Vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Many people view vaping as a safer, healthier option that can help smokers quit. However, vaping still comes with risks, especially when done excessively. So how do you know if your vaping habit has gone from moderate to excessive? Here are some signs to watch out for.
You Go Through E-Liquid Quickly
One obvious sign of vaping too much is if you find yourself going through e-liquid rapidly. The average vaper uses around 3-5mL of e-liquid per day. If you’re plowing through a 30mL bottle in just a few days, that’s a red flag. The more you vape, the faster you’ll use up e-liquid. Take note if you seem to always have a vape in your hand or if you’re refilling your tank multiple times a day. Those are signs you may be overdoing it.
You Constantly Crave Vaping
Cravings can indicate a dependence on vaping. If you find yourself frequently yearning for your next vaping session, you may have developed an addiction to nicotine and the habit of vaping. Normal vaping behavior shouldn’t elicit intense cravings. Wanting to vape out of habit or boredom is one thing, but strong urges to vape point to dependence. Pay attention to how often you feel compelled to vape.
You Vape as Soon as You Wake Up
Reaching for your vape first thing in the morning is not a great sign. Nicotine is a stimulant, so vaping right upon waking provides a jolt of energy. But it also hints that you have a very strong attachment to vaping if you do it before anything else. Try delaying vaping for at least an hour after getting up. If you feel agitated, restless or otherwise awful, it suggests a high dependence on nicotine vaping.
It’s Hard to Stop Vaping During the Day
A very telling indicator of excessive vaping is if you have trouble not vaping during daytime hours. For example, if you vape at work out of habit or boredom, to the point where you feel antsy if you can’t do it for a few hours, that signals an unhealthy attachment. Try setting limits, like only vaping during designated breaks. If you feel distressed or irritated without access to vaping, that’s problematic.
You Wake Up at Night to Vape
Waking up in the middle of the night specifically to vape is a huge red flag when it comes to excessive vaping. This points to full-blown addiction and dependence. Nicotine has a short half-life, so withdrawal symptoms can set in while sleeping. If nighttime cravings lead to waking just to vape, it’s important to cut back your nicotine intake. This level of dependence is damaging.
You’re Experiencing Symptoms of Too Much Nicotine
Nicotine overdose is possible, especially if vaping high nicotine concentrations. Symptoms include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Hearing or vision changes
These signals indicate you need to lower your nicotine levels immediately to avoid poisoning yourself. It’s quite dangerous to develop nicotine toxicity.
Your Vaping Habits Interfere with Your Life
Excessive vaping becomes problematic when it gets in the way of your work, relationships, interests, and day-to-day activities. If you have conflicts with others because of vaping, forget important tasks, slack on responsibilities, or become less interested in hobbies, you may be overdoing it. An unhealthy dependence causes you to prioritize vaping at the expense of other important things.
You Spend Too Much on Vaping Supplies
Blowing an unreasonable amount of money on vaping gear and e-juice is a sign you’ve taken it too far. Getting carried away with exciting new mods, atomizers and premium e-liquid flavors can lead to burning a hole in your wallet. Be mindful of overspending as it often goes hand-in-hand with excessive vaping habits.
You Experience Respiratory Issues
While vaping is less damaging than smoking, inhaling anything other than air can irritate your airways and lungs. If you start developing respiratory symptoms like a chronic cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath, vaping may be the culprit. Your body could be reacting negatively to the propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin in e-liquid. Consider cutting back or having a medical exam if the symptoms persist.
You Hide Your Vaping
If you find yourself sneaking vaping breaks instead of openly vaping, this dysfunctional behavior hints that you know you’re overdoing it. The need to conceal a habit is not a great sign. Ask yourself why you feel the need to hide your vaping. Are you vaping too much and too often to feel comfortable doing it openly? What are the reasons you avoid vaping around other people? This can signal addiction and loss of control.
How Much is Too Much Vaping?
So how much vaping crosses the line into “too much” territory? Here are some reasonable limits:
- E-liquid: Around 3-5mL per day
- Refills: Maximum of 2-3 tank refills daily
- Sessions: Vaping only during designated times, no more than 5 sessions
- Nicotine: Less than 30mg if sub-ohm vaping; less than 20mg if using higher resistance
Anything more than these general guidelines could signal developing a dependence. However, each person will have different limits based on factors like metabolism, device wattage, e-juice nicotine level, and personal tolerance.
Signs of Nicotine Withdrawal
When you try to cut back on vaping after heavy use, you may experience some nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This shows just how addictive nicotine can be. Possible withdrawal effects include:
- Strong cravings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased appetite
These effects are temporary and should subside within a week or two. Knowing what to expect can help you get through the withdrawal period without relapsing.
Tips to Cut Back on Vaping
If you decide it’s time to cut back on vaping, here are some useful tips:
- Try lower nicotine e-juice – Taper down slowly to avoid severe withdrawal
- Limit vaping to certain situations or locations
- Only vape during designated times, with breaks in between
- Cut down your puffs per vaping session
- Take deeper, longer draws to satisfy cravings faster
- Stay hydrated to minimize vaping urges
- Find oral substitutes like gum, mints or toothpicks
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and other triggers
- Get light exercise to manage stress and cravings
- Don’t carry vaping gear around with you
- Consider setting a “quit date” for motivation
Seeking Help for Excessive Vaping
Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor if you need help curbing excessive vaping. They can suggest nicotine replacement therapies, medications, or other tools to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. You may also consider reaching out to vaping addiction specialists or support groups for coping strategies and motivation. With professional help and determination, you can overcome an unhealthy dependence on vaping.
It’s easy to overdo it when it comes to vaping, especially with high-powered devices delivering concentrated nicotine salts. But there are clear signals that indicate when your vaping habits have crossed into dangerous territory. Paying attention to your rate of e-liquid usage, nicotine poisoning symptoms, inability to abstain from vaping, withdrawal effects, and the impact on your daily functioning are important clues. Remember to consult medical advice if you’re struggling to reduce intense vaping habits on your own. With the right support, you can strike a healthier balance with vaping.