Is It Possible To Get Nicotine Poisoning From E-Cigarettes?

When you are trying to get healthy and switch to vaping, probably the last thing you would want to do is put your health in jeopardy, and be susceptible to e cig nicotine poisoning or other health concerns. It is common to hear stories in the user forums from people that have gone through this, and apparently it makes the person feel like they are dying – at least for a short period until some of the effect wears off. The truth is that E cigarette nicotine poisoning is very rare, and would literally be hard to get.

Be Careful With NicotineAccording to the National Institutes of Health, this typically occurs when children accidentally ingest nicotine gum or patches, however, it can occur with folks who smoke or vape as well (but is nearly impossible).

What you want to do is think clearly, and not do anything that you think might not be safe or smart. If you smoke and vape at the same time, that would not be smart. If you put eliquid in any other device other than an e-cigarette, that would not be smart either. You can really protect yourself from 99% of the dangers by thinking clearly, and using common sense. Electronic cigarette nicotine poisoning is like hearing that someone got caffeine poisoning by drinking gallons of coffee – so it is actually difficult for the average person to get.

Nicotine poisoning can include the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Agitation, restlessness, or excitement
  • Muscular twitching
  • Breathing – rapid
  • Breathing – stops
  • Burning sensation in mouth
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling (increased salivation)
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Heartbeat – pounding and rapid, followed by slow heart rate
  • High blood pressure, which then drops
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

According to some of the studies that have been conducted on nicotine poisoning, if an adult consumed 50-60mg of nicotine (about 30-40 cigarettes) and if it was absorbed all at one time, it could kill them. The literature goes on to say that one cigarette worth of nicotine could make a small child extremely sick, so it makes good sense to know what these risks really are. It seems that these amounts are excessively high, and that it would be almost impossible for anyone to take in these amounts, so the risks of this occurring are very, very low.

You Shouldn't Drink 3 Gallons of Coffee EitherNicotine is a stimulant, and it affect the chemicals in your brain. It just makes sense to think that you could get sick from taking too many stimulants. That would be like taking in a massive amount of caffeine by drinking 3 gallons of coffee. It is highly unlikely that this would occur, but it is a good idea to acknowledge that the risk exists – for people that just don’t know.

It is crazy to think that there are actually people in the electronic cigarette forums that are scaring people with these ideas, and in 99.9% of the cases online, they are not backing up their claims with any facts at all. It is possible to get sick from consuming nearly anything in excessive amounts, and nicotine is no exception.

Someone could get very sick and even die if they take in large amounts of any of the household chemicals and substances under the kitchen sink in the average home. By not consuming any chemicals in large amounts, and using common sense, most people will be safe and will not even come close to accidentally taking in too much. Nicotine poisoning with electronic cigarettes would almost require you to vape non-stop and not exhale for a 24 hour period – so hopefully you will never decide to do this.

What you tend to hear in the e-cigarette forums is how regular tobacco cigarettes reduce the risk of nicotine poisoning more effectively than e-cigs do. Evidently, the argument here is that a regular tobacco cigarette filter prevents high levels of nicotine from being absorbed by smokers.

These same people make the argument that because there is no filter in e-cigarettes, the nicotine amounts in vapor are somehow much higher – and that simply isn’t true. E-Liquid is a highly diluted form of nicotine, and the propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin base dilutes the nicotine even further.

Take It SlowThe truth is that you can adjust the amount of nicotine to lower levels with e-cigarettes – than you can with regular tobacco cigs. Since normal thinking people usually make the switch from smoke to vapor to lower their levels of nicotine consumption, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to think that these people are going to look for or find a way to ingest much higher amounts.

In all likelihood, the average person will take in a lot less nicotine, since most e-liquid is diluted with a base liquid, and because the exact amounts are listed. With regular cigarettes, they don’t even have the nicotine amounts per cigarette or per pack on the product, so you really don’t know how much you are getting without looking it up online.

Yes, you could inhale too much vapor in too short of an amount of time. If you start feeling light-headed, or have any of the symptoms listed above – stop vaping. Take a break, relax, and drink some water and chill out.

Do not keep taking in more and more vapor if you are experiencing any feelings than you would normally have when smoking or vaping. If you are new to vaping, start off with a lower level and see if that works for you – before using e-liquid with a higher concentration. Probably trying eliquid with 10-15 mg would be a good starting point – if you are unsure about where to start.



Hello, I am Rob Kinnis, the owner of I enjoy helping people like myself feel the freedom of getting away from the harsh chemicals and heavy taxes that cigarettes represent. Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions that you might have - and have a fantastic day!

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