Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor (to be more accurate, an aerosol). Generally, people vape to inhale tobacco or cannabinoids such as THC or CBD. That said, a vaper can also vape “non-addictive” substances, that is, e-liquids that do not contain any substance that causes addiction. Can you vape without nicotine? Is vaping addictive? According to the American Psychiatric Association, an addiction “is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences”.
There are many forms of addiction, however we tend to relate addictions to substances such as nicotine, opioids or cocaine. Nonetheless, there other addictions such as addiction to sugar and food addictions. For instance, an addiction to sugar can lead to dangerous disease such diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Is Vaping Addictive?
This is a bit controversial. Vaping is just the act of vaping which means that vaping by itself is not addictive. However, substances such as nicotine are highly addictive, and it’s often considered one of the most addictive drugs. Is vaping addictive? No, but what you vape could be addictive (such as nicotine).
On the other hand, vaping has or may have some side effects that we will explain below.
Side Effects of Vaping
Any activity you carry out may have side effects. Vaping is no different than other habits:
Irritation: excessive vaping can cause some irritation, dry mouth and even an effect called vaper’s tongue (the easiest solution to solve it is to switch your flavor regularly or to use two or more flavors).
In addition, sometimes dehydration can lead to sore throat. Both PG and VG absorb moisture and that’s why you might experience throat irritation. This is easily solved by drinking water during and after vaping.
Another cause of throat irritation is caused by a throat hit. A throat hit is generally caused by propylene glycol. This could be easily fixed by switching to vape juices with less PG.
Finally, many times irritation is caused by a high nicotine content. If you’re not used to vaping high-strength nicotine e-juices, then vaping very strong nicotine vape juices could cause you throat irritation. That’s why choosing the right nicotine strength is so important.
Other Side Effects of Vaping Non Nicotine Vape Juices
The most common concern associated with non nicotine vape juices is related to inhaling diacetyl. Diacetyl is a common food additive with a buttery flavor. For example, diacetyl is widely used to add a buttery flavor to products such as popcorns.
It is considered safe for human consumption by the FDA as it classifies diacetyl as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) for consumption.
The controversy over diacetyl is based on alleged respiratory issues developed by workers in the popcorn manufacturing industry. Nevertheless, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) could not assess whether the respiratory condition was caused by diacetyl or other compounds. In other words, there are no conclusive evidences that popcorn lungs was caused by the inhalation of diacetyl.
There are many alternatives to non-nicotine e-liquids with diacetyl. If you don’t want to inhale vape juices with diacetyl then you can find many diacetyl-free ones. In the EU, diacetyl e-liquids are not available under the Tobacco Products Directive.
Some users experience throat irritation caused by their vaping style. For instance, some people tend to puff deep and slow. However, deep and slow puffs might irritate your throat. To solve this issue, try to vape quick and short puffs. In addition, don’t puff consecutively in a short period of time. In other words, more spacious puffs are better if you want to avoid a throat hit.
These vaping side effects are easily avoidable if you follow the above tips (drink water, adapt your vaping style, vape the right nicotine strength).
Is Vaping E-Liquids without Nicotine Addictive?
Non-nicotine e-liquids are not addictive substances. However, as mentioned above, certain people can develop compulsive acts such as nail biting, compulsive eating or other impulsive control disorder. These acts may be caused by some type of anxiety such as an obsessive-compulsive disorder or other type of condition. In other words, the act of vaping could become a compulsive act by people who suffer from an impulsive control disorder.
Nail biting is a compulsive act, but that doesn’t mean that nails themselves are addictive. The same principle could be applied to vaping non-nicotine e-liquids. That is to say, a person who suffers from an impulsive control disorder may develop a compulsive use of vaping.
Is vaping addictive? No. Is vaping non-nicotine vape juice addictive? The answer is “no” again. However, some people might develop a compulsive use of a vaping sugary e-liquids. For instance, some people vape sweet e-liquids to stop eating candy.
Conclusion: Is Vaping Addictive?
Vaping nicotine could be addictive. However, vaping non-nicotine vape juices isn’t addictive as it doesn’t contain any addictive substances. Nonetheless, some people with certain anxiety disorders may develop a compulsive use of vaping.