Vaping – the facts

Vaping harms your health. Here’s what you need to know.

Vaping can damage your health by exposing you to toxic chemicals. These may affect both your physical and mental health.

We know that vaping can cause lung damage and harm your brain, which is still developing and maturing into your late 20s. All of the long-term effects of vaping aren’t known yet but what we know right now isn’t great.

There’s no such thing as safe vaping – just one hit can be dangerous to your health.

What you need to know

The aerosol (mist or vapour) from vapes is made by heating up liquid chemicals that you breathe in. 

Vapes are battery operated and can look like cigarettes, cigars, pipes, pens or USB drives.

The vape low-down:

  • vaping affects your health now
  • vaping risks your future health 
  • vapes might not list their real ingredients
  • vapes are made with untested/unsafe chemicals, including flavours
  • even if the label says ‘nicotine free’ they can still contain nicotine!

The toxic chemicals in vapes damage your health now and may cause lung damage and throat irritation. In the long term, it can harm your brain development. The nicotine in vapes is addictive, and if you’re in your teens or early 20s you’re more at risk of getting hooked. 

What vaping does to you

You are exposed to toxic chemicals when you vape. These are some of the things you can experience if you vape:

  • irritated mouth and airways
  • persistent coughing
  • feeling out of breath 
  • feeling nauseous and vomiting
  • headache and dizziness
  • seizures from inhaling too much nicotine or swallowing e-liquid
  • burns or injury when your vape overheats or explodes
  • becoming dependent on the nicotine in vapes
  • feeling more stressed or anxious
  • breathing problems and permanent lung damage
  • harming your brain development.

Short- and long-term vaping is dangerous to your health.

You’re not alone if you’re thinking about vaping less or stopping altogether. Lots of people have quit vaping and you can too. It might take a few goes but knowing what to expect when you quit and getting support will make it easier for you. 

Vaping and your mental health

Vaping and nicotine can impact how your brain develops, affecting your memory, attention, learning and mood. Vaping can also make mental health issues like anxiety and depression worse. There is help available if you’re experiencing mental health difficulties. You can talk to your GP or a trusted health professional or try one of these organisations:

Going vape-free

Most e-cigarettes in Australia contain nicotine so it’s normal to experience withdrawal from nicotine when you cut down or quit vaping. Your withdrawal symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. But the good news is that the symptoms won’t last long and it gets better over time. 

These are some of the withdrawal symptoms you might get:

  • nicotine cravings 
  • feeling irritable or grumpy 
  • finding it hard to concentrate
  • changes in appetite
  • feeling like you have the flu
  • feeling dizzy or having head spins
  • depression
  • finding it hard to sleep (insomnia).

Knowing what to expect when you quit and getting support makes it easier. 

Avoiding vapes altogether is your best move. If you’re currently vaping, there are heaps of benefits to quitting.

Getting help and the right support will help you quit. You’re not alone on the journey. 

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