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3 ways vaping affects mental health

While it is well known that nicotine harms developing brains, including by making young people more susceptible to addiction, lesser known are the worrying connections between nicotine and mental health.

Though nicotine has not been found to directly cause mental health conditions, peer-reviewed studies reveal troubling links between vaping, nicotine, and worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as higher odds of having a depression diagnosis. Here are three ways vaping affects mental health.

Current e-cigarette users have double the odds of having a diagnosis of depression compared to those who have never vaped

Can vaping cause depression and anxiety?

According to a 2019 JAMA study of nearly 30,000 current e-cigarette users above age 18, frequent vaping is tied to even higher odds – 2.4X – of having a diagnosis of depression compared to never users.

The study also showed current e-cigarette users had 1.67X higher odds and former e-cigarette users had 1.52X higher odds of reporting at least one day of poor mental health in the past month compared to never users who reported no days of poor mental health. Researchers also believe that trace metals in vape liquid may play a role in the potential link between vaping and depression.

Vaping can worsen symptoms of depression

Does vaping make you depressed?

Based on the results of a 2017 study of nearly 2,500 ninth graders who had never previously used e-cigarettes or combustible tobacco in Los Angeles, those who used e-cigarettes at a higher frequency were associated with higher depressive symptoms. This also included feeling sad or having crying spells – a year later.

Nicotine use is significantly associated with higher levels of conditions like ADHD

Does vaping cause ADHD?

A 2019 study of U.S. college students found that vaping is significantly associated with higher levels of ADHD symptoms, and nicotine dependence was correlated with greater anxiety symptoms.

It is critical to both prevent teens and young adults from vaping or smoking and to help those who are addicted to quit as soon as possible. Not only does quitting break the addiction to nicotine and reduce health-related risks associated with tobacco use, it can also improve mental health. A 2014 meta-analysis showed quitting smoking is linked with lower levels of anxiety, depression and stress as well as improved positive mood and quality of life compared with continuing to smoke. This is Quitting® is a free and anonymous quit resource from Truth Initiative that has helped more than 350,000 on their journey to quit vaping.

For free help with quitting vaping, text DITCHVAPE to 88709.