When you first make the switch to e-cigarettes and move away from traditional cigarettes, you may notice something odd. After the first few days it might seem like using e-cigarettes somehow makes you feel worse than the cigarettes ever did. The truth is, these are all signs of smoking withdrawal in general, and typically not caused by vaping itself.
While the timing might seem like many of these things came on when you started vaping (or shortly afterwards), the truth is e-cigarettes probably didn't cause these things. There are a number of physiological changes people go through when they go off cigarettes.
The nicotine in e-cigarettes can help stay the hand of the nic fits. But not all the symptoms are caused by the nicotine itself. Here are 8 fairly common things you might run into and attribute to e-cigarettes, but are actually your traditional cigarettes getting back at you for leaving them.
1. Coughing / Cold-like Symptoms
This is probably the number one complaint of people recently switching to e-cigarettes. Within a few days of giving up cigarettes, you may find yourself coughing more than you ever did smoking the coffin nails.
This is the simple act of your lungs waking up and expelling all the extra freeloaders cigarette smoke has deposited in there. Smoking deadens your lungs reflex to purge itself of foreign contaminates. Once you stop actually smoking, your lungs begin to recover this reflex.
As a result, your body begins the process of purging all that junk that has collected. The body's way of doing that is to make you cough. In addition mucus may build up which leads to symptoms like that of a cold.
These symptoms may last for a week up to a month, but will eventually subside. Of course, you should consult with your doctor if you think the coughing has gone on for an extended period.
Similar to the coughing brought on by the absence of contaminates, some people also report headaches after they've taken up e-cigarettes. Much like the coughing fits, this is caused by the contaminates in the cigarette smoke.
There's a number of chemical changes going on here that contribute to headaches. However one of the biggest factor may be the changes in oxygen levels. When you smoke, you're inhaling a great deal of carbon monoxide with the other pollution found in the smoke.
Carbon monoxide lowers the oxygen level in your blood. e-Cigarettes do not contain carbon monoxide (or several thousand other things). As a result, your brain and circulatory system are now getting more oxygen than it is used to which can result in headaches among other things such as tingling in the extremities.
3. Bad Breath, Dry Mouth or Sore Throat
This item is a little different from some of the others you'll find on the list. This item is a smoking withdrawal symptom as well. However, it is caused by dehydration which vaping tends to exacerbate.
The vapor that e-cigarettes emit remove moisture from the surrounding air. This also includes the moisture in your mouth and throat. In short, e-cigarettes will dry you out.
Fortunately, this is an easy enough fix. Drink plenty of water to stay good and hydrated. Unlike many of the other symptoms, this one won't go away, you'll always need to make sure to keep your fluid intake going.
4. Unusual Taste Sensation
Taste is no exception. Smoking plays havoc with your sense of taste.
I've covered this one pretty extensively in another eCig 101 article about being unable to taste e-liquid. As your taste buds regroup, they may become over-sensitive and the result is things just taste funny to you.
Another explanation is that some things really do taste funny and you just didn't notice until now. You will eventually grow accustomed to your new sense of taste.
5. Stomach Upset and Gas
This particular set of woes tend to set in after a couple of weeks. The explanation is pretty much the same as all the others. Your mouth and lungs aren't the only things that host all the toxins from smoking. Some of that shows up in your stomach too.
As the extra visitors get expelled from your nether regions, it's bound to throw things out of whack. Some people may experience cramping, gas, constipation or even the runs.
This will subside as the bacteria in your digestive system rights itself. Keeping hydrated and eating a fiber rich diet may help things along in this department.
For starters, there's a number of ingredients in cigarettes the exist solely to more efficiently deliver nicotine to your brain. Those ingredients don't exist in electronic cigarettes.
Nor do most of the other chemicals found in cigarettes. Some of which might be equally or more addictive than the nicotine itself. As a result, some people find that e-cigarettes don't quite take the edge off quitting smoking.
This may lead to irritability and some of the other feelings most common with quitting smoking. Fortunately, for most converts, these symptoms are much more mild than they are will less effective things like the gum or patch. Naturally, these will pass with time.
7. Increased Sex Drive
I didn't want to end this article all doom and gloom. There are of course many benefits to not smoking analog cigarettes any more. There's the ability to breathe and not smell like an ashtray. However, I thought I'd go with one that's a little less advertised, and far more interesting.
It turns out that smoking decreases your sex drive. According to this article as you recover for smoking, you may find your libido (and stamina) have become supercharged.
I won't offer any suggestions to diminish this particular symptom.
You are welcome.
Haven't made the jump to electronic cigarettes yet? Check out my e-cigarette reviews page to read about some of the best (and not so best) gear on the market!