In this guide, we will discuss “Can vaping help with anxiety?” and we will also talk about electronic cigarettes and how they seem to be a healthier choice. Also, we will discuss if vaping is as addictive as traditional smoking, anxiety and stress, structural changes in the brain caused by smoking and some additional considerations.
Can vaping help with anxiety?
If you are wondering if vaping can help with anxiety may be due to the fact that you are considering leaving normal cigarettes behind and starting to vape (by recommendation from someone close) or you have recently just started. Many experts believe that vaping is not the best way to cope with anxiety, that there are indeed other ways to deal with it.
In the scenario where you have recently started vaping, you may have noticed how anxiety triggers the need of vaping to relieve the symptoms but the truth is that you are just substituting one for the other, making it harder for you to quit smoking for good.
You may be aware of how stress and anxiety are considered a normal part of our lives and when their levels become too overwhelming then it starts affecting us significantly. The truth is that it is possible to overcome anxiety and dealing with stress without having to vape.
However, people seem to have divided opinions about vaping and if it is indeed better than smoking or if it is worse. We still don’t know the answers for sure since there is a lack of research in this area, however, we will talk about what is known so far.
Are electronic cigarettes healthier?
There is an increasing trend where smokers have been replacing cigarettes with e-cigarettes in an attempt to pursue a healthier option. Many people still don’t know the difference between smoking and vaping. The truth is that they are completely different but there are still divided opinions on whether one could be the healthier choice.
There is an undeniable fact about the harmful effects of cigarettes on the human body. If we were to look for them, we would find the association of smoking with death, increased health risks, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer and many other health risks. If we were to talk about cancer and smoking specifically, we could find how smoking can cause cancer in almost anywhere in your body. Examples are:
- Blood (leukaemia)
- Colon and rectum
- Kidney and ureter
On the contrary, we would normally believe vaping would be a healthier alternative and many would say it is less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes but it doesn’t mean it is safer. It is a known fact that regular tobacco cigarettes contain over 7.000 chemicals which are harmful and toxic for the human body. However, experts indicate how they are not able to determine exactly what type of chemicals there are in e-cigarettes since they tend to vary.
Moreover, there seems to be an association between vaping, lung injuries and death, so we may have wrongly assumed vaping is entirely harmless. As we know, nicotine is a highly addictive and toxic substance that has all sorts of harmful effects on health but as we have mentioned, there are many questions still unanswered about the long term effects of vaping.
E-cigarettes are as addictive as traditional ones
According to researchers and experts, both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which as we have mentioned is a highly addictive substance.
Moreover, there are vaping liquids and cartridges that can be purchased with higher concentrations of nicotine than regular cigarettes. However, you may find vaping liquids without nicotine but some people believe cravings still persist since there is no nicotine and they tend to go back to traditional cigarettes.
As we have discussed, e-cigarettes are not the same as traditional cigarettes and if you have stopped smoking and really think vaping is making you feel better, try to imagine a day without your device. Some people may think it is not possible for them and some may say they would like to try it out of curiosity but the truth is that vaping could be just as addictive as smoking.
Subsequently, they are not your best choice to quit smoking since you are just replacing one way of smoking with another so, if you are trying to quit, you may see it as a more affordable, discreet and healthier option to quit smoking but you may probably like to consider alternative options to treat anxiety.
Anxiety and stress
We live in a world that demands more of us every day and if we don’t keep up with its pace we may suffer the consequences. Daily, we deal with different responsibilities, worries, workloads and everyday problems where it seems inevitable to get stressed. Getting stressed every now and then is considered normal. However, researchers and scientists have found how being stressed for longer periods of time can have a negative impact not only physically but also mentally.
Many studies seem to have found an association between smoking cigarettes and increased anxiety symptoms and/or disorders. Moreover, evidence suggests that people who already suffer from anxiety (even if it is mild) are more likely to smoke and in time, symptoms may increase. However, other vulnerability factors have also been identified as risk factors for smoking and increased anxiety.
Smoking and structural brain changes
Even though we have considered how vaping is not the same as smoking traditional cigarettes since the products used for vaping won’t contain the same chemicals found in them, there is still a lot of research needed to find what are the real risks associated to consider vaping as the better option.
In contrast, many studies have associated smoking cigarettes with diverse changes to several structures in the brain, which may result from direct toxic or adaptive effects. However, studies seem to agree on the magnitude of cigarette exposure (pack-years) being correlated to these changes, which may subsequently be associated with cognitive deficits and reduced cognitive performance. However, it seems that not only brain structures could be affected but also neurotransmitter systems and their function.
Can vaping help me relax?
Many people may argue that vaping can help you relax and release stress and/or anxiety. If you are too stressed or feel overwhelmed, you may automatically reach out for your vape seeking some sort of relief. However, as long as you are vaping with liquids containing nicotine then it is not really vaping that helps but the effect of the nicotine.
Some people would say it does help them relax because there seems to be a ‘placebo effect’ when vaping, let’s see how this could happen. For example, if we were to tell you that there is a special kind of vaping liquid that can help you get rid of symptoms associated with stress and anxiety, you would probably like to try it.
After a few days of using this special vaping liquid you report feeling better, but is it really because of the liquid? This ‘fake treatment’ gave you the idea that symptoms could get reduced but the truth is that there is nothing special or different about the liquid to make you feel that way.
Subsequently, vaping could have a placebo effect where you believe the use of vaping is causing an improvement in stress and anxiety-related symptoms. But what would happen if instead of vaping you found other ways to cope with anxiety and stress? You could probably stop smoking once and for all.
Why is this blog about Can vaping help with anxiety important?
When answering the question ‘Can vaping help with anxiety?’, we concluded that it is not really vaping a real solution to coping with anxiety but only a healthier choice to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Many people may have divided opinions on electronic cigarettes where they think it has helped them when they are stressed or nervous and others imply the reason why they could feel it helps is due to the amount of nicotine that is still contained in the vaping liquid.
However, as we have discussed, there seems to be more to vaping that we don’t quite grasp yet in terms of health-related concerns. If you would like to quit, consider looking for other alternatives on learning how to cope and manage with stress and anxiety.
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Can vaping help with anxiety
Does vaping reduce anxiety?
People have reported that vaping may reduce anxiety and stress. They have indicated how they feel less stress and can calm down more quickly. However, vaping is only a short-term solution and can relieve the symptoms temporarily, which indicates that as long as the substance is in your body you will feel less anxious.
Does vaping help depression?
Vaping hasn’t been associated as an option to help cope with depression. You may be tempted to start vaping but it is not an effective way to cope with depression. Maybe, you could have associated vaping with feelings of comfort or feeling relaxed but it is certainly not recommended as an effective treatment or option to manage depression.
Does Vaping nicotine cause anxiety?
Vaping nicotine can cause anxiety symptoms or make them worse. Researches have indicated how nicotine in cigarettes is able to affect your brain by changing your mood. Vaping may be helpful to gradually reduce nicotine when compared to normal cigarettes but vaping nicotine will still contribute to the symptoms of anxiety.
Can vaping affect you mentally?
Vaping has been said to impact your impulse control, especially in people whose brains haven’t fully developed yet. Some other risks include mood disorders and permanent damage to certain parts of the brain involved in memory, emotions and critical thinking.
Is it safe to vape nicotine-free?
Vaping nicotine-free seems to be safer than vaping with nicotine. However, there is a lack of research and results in the overall long-term effects, regardless of nicotine presence. Although, there is limited research that has attempted to compare the effects of nicotine-free electronic cigarettes and those that contain nicotine.
What we recommend for curbing Anxiety
Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety
- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
- Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.
- With over 50,000 participants, this anxiety course may be just what you need to regain control of your life.
- Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night. An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.
Teens.smokefree.gov: “Anxiety, Stress, and Vaping”
Castro, L. (n.d.) CAN VAPING HELP WITH ANXIETY? Retrieved from atmosrx.com.