Will Vaping Ruin My Stomach?

Will Vaping Ruin My Stomach?

Vaping is one of the most common forms of drug use in the world today. People of all ages and demographics vape. After all, vaping was once hailed as a “risk and side-effect free alternative to smoking.” As time goes on, however, we are learning more and more that this is simply untrue.

If you’ve ever felt like vaping ruined your stomach, you aren’t alone. Vaping can actually be extremely damaging to the human body. In this article, we’re going to look at the links between gastrointestinal issues and vaping. We’ll look at potential symptoms and how to maintain better digestive health.

Understanding Vaping and its Effects on the Body

Before delving into the specific effects on the digestive system, let's first understand what vaping is and how it affects the body. Vaping involves inhaling aerosol from a battery-powered device, commonly known as an electronic cigarette. The liquid used in vaping, known as e-liquid or vape juice, typically contains ingredients such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerol, nicotine, and flavorings. When stating that “vaping ruined my stomach”, you have to understand that what you put in your body is not natural or healthy.

The Link Between Vaping and Stomach Issues

While the evidence regarding the impact of vaping on the digestive system is still developing, some studies suggest that vaping can disrupt the delicate balance of the gut and potentially lead to stomach issues. Saliva plays a crucial role in digestion by acting as a pre-digestive force and lubricant.

However, vaping has been found to reduce saliva production, which may have implications for the digestive process. This reduction in saliva not only compromises the initial stages of digestion but can also contribute to the development of dry mouth, further exacerbating digestive discomfort and potentially leading to more severe gastrointestinal issues over time.

Can Vaping Cause Stomach Problems?

Many individuals have reported experiencing stomach problems after vaping, leading them to believe that vaping is the sole cause. However, it's essential to consider other factors such as diet and lifestyle before attributing all stomach issues solely to vaping. Experts emphasize the significance of gut health, often referred to as the "second brain," which means that dietary choices and overall lifestyle can significantly impact digestive health. When stating that “vaping has ruined my stomach”, it is important to understand what exactly vaping has harmed.

Exploring the Potential Stomach Issues Associated with Vaping

1. Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Vaping, similar to smoking traditional cigarettes, relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, potentially leading to difficulties in swallowing and an increased risk of heartburn. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. While research on the direct link between vaping and heartburn is limited, it's crucial to be aware of this potential connection.

2. Diarrhea

Nicotine poisoning is a severe concern for individuals who over-vape, especially when using e-liquids containing high nicotine concentrations. Diarrhea can be a late-stage symptom of nicotine poisoning, indicating the need to quit vaping until the symptoms subside. Staying hydrated and avoiding excessive vaping can help alleviate the risk of developing vape-related diarrhea.

3. Coughing

Vaping can sometimes trigger coughing, primarily due to various factors such as the balance of propylene glycol (PG) to vegetable glycerol (VG), nicotine strength, and the type of device used. Some individuals may experience coughing due to low-quality e-liquids that contain harmful chemicals. It's important to choose reputable brands that adhere to strict regulations and opt for liquids made in the UK, where safety standards are more stringent.

4. Stomach Pain

There is limited scientific evidence linking e-liquid consumption to inflammatory responses in the gut, which can cause stomach discomfort. One study conducted on nicotine-free e-liquids found that long-term exposure to vape aerosol increased inflammation and impaired the function of transmembrane proteins responsible for regulating cellular transport. While more research is needed, it's crucial to monitor your body's response to vaping and seek medical advice if you experience persistent stomach pain.

5. Bloating

Vaping can potentially cause bloating indirectly through dehydration. Dehydration can lead to constipation, which can result in a bloated feeling. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining overall digestive health. Individuals with pre-existing gastrointestinal issues or sensitive stomachs may be more susceptible to excess gas and bloating due to the dehydrating effects of vape aerosol.

The Science Behind Vaping and Digestive System Health

To understand the impact of vaping on the digestive system, researchers have conducted various studies that provide insights into the potential mechanisms involved. One study published in the journal iScience revealed that chronic use of nicotine-free e-cigarettes can lead to a "leaky gut" condition. This condition allows microbes and other molecules to escape from the intestines, resulting in chronic inflammation.

The study also identified propylene glycol and vegetable glycerol, two chemicals commonly used as the base for all e-cigarette liquids, as the culprits behind the inflammation in the gut. Heating these chemicals during vaping generates fumes that contain numerous harmful compounds. The lack of regulations concerning these chemicals further emphasizes the need for caution when it comes to vaping and digestive health.

Maintaining Digestive Health While Vaping

If you choose to continue vaping but are concerned about your digestive health, there are steps you can take to minimize potential risks. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy digestive system while using e-cigarettes:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for overall digestive health. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and associated digestive issues.
  2. Choose High-Quality E-Liquids: Opt for reputable e-liquid brands that adhere to strict safety regulations. Look for products made in the UK, where there are stringent quality control measures in place.
  3. Practice Moderation: Avoid excessive vaping to reduce the risk of nicotine poisoning and related digestive problems. Use your cravings as a guide and vape only when necessary.
  4. Monitor Your Body's Response: Pay attention to how your body reacts to vaping. If you experience persistent stomach pain, bloating, or other digestive issues, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.


While the research on the effects of vaping on the digestive system is still evolving, it's crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with vaping and stomach health. The disruption of gut health, the possibility of chronic inflammation, and the impact of chemicals used in e-liquids highlight the need for caution. If you are experiencing persistent digestive issues, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation. Ultimately, prioritizing your overall health and well-being should guide your decisions regarding vaping and its potential impact on your digestive system.


CDC: About Vaping

NCBI: Vaping Compromises the Gut Barrier

Delta Dental: How Vaping Harms Dental Health

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