pets.
A dangerous amount of ingested nicotine e liquids could make anyone very poorly, or worse. If you do accidentally (though we’re not sure how you could) ingest e juice, or anyone else in your home does, please seek medical advice. Symptoms associated with nicotine ingestion include nausea, vomiting, shivering, drowsiness, noticeable heartbeats and more.
Additionally, it is important to avoid nicotine contact with skin, regardless of age but particularly for young children and pets. Wash affected areas immediately as nicotine may be absorbed via the skin and contact your health care provider if you have any concerns.
On The Upside
It’s important to know and understand the need for looking after your nicotine-based products properly, as well as for vaping the right strength for your needs, and what to do if someone ingests nicotine or nicotine-based products. On the flipside, it is also important to understand that when it comes to vaping that nicotine offers flavour benefits. It can be the nicotine for example which amplifies the flavour in some nicotine e liquid and contributes to a throat hit (the gravelly feel at the back of the throat which is enjoyed by many vapers and especially by ex-smokers who will be used to a throat hit after smoking).
With vaping, you have the option to choose from other strengths and even taper down your nicotine usage until you have the option to choose a zero nicotine e liquid, if that’s for you.
Basically, as long as you are sensible about choosing and handling nicotine e liquid products there really shouldn’t be anything to be concerned about.