Nicotine Buzz: Why Do I Feel Dizzy When I Vape?

Wondering why you feel dizzy when you vape? You are one of hundreds of thousands of vapers who have taken their nicotine buzz a step too far. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced vapers alike experience lightheadedness, nausea, and dizziness when they vape. But why does it happen? And what can you do to stop it?

Why Do I Feel Light Headed After Vaping?

The answer is simple enough, it is nicotine. Unless you are puffing on a zero nicotine disposables or nicotine free vape juice, the chance is that your e-liquid contains at least some nicotine. You can choose from a sliding scale of strengths including low doses like 3mg and high concentrations like 48mg. With such a wide range of nicotine strengths to choose from, it is no wonder that vapers occasionally choose the wrong strength. 

Nicotine is a naturally occurring alkaloid that is found in all sorts of plants from aubergines to potatoes. You might recognize this alkaloid from its relation to the tobacco plant. The tobacco plant contains the highest concentration of nicotine, so it is the go-to choice for manufacturers who want to extract the alkaloid. 

It is not uncommon for people who consume nicotine to feel nauseous or dizzy. But, this does not mean that you have to suffer in silence. There are lots of ways that you can reduce or even avoid nicotine-induced nausea completely. 

New Vapers

It is common for new vapers to feel dizzy from nicotine. 

Some new vapers are ex-smokers who have months or even years of experience consuming nicotine. But other beginner vapers are new to the world of nicotine entirely. They often choose the wrong nicotine concentration and experience some of the negative side effects that we have talked about. 

If you choose a conservative amount of nicotine, your body should acclimatize over time. However, a bigger problem arises when beginner vapers are too ambitious. It can take the human body a while to acclimatize to the effects of nicotine. Beginner vapers who jump straight to 50mg strength e-liquids can expect to experience headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

This can be a common problem with popular disposable vapes that only come in a high strength (50mg) 5% nicotine.

Experienced Vapers

Even experienced vapers are not exempt from this problem. No matter how experienced you are, you need to choose a nicotine strength that is compatible with your limits. People who have been vaping for five years might feel satisfied with a 12mg nicotine-strength vape juice, and others might prefer a 36mg strength liquid. When it comes to nicotine, you should never take leaps and bounds. If you want to increase your nicotine consumption, you should always take a gradual approach. 

Finding the right nicotine strength can be tricky, but we are here to help. Have a browse through some of the other factors that can cause nicotine nausea. 

Other Factors

You would be forgiven for thinking that nicotine strength is the only factor that can cause nausea. Many vapers find themselves plagued by dizziness even though they have adjusted their nicotine consumption. In fact, lots of factors can impact your vape hit. The type of e-liquid you choose, the way that you vape, and the customizable options on your vape device could all be responsible for unwanted side effects. 

Nic Salts

Nicotine salts contain nicotine in its most natural form. Manufacturers extract this organic material from tobacco leaves and mix it into e-liquids. The human body can easily absorb nicotine salts, which means that they hit your bloodstream far quicker than standard e-liquids. They are compatible with MTL (Mouth-to-Lung) vape hits.

Most beginners take MTL vape hits because they replicate the feeling of smoking a cigarette. That, paired with the fact that nicotine salts are compatible with pod style, lower wattage devices, means that beginner vapers flock to nicotine salts. But beware, this kind of vape juice contains medium to high concentrations of nicotine. 

New vapers often struggle to acclimatize to the intensity of nicotine salts. Nicotine salts peak when they contain high concentrations of nicotine, which pushes some beginners to consume more nicotine than normal. 10mg nicotine strength salts feel more intense than your regular 10mg e-liquid. 

To avoid nicotine salt nausea, consider choosing a lower-strength nicotine salt and gradually increasing your consumption.

Read our full guide on nicotine salts.

Did you know? Freebase nicotine is the alternative to nicotine salts. It is the most common type of nicotine found in e-liquids, and it is perfect for people who prefer lower nicotine strengths. 

Vaping Too Frequently

This is a tricky one. It is tempting to keep drawing on your device, especially if you are enjoying the positive effects of nicotine. But taking too many puffs or drawing on your device for too long can have a negative impact on your overall experience. 

New DTL (Direct-to-Lung) vapers often fall into this trap. They need to take long, consistent draws on their device to create impressive clouds. Cloud chasers can get caught up in creating eye-catching plumes of vapor, but taking too many draws for too long can mean that you are not inhaling enough oxygen. 

MTL vapers can also feel lightheaded if they take too many draws, especially considering that compatible e-liquids tend to contain higher nicotine strengths.

Drawing too hard on your device is a common mistake. Most draw-activated devices tend to be sensitive, which means that beginners might mistakenly draw too hard and receive more nicotine than normal.  

Wattage Too high

Device settings play a big role in your overall experience.

Modern vape kits have lots of customization options. It can feel overwhelming, but it is important to understand some of the basics. Wattage can have a big impact on your vape hit. The higher the wattage, the more nicotine you get per puff. 

Reduce the wattage on your device and take a few puffs. Do you still feel dizzy? Just keep adjusting the wattage until you have found your sweet spot.  

What You Need to Know About Your Nicotine Buzz

Nicotine buzz, nicotine rush, nic kick, whatever you call it, it is the reason behind a multi-billion dollar industry. So, what do you need to know about your nicotine buzz?

Nicotine is a popular stimulant drug. It stimulates the adrenal glands, which makes adrenaline release. It also stimulates a number of other hormones and receptors in your brain. This is the process behind the ‘kick’ or the ‘high’ you feel after you have taken a puff on your vape. 

Like any other stimulant, nicotine has side effects. 

  • Increases blood pressure
  • Increases heart rate
  • Reduces appetite
  • Causes nausea
  • Causes dizziness
  • Temporarily improves concentration
  • Temporarily improves memory

Some of the side effects sit on opposite sides of the spectrum. We know that the right dose of nicotine causes a nicotine buzz, but what about too much nicotine?

Side Effects of Too Much Nicotine

It is difficult to quantify how much is ‘too much’ nicotine. Ultimately, this amount depends on your tolerance levels. Genetics can play as big a part in this as exposure, which means that you might never be able to reach 36mg without experiencing some dizziness. 

Genetics aside, what are some common negative side effects of nicotine?

Headaches are a common symptom of too much nicotine. Nicotine causes the blood vessels in your brain to narrow, which reduces the amount of blood that flows through your brain. This also reduces the amount of glucose and oxygen that is transported around your brain. 

Sleepiness is another prominent side effect. Conversations around nicotine often focus on its ability to increase alertness and concentration, but large quantities of nicotine can act as a sedative. It prompts the release of beta-endorphin in your brain, which reduces anxiety and numbs pain. The more nicotine you consume, the more immediate the effect is. 

And of course, if you consume too much nicotine, you may feel lightheaded, nauseous, and dizzy. This is commonly known as being nic sick. When you take a puff on your device, nicotine enters your bloodstream. The amount of nicotine and the speed at which it enters your blood has a big impact on the end result. If you choose the maximum nicotine concentration and draw on your device for as long as possible, nicotine will rush through your bloodstream and overwhelm your system.

Find out more about how long nicotine stays in your system.

Nicotine Buzz: Why Do I Feel Dizzy When I Vape?

How Long Does a Nicotine Buzz Last?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Some sources state that their nicotine buzz lasts up to ten seconds, whereas others say that the rush lasts for up to two hours. 

The consensus is that most people experience the buzz for up to 30 minutes. From personal experience, we can confirm that the rush is most noticeable ten or so seconds after inhalation. The intense effects last for a few minutes. After that, you will be left with the satisfying, relaxing effects of nicotine for up to 30 minutes.

Will Any Nicotine Product Give You a Buzz?

Yes and no. Any product that contains nicotine is designed to produce a nicotine buzz, but there are lots of factors at play. 

Nicotine pouches, nicotine inhalers, and vape devices are all alternatives to cigarettes. They are designed to transport nicotine into your bloodstream as fast as possible. Of course, the effectiveness of these products depends on you. If you buy nicotine pouches that contain a much smaller concentration than you are accustomed to, you might not experience a buzz. 

How to Get Over a Nicotine Buzz?

Is your nicotine buzz lasting forever? You might be more sensitive to nicotine than other people, which means that someone else’s pleasant buzz is your inconvenience.

If you want to stop your nicotine buzz before it becomes full-blown nausea, keep reading. Here are some of the ways that vapers reduce or eliminate their nicotine buzz. 

  • Exercise – Exercising is one of the best ways to remove nicotine from your body. We recommend any exercise that will make you sweat. You can reduce your nicotine buzz and make the feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain release endorphins at the same time. It’s a win-win!  
  • Go for a walk  – Walking is a great way to increase the oxygen in your system. Too much nicotine can narrow the blood vessels in your brain, which can contribute to one of the more well-known nic sickness symptoms: headaches. By increasing the oxygen flow through your body, you can reverse the effects of nicotine.   
  • Drink water – If you don’t want to exercise, this is your next best bet. Nicotine is not only expelled from the body through sweat; it is also expelled through urine. Drink plenty of water, and avoid other beverages. By drinking water, you will flush waste products from your kidneys and liver. Beware, caffeine can have a similar effect on the body, so we recommend avoiding coffee when you want to get over a nicotine buzz. 
  • Take your mind off it – It is no surprise that too much of a nicotine buzz can make you panic. Nausea, lightheadedness, and dizziness are difficult to ignore, but panicking can cause the same symptoms. Watch a movie, play your favorite game, or read a book while you wait for your nicotine rush to subside. 

Wrapping Up 

Nicotine can be a great tool for people who want a buzz of energy and satisfaction. It is easy to misuse nicotine, especially when the focus is always on trying new e-liquids and experimenting with advanced mods. Small things like wattage, draw length, and the type of e-liquid that you use can have a big impact on your vape experience, and they can even lead to nic sickness. 
We encourage vapers to try out all the mods, pods, and e-liquids that they need to find their ideal nicotine buzz. If you start to feel lightheaded or nauseous, you can always try vaping without nicotine.


Jules M
Jules M
Jules is our vaping font of knowledge. He has been a passionate vaping supporter since 2013 and spends his time trying to educate people with ‘facts’ on the safety and benefits of vaping.

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