How to Avoid a Nicotine Rush When Vaping

A nicotine rush can be unpleasant, so most of us would like to avoid it when vaping. This article will not only explain this sensation and how it occurs, but we'll also list our top tips for preventing too much of a nicotine buzz and enjoying vape sessions that are free of headaches, nausea, and dizziness.

What is a Nicotine Rush?

A nicotine rush occurs because nicotine works by disrupting chemicals in the brain, primarily noradrenaline and dopamine. Nicotine stimulates the brain’s reward centres, causing a burst of energy and pleasure; however, it's quick to fade.

You might feel lightheaded if you're new to vaping, and your heart may also race faster. You could also feel dizzy, nauseous, and anxious, and you might get a headache paired with a rise in blood pressure.

In a way, it's like a very mild overdose of nicotine; some may even know it as being "nic sick". That said, it's really hard to get a severe case of nicotine poisoning from vaping (honestly, it's practically impossible).

Although, if you suffer from a cardiac condition, this can be dangerous. It's possible that overuse of nicotine, as a mild stimulant, could raise your blood pressure and trigger a cardiac event. Nicotine is also known to constrict blood vessels.

In addition, you could fall over if the dizziness you're experiencing from the nicotine rush is bad enough; however, this is quite rare. In even rarer cases, it might be the case that you have a low tolerance (or even an allergy to) the vapour; some people may be slightly allergic to propylene glycol (PG) which is one of the ingredients in e-liquid. 

If your dizziness is severe and accompanied by other unusual symptoms, we suggest you seek medical attention. 

Tips to Avoid Nicotine Rushes

So, how do you avoid the nicotine buzz and overwhelming sensations that the occasional vaper is more likely to experience? Well, that's what we plan on answering next:

Know How Much Nicotine You're Vaping

Because these unpleasant (and occasionally pleasant) sensations are caused by nicotine intake, knowing how much you're vaping each time you use your vape will go a long way. It'll help you control your intake and, therefore, the likelihood of experiencing these feelings.

This is why it’s always a good idea to check the label of your vape juice or disposable vape before using it. The maximum amount of nicotine that can be in a vaping product in the UK is 20mg, which is a fairly strong amount of nicotine. 

We love disposable pod kits here at Vaping 101 but it’s important that new vapers are cautious when using them. Despite their misleadingly small size and mouth-watering flavours, disposable vapes often contain a fairly strong nicotine percentage of 2% which is perfect for former heavy smokers but may feel a little overwhelming for more casual users. 

Don't Increase the Strength of Your Nicotine Too Rapidly

Generally, the strength of nicotine contained in an vape juice will be stated as mg/ml. So if you have 2 mg/ml, this means that for every ml, you have 2 mg of nicotine.

While you'll want enough nicotine to satisfy cravings (particularly if you're battling with a nicotine addiction), it’s important to be cautious with your nicotine strength. For example, jumping from 3mg/ml to 12mg/ml strength will increase your risk of experiencing a nicotine buzz. Always increase the strength in small increments.

You could also decrease in increments when working off a nicotine addiction, going down all the way to just using nicotine-free e-liquid.

Don't Vape Too Frequently

This may seem obvious, but sometimes it can be challenging to determine what "frequently" is. When you're enjoying the positive effect nicotine can have on you, knowing when to stop before you start feeling sickly can be even more challenging.

If you’re finding it hard to resist chain vaping, why not take a tip from the cloud chasers who primarily use low-nicotine or zero nicotine vape juice. Lowering the nicotine content in your vape means that even if you find yourself vaping too often you won’t experience the nicotine rush as severely. 

Overall, the best way to deal with this issue is to be mindful of how often you vape in a day and realise when you're going above your norm. 

Don't Inhale Too Deeply

Deep pulls let even more nicotine enter the brain, which puts you at greater risk of experiencing a nicotine buzz. Simple mindfulness and consideration of how much you inhale each pull are essential to keep this from occurring.

So, be careful and don't inhale too deeply, especially if it's your first vape in the morning, as your nicotine rush will be worse in the morning.

Be Aware of the Different Types of Nicotine Out There

Did you know that there are different types of nicotine out there? It's true. For example, if you get salt-based nicotine, it may be likely to induce dizziness and other side effects than freebase nicotine. This is because it's more potent and absorbs more quickly with a smoother throat hit – you might even forget that you’re inhaling nicotine because of how smooth it is!

Another type of nicotine is freebase nicotine, which is commonly used in the nic shots you might add to your shortfill. Freebase nicotine is made by converting nicotine into its purest form, whereas salt-based nicotine is the chemical in its natural state. While both can cause nicotine rushes, vapers might find it easier to regulate their consumption of freebase nicotine because the distinctive throat hit is more noticeable. 

Understand the Settings on Your Device

Remember that the higher the wattage of your device, the more vapour produced per use and, therefore, the higher the amount of nicotine inhaled.

Many more advanced vapes have a power mode that you can set; vaping at a higher wattage may produce a more intense vaping experience, but it will also deliver nicotine at a higher rate. Meanwhile, a lower wattage setting not only helps you avoid the nicotine buzz but also helps prolong your battery life and your device's life expectancy.

Drink Some Water

While this may seem like quite an odd suggestion, drinking water after vaping can help prevent headaches, headrush, and dizziness. If you have a dry mouth along with these symptoms, then you should definitely get yourself a glass of water. It could mean that you're not struggling with a nicotine buzz but dehydration.

Yes, symptoms can be a sign that you're not drinking enough water. It's well understood that e-liquids (containing propylene glycol) cause dehydration because they're humectants. This means that they absorb water molecules, which can lead to your body being deprived of its much-needed water.


Why do I feel a rush when I vape?

Vaping causes a rush because of the nicotine contained in the vape juice. Nicotine is one of the most common addictive drugs with a stimulant effect, and as such, it affects the central nervous system. The release of adrenaline can cause uncomfortable sensations.

How long does a nicotine buzz last?

Well, this depends on the person and how much they've inhaled. Generally, a nicotine buzz fades quickly. You can expect that a nicotine rush will last about fifteen minutes, although it could be less, or even more, than this. We know that those who use nicotine habitually may find that their buzz is shorter.

How do you stop headrush from vaping?

One of the best ways to prevent headrush from vaping is to buy e-liquid with lower nicotine than you usually vape. Headrush is caused by inhaling too much nicotine, so opting for a lower strength vape juice allows you to continue enjoying your vape without worrying about discomfort.

Is vaping worse for you than smoking?

Many people use vaping to quit smoking and kick their nicotine addiction by switching to nicotine-free vape juice. But don't let getting a nicotine buzz fool you into thinking vaping is terrible for you. Cigarette smoke is much more harmful for your health than vaping because it exposes you to many carcinogenic substances. You can learn more about the benefits of vaping over smoking in our blog here

What are the benefits of vaping?

While a headrush can be disturbing, don't let it alarm you and lead you to presume that something awful is happening to you. Vaping nicotine is a great alternative to cigarettes and can help you kick a smoking habit. There’s even some research that suggests that nicotine might help improve short-term memory.

Does vaping anxiety go away?

Vaping anxiety does go away. In an acute case of nicotine buzz, the anxiety you experience will likely pass in just a few minutes. However, with chronic nicotine inhalation, the only way to make the anxiety go away is to vape less frequently.


While a nicotine buzz can be unpleasant, it shouldn't be why you stop vaping if you enjoy it. There are a lot of ways to lessen the likelihood of it occurring at all. We hope that our list of the top ways you can avoid nicotine rushes was helpful and that you can get back to vaping without the aches and pains. In the meantime, why not browse our range of nicotine-free shortfill e-liquids to enjoy all the fun of vaping without the unpleasant side-effects? 

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