The Toxic Dose of Nicotine: Shattering the Myth. The very first port of call in any discussion like this is to address a long-standing myth. To this day, many high-profile sources list the toxic dose of nicotine (the LD50 – or the dose which will kill about 50 % of men and women exposed) as between 30 and 60 mg.
To place this in context of Vapor Cigarette, this would be about 4 ml of 12 mg/ml e-liquid. Your body does process nicotine quite quickly (your blood nicotine levels will decrease by about 50 % after a couple of hours), so you’d have to consume everything basically all at once, that makes it still a serious tall order.
However, research by Bernd Mayer indicates this value for the toxic dose is completely indefensible. Inside the paper, he details several cases by which people consumed much larger levels of nicotine with only minimal symptoms. Along with this, the cheapest quantity of nicotine located in the blood of people that died from nicotine was about 20 times more than existing guidelines. Mayer revises the LD50 of nicotine to an estimated 500 to 1000 mg (or .5 to 1 g) on the basis of such results.
The remaining question is where did the “30 to 60 mg of nicotine will kill you” claim come from? Mayer followed “circular and quite often misleading references” for quite a while and in the end hit on the source: a 1906 textbook coming from a German toxicologist.
With this basis alone, it’s clear there are probably some difficulties with trusting this being a source. He was a respected toxicologist during the time, but medical knowledge has advanced massively inside the century as it was published, so that it isn’t surprising that repeating this claim verbatim with no further analysis isn’t the most effective idea.
The textbook cited some self-experiments performed within the 1800s, by which experimenters had the equivalent of a few cigarettes’ amount of nicotine and reported seizures and loss in consciousness. It is going without proclaiming that there was clearly probably some error in measuring out your dose: otherwise chain-smokers would regularly lose consciousness and possess seizures.
Signs You’ve Had Excessive Nicotine. Vapers aren’t prone to suffer nicotine poisoning, but one thing that’s not unusual is having a touch too much nicotine in a single sitting. The largest tell-tale sign you’ve reached this aspect is feeling nauseous. You may notice this towards the end of the long vaping session, and it’s effectively your system suggesting to take a rest from vaping for quite a while.
Within my experience, this nausea increases gradually, but it’s better to just take a rest when you notice it starting. This way it never becomes too unpleasant, and also you won’t experience the most significant other initial symptom: vomiting. This isn’t difficult to avoid at all, and most vapers may have a break in the first sign of nausea even without being advised to do so. You might also get a headache if you’ve overdone it somewhat, but nausea is the easiest thing to watch out for.
It’s unlikely you’ll actually get to this stage by vaping, but it’s worth knowing a few things to consider. By far the most serious nicotine poisoning symptoms are even less likely to occur when you’re vaping, but they are worth mentioning anyway. Such as coma and seizures (like our 19th century experimenters experienced), slowed heart rate and in the worst cases, respiratory failure. It is probably not as poisonous as many sources claim, but it is really still poisonous.
Are You Able To Get Nicotine Poisoning by Vaping? For vapers, the most significant real question is whether this is actually something to worry about in reality. Could you vape the right path to a nicotine overdose? Could you wind up with the more serious signs and symptoms of nicotine poisoning?
The easiest way to consider this (and to acquire a straightforward answer!) is to determine how much e-juice you’d actually have to vaporize within the space of a few hours hitting the minimum toxic dose of about 500 mg.
Utilizing a 12 mg/ml e-juice, you’d must vaporize over 40 ml to approach 500 mg of nicotine vaporised. Realistically, this just isn’t going to happen. To have an 18 mg/ml e-liquid, you’d still have to vape almost 28 ml of e-juice in a handful of hours to actually have a chance.
This is actually only the first step, though, as well as the nicotine will have to get into the vapour and become absorbed by the body before it might poison you.
Estimating this aspect is a bit tough, but a report from Dr. Farsalinos considered experienced vapers’ plasma nicotine levels after using a mod and an 18 mg/ml e-liquid. The analysis didn’t utilize a modern device, but to respond to the key question here it’s a lot more than sufficient. The participants vaped 10 puffs in a few minutes, then had one hour to djurpj the device however much they liked.
After 5 minutes, experienced vapers ended up with about 8 nanograms (billionths of a gram) of nicotine per ml of blood. Right after the full 65 minutes, vapers plasma nicotine levels rose to 24.1 ng/ml, even though the highest recorded concentration was 48.1 ng/ml.
In Bernd Mayer’s paper, he points out that the minimum plasma concentration recorded from someone who died from nicotine overdose was 4,000 ng/ml (comparable to 4 mg per liter).
Based on the vaper who got the best plasma nicotine levels, her or his blood nicotine level will have to be over 80 times higher to reach the minimum lethal dose. To pile on yet more implausibility, they’d have to achieve this in just a couple of hours. Quite simply, they’d have to get about 80 times more nicotine in their blood in under twice how long.
This ought to clearly reveal that vapers really can’t overdose on nicotine by utilizing their e-cigarettes as intended. It seems unlikely that it’d be physically easy to inhale the maximum amount of vapour as you’d must.