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The Hidden Effects of Vaping Addiction on Mental Health

The definition of addiction is a chronic, recurrent condition marked by obsessive drug seeking and usage despite negative outcomes. Because it causes functional alterations to the brain circuits responsible for reward, stress, and self-control, it is regarded as a brain condition. In today’s era, the youth has come under a sphere of E-cigarettes Or Vapes which are convinced to be less harmful. But on the other sides, Due to the addiction of vapes, it’s prone to mental as well as physical health.

What are Vapes?

Vape pens, also referred to as electronic cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid into an inhaled mist. It’s not only water vapor in the aerosol. Typically, it has flavorings, nicotine, and other dangerous substances. Vaping is the process of inhaling an aerosol (mist) created by an electronic cigarette or other vaping apparatus.

While vape pens and traditional cigarettes share some components, they may not look exactly alike. Instead, they may resemble pens or USB flash drives. E-cigarettes, e-hookahs, vape pens, mods, vapes, and tank systems are just a few of the street names for vaping devices. It has been discovered that nicotine is present in e-cigarettes even though they state otherwise. Some may include oils, herbs, or marijuana.

Statistics of Vape Addiction

In 2019, 27.5% of pupils in high school acknowledged using electronic cigarettes. (American Medical Association Journal, 2019) A 2019–2020 poll found that between 17.7% and 40% of college students had used or were present using e-cigarettes. According to a 2015 survey, 53% of eighth, tenth, and twelve students who vape do so to experiment, 37.2% because they enjoy the taste, 23.5% to pass the time when they’re bored, 22.4% to have fun, and 21.6% to unwind. (Independence from Drug and Alcohol, 2016)

According to Dr. Garima Rajan, Assistant Professor of Psychology at FLAME University, Pune, the use of illicit drugs and vaping is increasing because of the ease by which it can be procured by the youth given the digital connectivity in today’s times. Especially high school and college students are more involved in these activities as they are keen to explore the various psychological impacts of these drugs. To prevent vaping and other drug abuse, educational institutions need to organize workshops for children in schools and colleges where they can become aware of the neurological, psychological, and physical consequences of vaping and other drug abuse.

Nicotine Addiction

Most vapes include nicotine, which is very addictive. It becomes more difficult to quit vaping as your body and brain grow accustomed to nicotine. Your bloodstream’s concentration of nicotine decreases when you stop vaping, which can lead to uncomfortable emotions, physical sensations, and intense cravings to vape.

How Vaping Affects Mental Health?

According to Psychologist Mayur Raturi, people think consuming and sleeping well will erase bad experiences or memories, but it doesn’t happen. The reason why people consume substances is to forget, but it’s clear that substances are temporary, like allopathic medicine. Every individual has a different perception of substances. Some people have a good life and enough money, so they don’t get depressed after consuming substances. However, some people who are seeking happiness still get depressed after consuming substances and sink into guilt. It is universally clear that every individual looks for peace, happiness, love, and harmony in life, which comes from eternal happiness, not from substances.

It is often recognized that nicotine damages growing brains, among other things by increasing adolescent susceptibility to addiction; however, there are other concerning links between nicotine and mental health.

While it has not been proven that nicotine causes mental health disorders directly, peer-reviewed research shows alarming connections between vaping, nicotine, and increased chances of being diagnosed with depression as well as increasing symptoms of anxiety and sadness. These are three effects of vaping on mental health.


Nicotine, a component in tobacco and vaping devices that can cause addiction, explains why so many smokers and vapers struggle to stop. Other dangerous chemicals can be produced by burning tobacco, and vaping devices create a mist that mixes flavorings and chemicals with synthetic nicotine. Cigarettes also contain these toxic substances.

Those who now use e-cigarettes are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than people who have never vaped. A 2019 JAMA study of almost 30,000 current adult users of e-cigarettes over the age of 18 found that regular vaping is associated with even higher odds of receiving a depression diagnosis (2.4X) than never using them. The study also revealed that compared to never users who reported no days of poor mental health, present e-cigarette users had 1.67X greater chances and former users had 1.52X higher odds of bearingat least one day of poor mental health in the previous month. Additionally, researchers think that the possible association between vaping and sadness may be influenced by trace metals found in vape fluids.

Vaping can exacerbate depressive symptoms. According to findings from a 2017 study conducted in Los Angeles with around 2,500 ninth graders who had never used combustible tobacco or e-cigarettes before, e-cigarette users were more likely to have depressed symptoms. A year later, this also included experiencing sadness or fits of tears.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

According to a 2019 study of college students in the United States, vaping is substantially linked to higher levels of symptoms connected to ADHD, and nicotine dependency is linked to higher levels of symptoms related to anxiety. It is imperative to aid individuals who are addicted to stop as soon as possible in addition to discouraging teens and young adults from smoking or vaping. Giving up tobacco usage not only eliminates the addiction to nicotine and lowers the health dangers connected with it, but it can also enhance mental wellness. According to a 2014 meta-analysis, giving up smoking is associated with reduced stress, anxiety, and depression as well as an increase in happiness and quality of life when compared to continuing to smoke.


Studies and firsthand accounts point to a possible link between vaping and anxiety. Many vaping products contain nicotine, a main ingredient that is known to affect mood and cognitive function. While long-term use of nicotine can result in dependency and withdrawal symptoms, including elevated anxiety, it also initially produces sensations of pleasure and alertness.

In one study, vapers who used e-cigarettes or nicotine-based vape pens felt more anxious than those who didn’t use them at all. Another study found that compared to those who smoked nothing at all, young people who vaped had a higher risk of developing depressive symptoms.

Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal

Your body and brain need time to adjust to life without nicotine when you stop vaping. It’s also known as withdrawal from nicotine. Withdrawal from nicotine can have unpleasant side effects that lead to the desire for the drug. Typical signs of nicotine withdrawal include:

  • Being agitated, twitchy, or uneasy Sensations of depression or anxiety Anxiety Tiredness or grogginess.
  • Having difficulty focusing or thinking clearly.
  • Not being able to sleep or feeling hungry.
  • Having strong e-cigarette desires.

How to Handle Nicotine Withdrawal?

Everyone experiences withdrawal from nicotine differently. Withdrawal symptoms may make it difficult or irritating for certain people to stop. The good news is that if you avoid vaping, the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms will eventually go away. Your body can adjust to not vaping more fully the longer you refrain from doing so.

  • See a physician or other health care provider for assistance. Discuss plans to quit with your doctor or other medical practitioner. Find out from them how you can control your withdrawal symptoms.
  • Remain hydrated: Water is your best beverage throughout the day. Uncomfortable nicotine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, sweating, hunger, and exhaustion can be lessened with water. Water consumption may also lessen cravings.
  • Consume wholesome snacks: When you are giving up vaping, you could feel more peckish. Stock up on nutritious foods to carry in your locker or backpack. Crunchy treats that keep your hands and mouth occupied, such as raw nuts or carrots, can also help fight cravings.
  • Ask your friends and relatives for assistance. You don’t need to experience quitting on your own. Inform your loved ones that you’re giving up vaping and ask for their help.
  • Vaping Devices (Electronic cigarettes) DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2024, March 21). National Institute on Drug Abuse.,to%20a%20teen%E2%80%99s%20developing%20brain.

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