Too Much Nicotine: The Risks of Vaping

E-cigarettes or vape pens are marketed as a better alternative to smoking cigarettes. Although it’s true they don’t contain the same harmful carcinogens found in combustible cigarettes, they do contain nicotine. And this highly addictive stimulant can greatly impact your health.

The Problem with Liquid Tobacco

Every time nicotine enters the body, it constricts the blood vessels, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk for coronary artery disease and stroke. The more nicotine you take in, the longer it remains active in the body.

With e-cigs, there’s a lot of gray area in determining just how much nicotine you’re getting with each vape. These devices use a liquid nicotine solution that comes in varying strengths, from zero to around 48 mg.

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Selecting the equivalent that will satisfy your cravings without getting too much nicotine can be a challenge. Inhale too much and you put yourself at risk for a vascular event, such as a heart attack, or even nicotine poisoning.

Complicating matters is the lack of regulation on labeling for e-cigarette components. A cartridge of “juice” or liquid nicotine and flavoring may say it has 30 mg. of nicotine on the label, but the actual amount may be more like 300 mg. In addition, there are other chemicals besides nicotine that go into the mix, so users never truly know what they’re inhaling.

In the video below, cardiologist Brandy Patterson shares more about the ways nicotine impacts the heart and recommends a better alternative to kick the habit.

Later this winter, we’ll also be looking at the dangers of teen vaping. Don’t miss any stories — subscribe to our weekly updates!

View transcript.

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