Evidence is stacking up that vaping, once thought to be less harmful than smoking cigarettes, causes lung damage—and can be deadly. It’s also addictive, making it hard for anyone who has started to now stop. Just know that the minute you kick the habit, your body will feel the difference, and the benefits start almost immediately.
What is vaping?
When e-cigarettes first hit the market in late 2000, they were believed to be a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes, but now there is evidence to the contrary. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) up to 530 instances of a new lung disease possibly linked to the devices as well as 8 deaths have been reported this week. Vaping, it turns out, is deadly. It’s also addictive. Vaping with a JUUL can be as dangerous as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. When you vape, you inhale liquid (or e-juice) from a cartridge attached to the vaping device. In addition to nicotine, that liquid can contain dozens of other chemical ingredients and flavorings.
Kids and teenagers have been especially attracted to vaping, thanks in part to attractive flavors like bubble gum, mango, and mint. Vape use in high school students rose by 900 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.
Quitting vaping can be difficult, just like trying to stop smoking. There are some immediate, though often temporary, negative impacts. The positive ones soon outpace the negative, however. Read on to learn exactly what happens in your body the minute you stop vaping.
20 minutes later: Cardiovascular improvements
In as little as 20 minutes, “your heart rate returns to normal, your blood pressure drops, and your circulation starts to normalize,” says Nikola Djordjevic, MD, project manager of MedAlertHelp.org.
Your breathing may improve, too: “The two key ingredients in an e-cigarette—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—produce chemicals when heated that are detrimental to your respiratory tract,” says Caleb Backe, a certified health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “When you quit vaping, you should find that your breathing becomes less labored and your airflow is clearer.”
A few hours later: Nicotine withdrawals
Nicotine is addictive, and you may experience some minor and temporary symptoms. “Acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be psychological and physical,” says Dr. Djordjevic. The psychological symptoms can include cravings for nicotine, mood swings, trouble concentrating, irritability, and anxiety, he says. Physical symptoms include “headaches, sweating, tremors, insomnia, increased appetite, abdominal cramps, and constipation,” Dr. Djordjevic says.
These are the first effects you’re likely to feel, often within four to 24 hours after quitting. These effects will peak around day three, Dr. Djordjevic says, “and gradually decrease during the following three to four weeks. So it will take around a month to break the habit.” If you think smoking e-cigarettes is healthy, these silent ways vaping impact your body may surprise you.