Vape addiction

Nicotine is an addictive drug that can harm your brain and body.

brain on gradient background

1 vape =
how many cigarettes?

We did the maths and found that a 6000 puff vape can contain the same amount of nicotine as about 3 packs of cigarettes. 

See how the nicotine in each vape size compares to cigarettes.

Vapes are designed so that the nicotine is easy to inhale. The flavours and nicotine salts make taking a hit feel less harsh than smoking a cigarette. This makes it easier to take more hits in a short time and absorb more nicotine into your lungs and blood in one session than you would if you were smoking cigarettes. 

Feeling nic-sick?

Nicotine's impact on your brain

A girl is sitting down and looking at a vape in her hand

Most vapes contain nicotine - even ones that say they don’t. It can even change your brain chemistry, especially if you’re under the age of 25.

Here’s what research tells us nicotine can do to your brain:

  • If you’re a young person, it can affect your memory, making it harder to stay focused on tasks and learn new information.
  • Makes you more likely to try other addictive drugs.
  • Increases feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • May worsen symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Vicious cycle of vapes

After your first hit, nicotine enters your bloodstream and sends dopamine (pleasure chemical) to your brain, making you feel good.

These feelings only stick around for a short time. As the nicotine breaks down in your body, you start to crave another hit.

When this happens, you might feel grumpy, restless, anxious, have trouble sleeping or problems concentrating. These are just some of the signs of nicotine withdrawal.

The more you vape = the more nicotine your body craves for:

  • relief from nicotine withdrawal symptoms
  • the feeling of dopamine to kick in
  • a headspin – which is a sign you’re being poisoned.

Then the cycle begins again.

This cycle where you’re vaping to deal with your nicotine withdrawal is called a nicotine addiction

Signs you may be addicted to vapes

Do you experience any of these when you go without vapes?

Take the
Am I addicted?
Quiz

Vape check! Take this quick quiz to see how vapes affect you, and what you can do about it. 

List of sources

1 vape = how many cigarettes?

  1. Nicotine delivery and cigarette equivalents from vaping a JUULpod [British Medical Journal] 
  2. Nicotine salt formulations for aerosol devices and methods thereof [Justia Patents]

Feeling nic-sick?

  1. E-cigarettes and teens [The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne]
  2. Early-life exposure to electronic cigarettes: cause for concern [The Lancet - Respiratory Medicine]
  3. Clinical Practice Guidelines - Nicotine Poisoning [The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne]
  4. Nicotine: Systemic Agent [The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)]

Nicotine’s impact on your brain

  1. E-cigarette nicotine content and labelling practices in a restricted market: Findings from Ontario, Canada [Science Direct] 
  1. Nicotine levels in electronic cigarette refill solutions: A comparative analysis of products from the US, Korea, and Poland [Science Direct] 
  2. The Nicotine Content of a Sample of E-cigarette Liquid Manufactured in the United States [Brigham Young University Scholars Archive]
  3.  Counterfeit Electronic Cigarette Products with Mislabeled Nicotine Concentrations [National Library of Medicine]
  4. Clinical Pharmacology of Nicotine: Implications for Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Tobacco Addiction [American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics] 
  5. Electronic  cigarettes and  health outcomes: systematic review of global evidence (pgs 163-183) [Australian National University]
  6. Chemical analysis of fresh and aged Australian e-cigarette liquids [Wiley Online Library]
  7. Nicotine and other potentially harmful compounds in “nicotine- free” e- cigarette liquids in Australia [The Medical Journal of Australia]
  8. Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Nicotine Exposure during Adolescence for Prefrontal Cortex Neuronal Network Function [National Library of Medicine]
  9. Unique effects of nicotine across the lifespan [Science Direct]
  10. Bi-directional associations of electronic and combustible cigarette use onset patterns with depressive symptoms in adolescents [National Library of Medicine]
  11. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults A Report of the Surgeon General  (pg 107) [US Department of Health and Human Services]
  12. E-Cigarette Use (Vaping) is Associated with Illicit Drug Use, Mental Health Problems, and Impulsivity in University Students [National Library of Medicine]
  13. Psychological Risk Factors for Alcohol, Cannabis, and Various Tobacco Use Among Young Adults: A Longitudinal Analysis [National Library of Medicine] 

Vicious cycle of vapes

  1. Harmful effects of nicotine [National Library of Medicine]