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Side Effects of Vaping Without Nicotine

June 06, 2023

Nicotine gets a bad reputation because of its use in cigarettes. After all, this chemical compound found in tobacco plants can be highly addictive. The concerns around this additive have paved the way for what many believe to be a healthier alternative: nicotine-free vaping.

There are several questions about vaping without nicotine, such as:

  • Is it safe?
  • Are there health risks involved?
  • Can it help you cease smoking?
  • Do the e-liquids contain their own addictive properties?

While vaping research is ongoing, and there's still a lot to learn, we'll do our best to answer all your questions. Here is what we know about vaping zero nicotine e-cigarettes and their side effects.

Can You Vape Without Nicotine?

Absolutely! Many vapers prefer vaping nicotine-free e-liquid because they view it as a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. There are several benefits involved, like non-nicotine consumption, great flavours, and minimal adverse effects.

Vaping, even without nicotine, reduces exposure to addictive substances but is still not entirely safe and can have harmful effects. Inhaling vaporised liquids as an alternative to cigarette smoking can adversely affect health by irritating the lungs and throat and introducing toxins into the body.

What Are the Side Effects of No-Nicotine Vaping?

While the safety and long-term effects of vaping products aren't well-known, one can assume vaping has side effects no matter its nicotine levels. The effects vary depending on the base fluid, flavored e-liquids, and ingredients used in the e-liquid.

Potential harmful health effects of a nicotine-free vape include irritation, inflammation, and toxicity. We'll describe these below.


2015 study showed that one puff from a shisha vape pen with no nicotine had enough propylene glycol and glycerol to cause irritation. When heated, these components may irritate the human alveolar macrophages, i.e. the airways and mouth. The vaporized form of these substances may produce carcinogenic or cancer-causing compounds.

The chemical risk assessment showed that after one puff of the shisha pen, the amount of PG and glycerol were high enough to irritate the airways.


It's possible e-cigarette smoking can trigger pro-inflammatory effects and immune system responses.

2018 in-vitro study showed inflammatory and oxidative responses induced by e-cigarettes without nicotine. It stated that exposure to vape juice flavouring chemicals could activate an inflammatory response in some types of white blood cells.

Ultimately, this would affect how these cells usually work within the immune system. While this response will mainly affect the lungs and throats, heavy smoking of these products can cause an inflammatory reaction throughout the entire body.


The final side effect is that this substance may be toxic to cells. Exposure could lead to cell death. The affected cells reside in the lungs and defend the body against toxins.

Some studies have shown that exposure to flavouring chemicals and additives in electronic cigarettes also harm blood vessel cells in the heart. These cells are well-known for playing a role in long-term heart health. The death of these cells can lead to the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

The bottom line? While some studies have shown side effects after inhaling nicotine-free e-liquids, more research still needs to be conducted to fully understand the short- and long-term effects of e-cigarette smoking.

6 Reasons You Might Choose to Vape Without Nicotine

Is this vaping alternative right for you? Let's explore the reasons many vapers choose e-cigarettes without nicotine.

1. You Smoke Cigarettes and Want to Quit

The most common reason people vape is to stop smoking cigarettes. Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, but it can be difficult to resist when the craving strikes. Many former smokers have found that vaping helps satisfy this craving.

A study titled "Effects of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems on Cigarette Abstinence" showed that cigarette smokers who switched to vaping reduced their exposure to particular carcinogens. You can read the full study here.

E-juice with zero nicotine is also one way smokers aim to free themselves from nicotine addiction. Non-nicotine e-liquid contains food-grade ingredients. It comes in many different flavours to suit preferences and help say goodbye to cigarettes for good.

2. You're Looking for a Non-Addictive Alternative to Cigarettes

Vape juice with 0 mg of nicotine has no addictive substances. This is ideal for former smokers who want to satisfy cravings with the feeling of inhaling but without the toxins. Whether you vape nicotine from time to time or quit cold turkey, you'll find this a good alternative when you feel withdrawals.

If you look closely at the composition of vape juice, you'll notice its main components: propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), water, flavouring, and nicotine. Out of this list of elements, nicotine is the only highly addictive substance. Therefore, if you remove it, there's no room for addiction.

3. You Need a Break From Nicotine

Sometimes you need to take a break from this addictive chemical. Occasional breaks are a good way to reduce your nicotine intake if you feel you've gone overboard and started developing an addiction. Consider this alternative if your body is telling you to slow down, but you still want to vape.

4. You Want to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Non-nicotine vape juice is flavoured. Therefore, not only does it taste great, but it's helped many vapers reduce sugar consumption.

Many people who quit smoking replace their cigarettes with increased sugar intake, leading to weight gain and potential risk for diabetes.

Instead of mindlessly eating, you can reduce sugar intake by vaping nicotine-free products. You can choose from dozens of flavours like Apple, Watermelon, Cherry, Blueberry, Strawberry, and more.

Also, if you're a diabetic vaper, you'll have peace of mind knowing you can get all the flavour minus the sugar!

5. You Can Save Money with Nicotine-Free Vape Juice

Vaping e-liquids with nicotine will always be more popular than non-nicotine e-juice because of its addictive effects. However, if your vaping journey has led you to this alternative, you'll be pleased to know it will also benefit your wallet.

Not only will you dodge the harmful effects of nicotine consumption, but you'll also save money since these products are usually on sale. It is a great way to try different flavoured e-juices on a budget. Then, if you like the e-cigarette flavouring chemicals, you can always go back for it with nicotine. If you don't like it, you'll be glad you didn't spend too much money on it.

Likewise, many vapers will purchase discounted nicotine-free products and mix them with e-juice that contains nicotine. This money-saving hack is great for vapers who prefer low-strength juice.

6. You Enjoy How Smooth Vaping Feels

When you vape, you feel it in your head and body and when it hits your throat. The "throat hit" feels like a hit to the throat or chest. Some vapers enjoy this feeling, but others experience unpleasant coughing or irritation.

This e-liquid is much smoother, and you barely feel it when it goes down. You'll be able to enjoy the flavour and warmth, minus the nicotine sensation of tickling or irritating the throat.

Pros and Cons

While the reasons to try this alternative are clear, these e-cigarettes also have pros and cons. Here are the main ones worth considering.


  • With zero nicotine, there's no longer an addictive substance. It is ideal for those that want to say goodbye to nicotine products.
  • This alternative offers a smooth smoking experience minus the "throat hit," making it enticing for ex-smokers.
  • These e-liquids are wallet-friendly and are typically available at a low price.

As e-cigarettes increase in popularity, e-juice options do as well. More companies keep bringing out new flavours for vapers to enjoy.


  • Someone who has quit smoking could turn back to cigarettes when they feel dissatisfied with the nicotine-free alternatives.
  • Users may experience the following side effects: irritation, inflammation, and toxicity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let's review the most popular FAQs to wrap up this comprehensive guide.

Is Vaping Without Nicotine Bad for You?

Vaping minus the nicotine is a healthier alternative to traditional nicotine products or cigarettes. While e-cigarette vapour condensate is less hazardous than tobacco smoke, some findings challenge this idea, stating that adolescent exposure to e-cigarette vapour has toxic volatile organic chemicals.

Nicotine is an addictive chemical derived from the tobacco plant. When you remove this from the e-juice, your chances of dependency immediately get lower.

So, why vape these products? The reasons could be several, from an ex-smoker wanting to give up cigarettes to someone that wants a smoother vaping experience. Public Health England shares that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.

Is This Alternative Addictive?

Nicotine is an addictive substance, but vaping without it removes the addictive chemicals. However, while it doesn't include nicotine dependence and withdrawal symptoms, users may experience side effects like irritation or inflammation.

Is Vaping a Good Way to Quit Cigarettes?

Quitting smoking is difficult. Vaping is one way to quit by getting nicotine with fewer toxins when compared to burning tobacco. It's important to reduce intake slowly instead of going cold turkey. Otherwise, you may experience intense withdrawal episodes.

While vaping is less harmful than smoking, it's not harmless. Since the health effects of vaping are still being researched, people should eventually aim to quit vaping. Consider nicotine-free options if you're looking for the safest vape option.

What Is the Point of Nicotine-free Vaping?

These electronic cigarettes are a great way to cut ties with nicotine consumption. The best part? These e-juices come in several flavours making the experience enjoyable. There are also other benefits, including:

  • Commonly used as a method to stop smoking
  • No room for addiction
  • An easy way to take a break from vaping
  • Satisfies sweet tooth cravings with little guilt
  • A great flavour experience
  • Saves money, especially with items on clearance

Ready To Cut Out Nicotine? Final Thoughts

If you're worried about vaping long-term effects, it may be time to cut ties with this substance. Fortunately for you, there are nicotine-free products worth trying. These alternatives are much safer than smoking and come at an affordable price.

Ready to make the switch? Check out the RELX Pod Pro, conveniently available in 0mg/ml and two popular flavours: Fresh Red or Menthol Xtra.

Give this vaping alternative a try and shop RELX today! From Fresh Red to Tangy Purple, we know you'll find something you love.

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