Nicotine and Mental Health

Nicotine is typically considered as a substance which helps people to calm down from stress and anxiety. In reality, the use of nicotine might be doing more harm than good in the context of mental health. Although depression, sadness and anxiety have been significant problems for quite a while, they have however only accelerated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is known across several strata that nicotine is detrimental for brains that are developing, making younger people more at risk. Consuming nicotine at a young age can also elevate the risks of addiction. A number of studies that have been peer-reviewed raise concerns, since they support the hypothesis that nicotine can negatively impact the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Vaping. Portrait of man vaping a vaporizer outdoors. Safe smoking. Young vaper. Close-up.

Those who consume e-cigarettes double the risk of being diagnosed with depression when compared to those who have never vaped. This is based on a study undertaken in 2019 by JAVA which included a sample size of almost thirty thousand consumers of e-cigarettes. 

One of the detrimental elements associated with e-cigarettes is the trace metals found in vape liquid, being suspected as a main culprit leading to depression. Following the results of a study in 2019, amongst a sample of college students, vaping was found to correlate with ADHD symptoms. E-cigarettes can also lead to difficulties with concentration, remembering and decision making for adults, especially when compared to those who steer clear.

One of the challenges is combatting the misinformation in this regard. Many people including the younger segments use e-cigarettes to dilute certain feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Life is full of circumstances that lead to stress and vaping is thought of as a coping activity. What many may not be aware of is that vaping can potentially expand these negative feelings, making things worse. The theory that backs nicotine as a stress reliever may be supported by the withdrawal aspect. Feeling irritable, anxious and depressed is normal when you are accustomed to nicotine and cease its consumption. These symptoms would be temporarily relieved by the hit after consuming nicotine. It is really no wonder why smoking can be a misunderstood habit. This underscores the importance of the right awareness through appropriate information campaigns.

Have you ever tried vaping? What was or is the experience like? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

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