7 things you need to know about vaping

While vaping might seem like a better option than smoking, they still come with a bunch of risks, especially for young folks. See, most of these vape thingies have nicotine in them, which is the same super addictive stuff in regular cigarettes and other tobacco stuff.

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7 things you need to know about vaping

And it’s not just nicotine! A lot of these vaping liquids have other stuff like propylene glycol, glycerin, and even bits of heavy metals that can really mess up your lungs. So yeah, if you’re gonna use vape, gotta be real careful.

If you’re thinking about vaping, here are seven things you should know.

Weigh the pros and cons

If you’re using vape now or thinking about giving them a try, take a moment to think about how you’re using them. This can help you stay in charge of your vaping experience. First off, consider what you’re hoping to get out of it—how you want it to make you feel or what you want to get from it. Then, think about stuff you’d rather avoid feeling or experiencing.

Here are some examples to get you started.

If I choose to vape, I want:

  • Reduce cigarette or tobacco use
  • Socialize with friends
  • Feeling buzzing
  • Enjoy the taste

If I choose to vape, I don’t want to:

  • Addiction or dependence on nicotine
  • Experiencing health problems or negative side effects
  • Spending too much money on vape habit

Going through these types of exercises can be a great way to explore or modify your vaping choices.

Know your limits

It’s important to understand the limitations of vaping, especially if you’re new to nicotine. Your tolerance may not be as high as those who regularly vape or smoke, so start low and slow. Consuming too much nicotine can lead to negative effects, including…

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain
  • Eye irritation
  • Headache
  • Anxious
  • Sweat
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

If you experience any of these symptoms within the first 15 to 60 minutes after vaping, call the National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 and follow up with your health care provider.
You may also want to consider reducing the frequency and quantity of vaping, which can reduce the likelihood of adverse health consequences. If you smoke or smoke regularly, consider lowering your nicotine dose by at least one level when vaping.

Not all vape are the same

Dosage is important, but so is the equipment you use. Power (wattage) may vary by device. Knowing the wattage of your device can help you make better dosage decisions. High-power devices such as cartridge vape (20+ watts) should be used with low doses (less than 3 mg) of juice to reduce the risk of adverse side effects.

Labels are important

Although most vape juices have nicotine, there are plenty of nicotine-free options out there. These might be a better pick if you vape but want to dodge the addictive side effects. If you do go for nicotine-based products, try aiming for lower doses (around 1.5-3 mg). Going for a lower nicotine content can help tackle cravings without hitting your system too hard.

Vape products require special handling

Did you know that vaping products are considered hazardous substances?

Avoid disposing of vape products in the general trash or recycling bin. Instead, all equipment, pods, and batteries should be properly disposed of in designated drop boxes.

Hazardous waste drop boxes are available on the first floor of the University Memorial Center (UMC) across from Starbucks on campus and at the West Boulder Recycling Center on 63rd Street. If you live outside of Boulder, you can use this hazardous waste facility finder to search for disposal sites in your area.

Avoid sharing

Sharing is not always caring. In fact, sharing vape can expose you to many illnesses, such as colds, flu, COVID-19, mononucleosis or meningitis, which can be spread from person to person through saliva. Sharing it with a friend may also mean you’re getting a higher dose of nicotine than usual. Keep yourself healthy and safe by using your own vape and keeping it clean with proper maintenance. This is especially important for people who use reusable cartridge vape or pens that require coils or filters.

Support resources available

If you are considering quitting smoking, are not ready to quit, or have already quit smoking, you can search online for help by searching for relevant smoking cessation hotlines.

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