What Are the Mental Effects of Vaping?
There's been plenty of supporting evidence over the years that have proved the health risks of regular cigarettes. Public knowledge about the health risks is why many consider vaping a great way to quit smoking.
However, there is a lot less known about vaping and mental health. Heavy nicotine use can impact mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and others. The question that remains for us to answer in this guide is how vaping interacts with these conditions.
Is Vaping Good for Physical and Mental Health?
About one in five people are currently experiencing a mental illness. It's typical for people suffering from mental health conditions to smoke tobacco to alleviate depressive symptoms. Unfortunately, many young adults resort to cigarette smoking, which has many health risks.
Both cigarettes and e-cigarette users often suffer from nicotine addiction, with about 65.3% of middle and high schoolers reporting trying to quit tobacco.
Researchers have shown that smoking cigarettes can lead to lung damage, heart disease, poor oral hygiene, and weakened immune systems. Also, nicotine affects the developing brain of young people by reducing their ability to concentrate. As a result, many young adults have switched from smoking tobacco to e-cigarette use.
The primary difference is that vaping nicotine found in e-cigarettes is much less concentrated, and some are even nicotine-free. Vaping offers the mental health benefits of cigarettes with significantly fewer nicotine effects. E-cigarettes use a heating element rather than burning tobacco, thus reducing irritation of the lungs. Cigarettes contain harmful substances like heavy metals and other ultrafine particles that can cause lung damage.
Vaping devices also let users manage nicotine consumption much better than regular cigarette use. In contrast, trying to smoke half a cigarette is much more difficult. It leads to unhealthy withdrawal symptoms that can lead to poor mental health. The ability to control nicotine intake can go a long way to improving your physical and mental health.
How Does Nicotine Addiction Impact Mental Health Conditions?
While certainly, nicotine does cause addiction, it can enhance cognitive function. Nicotine helps your brain to process information faster and improve memory.
This neuroprotective chemical binds to your body, which decreases stimuli. As a result, you can better focus with fewer distractions. Researchers have also proven how stress can negatively impact cognitive function, memory, and brain development. Vaping helps to remove nervousness and worry in your mind allowing you to focus.
In addition to cognitive function, nicotine can support people with Parkinson's disease. This mental illness affects the brain, where there is a progressive decline in the dopaminergic neurons. As a result, the patient experiences motor dysfunctions like stiffness or shaking. Unfortunately, there isn't a cure for Parkinson's disease, meaning patients can't replace the lost dopamine.
Nicotine can protect brain cells from potential damage and can fight off memory loss. That means electronic nicotine delivery systems such as vape pens and e-cigarettes can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Another mental health condition is schizophrenia. This severe mental health condition causes people to experience social withdrawals, delusions, and hallucinations. As a result, their inability to decipher between illusion and reality causes emotional chaos. Nicotine use helps disable mutating genes in their bodies, stabilizing cognitive functions.
Does Vaping Relieve Anxiety and Stress?
An overworked mind can quickly become anxious and overwhelmed. Finding ways to disconnect from our problems can be healthy at times. That's why vaping is an excellent way to stop racing thoughts.
Being overly stressed can lead to health risks. Many people develop an addiction as a coping mechanism. For example, a stressed person may neglect their physical and mental health by overeating sugary and salty snacks, avoiding social interactions, and failing to exercise. Stressed people are more likely to procrastinate, which can affect their performance at work or school.
Vaping induces a sense of calm through the simple act of inhaling and exhaling. Inhaling the vapour and breathing it out induces relaxation by secreting chemicals that cause your brain to slow down. People with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety tend to experience relief for some symptoms through their vaping habit, enough that some may eventually quit vaping.
Vape e-juices come in various flavours. Having a lot of flavours helps to spike dopamine, giving you sensations of happiness similar to sugary foods, without the same long-term side effects. These flavours can satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent overconsumption of junk food or alcohol.
Can Vaping Cause Depression and Anxiety?
Vaping itself won't cause depression or anxiety. Many teens suffering from mental health issues will pick up smoking to calm their intense feelings. That's why teen vaping is prevalent nowadays, just as teen smoking was 20 years ago. Vaping and mental health aren't a cause-and-effect relationship.
Indeed, choosing the right aroma and scents can deliver a calming sensation, alleviating depression or anxiety. Often, anxiety and depression can disrupt our sleep patterns, making it hard to sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to mood disorders and other mental health conditions.
E-liquids and e-juices with chamomile and lavender reduce stress and provide therapeutic effects. Choosing an e-liquid with these herbal extracts can help to lower rapid eye movement, calm your mind and ensure better sleep. If you struggle with sleep, vaping can enhance your sleep quality.
Does Vaping Affect Other Behaviours?
Many high school students started vaping early due to peer pressure and stress in life-related to school, work, relationships, and societal pressure. Some teens opted for e-cigarettes or even regular cigarettes. In some areas, up to 60% of students vaped in the past month. It's peer pressure, not vaping, that influences teen behaviour.
In fact, e-cigarettes may offer other surprising health benefits. Nicotine-containing products can promote weight loss by depressing appetite. Nicotine consumption can impact our eating behaviour, making us less hungry. Compared to tobacco, vapes don't have nearly as many adverse effects. That's because vapes don't have tar or other harmful toxins that tobacco companies put into their products.
Furthermore, nicotine increases the brain's electrical activity to boost creativity, alertness, and attention. It also enhances motor activation, visual attention, and arousal. Improvement in alertness helps to lower anxiety levels and improve other behaviours. For example, better motor skills can help you drive better or become more social around others.
Smoking vapes are also much more cost-effective than regular cigarettes. You can slowly consume the nicotine with electronic cigarettes without finishing it all at once as you would with cigarettes. Also, you can get e-cigs that don't contain any nicotine.
Can Vaping Improve Your Creativity Levels?
Creative types may feel drawn to e-cigarette products and vapes because it helps them to reduce anxiety levels and improve creativity. Many e-cigarette users will blow smoke rings or other creative tricks.
An electronic cigarette will induce blood flow to the frontal lobe, a region that elicits sparks of creativity. Switching their vape on and inhaling and exhaling helps disrupt their racing mind by disrupting negative thought patterns and engaging the part of the brain responsible for creativity.
Vaping devices have slowly gained support from the general population. There are many beneficial use cases for vaping, especially for people who want to quit smoking and suffer from severe mental health effects. While we recommend speaking with a licensed mental health professional, finding healthy or less risky ways of feeling better can alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. By relieving these symptoms, you can better perform at work, school, and function in social settings. Now the decision is yours! We recommend reading up on reputable sources and deciding how you want to use this information.If you're ready to make the switch and quit smoking cigarettes, consider RELX vape devices. With nicotine and nicotine-free pods, our products let you take advantage of technology to improve physical and mental health.