Vaping 101

Can Vaping Cause Headaches?

Hemok Wang
Hemok Wang
Jan 15, 2024
Can Vaping Cause Headaches?

Do you ever find that vaping seems to give you a headache? If so, you’re not alone. Along with coughing, sore throat and tiredness, headaches are among the most common side effects reported by those who vape. The good news, though, is that experiencing a headache from vaping is completely unnecessary. It’s likely that what you’re really experiencing is a nicotine headache – and in that case, it should be easy for you to resolve the issue by managing your nicotine intake more carefully.

In other cases, you might have to do a little more work to isolate and eliminate the cause of your vape headache – but even then, it shouldn’t be too difficult to do as long as you know what the triggers are. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the likely causes and best solutions for a headache from vaping. When you’re done reading, you should have a much better idea of what’s going on and what you can do about it.

 

Why Can Vaping Cause a Headache?

We’ll begin this guide by discussing the three most common causes of vape headaches. If you get a headache from vaping, it’s most likely caused by one of these three things.

Too Much Nicotine

There is a strong link between nicotine use and headaches. That’s because nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict, which in turn reduces the flow of blood in and around the brain. This situation can be made worse if you use nicotine when you already have a headache. Some people also experience headaches when they haven’t had nicotine in a while, which underscores the importance of managing your nicotine intake carefully. We’ll discuss this at greater length shortly.

Dehydration

Dehydration is another common side effect of vaping that can potentially cause headaches. You’re probably already aware of the fact that you can get a headache if you aren’t drinking enough water, but you may not know that vaping can actually exacerbate this issue because vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol – the two most plentiful ingredients in vape juice – are both extremely effective absorbers of moisture. When you exhale the vapor, you’re actually removing moisture from your body and need to drink extra liquid to replenish it. Our INNOBAR products are made with a new type of e-liquid that contains 30 percent water and may help to alleviate this issue.

INNOBAR

Sensitivity to Specific Compounds or Flavors

The final reason why you might get a headache from vaping is because you’re sensitive to a specific ingredient in the e-liquid you’re using. This isn’t common, but it’s worth exploring if you’ve already eliminated nicotine overuse and dehydration as potential causes of your vape headache.

 

How Can You Get Rid of a Vape Headache?

In the final section of this article, we’ll discuss the things that you can do to prevent a headache from occurring when you vape. If you’re reading this article, though, there’s a good chance that you already have a headache and are trying to figure out what you can do about it – so let’s start there. Here are a few of the most common things that people do to get rid of their headaches from vaping.

  • Stop vaping until the headache resolves itself. This is particularly important because if your headache is caused by nicotine use, the last thing that you want to do is continue consuming nicotine.
  • Drink some water. If you’re experiencing dehydration, it may take a while for your body to equalize – so you should drink a good amount of water before doing anything else.
  • Lie down for a while in a quiet place. Consider dimming the lights and taking a nap. If your headache is very severe, you might want to try putting a cold or warm towel over your head.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed on the label if your headache doesn’t resolve itself after a bit of waiting. This is another reason why it’s important to stop using nicotine when you get a vape headache; nicotine can actually interfere with some pain relievers and prevent them from doing their job.

 

How to Prevent Vape Headaches from Happening in the Future

Once you’ve resolved your vape headache, the next step is to pinpoint the cause and change whatever you need to change in order to prevent getting a headache from vaping in the future. Here are the things that you should consider doing.

Reduce Your Nicotine Use

As we’ve mentioned in this article, the most likely reason why vaping gives you a headache is because you’re consuming more nicotine than you actually need. With modern vaping devices, that’s extremely easy to do because many of the devices that are popular today – disposable vapes, for instance – deliver very high amounts of nicotine. It’s common, in fact, for a modern disposable vape or pod system to deliver almost as much nicotine per puff as a tobacco cigarette.

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One of the biggest differences between vapes and cigarettes, though, is that a vaping device doesn’t limit your usage automatically like a cigarette does. A cigarette eventually burns out, and then you need to make a decision to light another one – which you’re probably not going to do immediately after putting one out. A vaping device, on the other hand, can usually deliver hundreds of puffs before you need to recharge the battery. Because a vaping device doesn’t place a limit on your usage in the way that a cigarette does, it’s very easy to keep your vape in your hand at all times and use it constantly because it tastes good and keeps your hand and mouth busy.

To reduce your nicotine intake without compromising your satisfaction, try these things.

  • Don’t keep your vaping device in your hand when you aren’t really using it, because that only invites you to vape mindlessly without thinking about whether you actually need the nicotine. Put your device down between vaping sessions.
  • Pay attention to how often you vape. Are you vaping about as many times per day as you would have smoked cigarettes, or are you actually vaping more often than that? If you vape more times per day than you would have smoked, it’s possible that you’re consuming more nicotine than you really need.
  • If putting your vaping device down between sessions makes you feel tempted to smoke, consider switching to a lower nicotine strength. That way, you can reduce the amount of nicotine that you consume per session without reducing how often you vape.

Increase Your Water Intake

Even if dehydration isn’t the reason why you’re getting a headache from vaping, it’s always a wise idea to drink extra water every time you vape. As we mentioned earlier in this article, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin both draw in moisture and trap it – and when you exhale the vapor, you’re removing the absorbed moisture from your body. You may not notice the fact that you’re dehydrated, though, because the vapor will feel moist in your mouth.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how much extra water you should drink when you vape, but it’s a good idea to drink a little more than you think you need. When you sit down for a vaping session, keep a bottle or glass of water nearby and take a few sips periodically to ensure that you’re keeping yourself hydrated. As long as you do this, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting a vape headache from dehydration. We also suggest trying our INNOBAR vaping products, which contain 30 percent water and may help to alleviate dehydration from vaping.

Identify a Potential Chemical Sensitivity

If you continue to get headaches from vaping and are sure that you’re drinking plenty of water and aren’t overconsuming nicotine, the final thing to do is start trying different e-liquids to eliminate a potential chemical sensitivity. Here are two easy ways to identify a possible sensitivity.

  • Try switching to an unflavored e-liquid. If you stop getting headaches from vaping after doing this, it’s likely that you’re sensitive to one of the flavoring compounds in the vape juice that you normally use. Although it might be difficult to identify the specific compound that’s causing the problem, you can make some headway by trying e-liquids with similar flavor profiles from other brands. If your headaches continue, try some different types of flavors. If you experience headaches when using any flavored e-liquid, you might want to consider using unflavored juice on a full-time basis.
  • Try switching to an e-liquid that uses only vegetable glycerin as a base and contains no propylene glycol. This type of vape juice is sometimes called “100% VG e-liquid.” Although it’s rare, there are a few people who are sensitive to propylene glycol and experience negative side effects when coming into contact with it. If you fall into that category, switching to a vape juice containing only vegetable glycerin should prevent your vape headaches from occurring.
Hemok Wang
Hemok Wang

Hey! Hemok here, a vaping enthusiast with a passion for helping people quit smoking. My uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago after smoking for more than 40 years. I do understand that quitting smoking isn't only a physical issue but also a mental one. It's just hard to go "cold turkey". I believe that vaping is one of the best solutions to make the switch only if you do it in the right way, and that's why I am here to share :)