The Toxic Dose of Nicotine: Shattering the Myth. The first port of call in any discussion similar to 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 that will kill about 50 % of men and women exposed) as between 30 and 60 mg.
To set this in context of Vapor Cigs, this would be about 4 ml of 12 mg/ml e-liquid. Your system does process nicotine quite quickly (your blood nicotine levels will decrease by about 50 % after two hours), so you’d have to consume it all basically all at once, that makes it still a significant tall order.
However, research by Bernd Mayer has demonstrated this value for that toxic dose is completely indefensible. Within the paper, he details several cases where people consumed much bigger quantities of nicotine with only minimal symptoms. Along with this, the best amount of nicotine found in the blood of people that died from nicotine was about 20 times higher than existing guidelines. Mayer revises the LD50 of nicotine for an estimated 500 to 1000 mg (or .5 to 1 g) on the basis of those results.
The other question is where did the “30 to 60 mg of nicotine will kill you” claim result 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 that there are probably some issues with trusting this being a source. He had been a respected toxicologist at that time, but medical knowledge has advanced massively inside the century since it was published, so that it isn’t surprising that repeating this claim verbatim without further analysis isn’t the very best idea.
The textbook cited some self-experiments performed in the 19th century, where experimenters had the equivalent of some cigarettes’ worth of nicotine and reported seizures and loss in consciousness. It is going without stating that there was probably some error in measuring out the dose: otherwise chain-smokers would regularly lose consciousness and also have seizures.
Signs You’ve Had A Lot Of Nicotine. Vapers aren’t very likely to suffer nicotine poisoning, but one thing that’s not unusual is having a little too much nicotine in just one sitting. The largest tell-tale sign you’ve reached this aspect is feeling nauseous. You could notice this towards the end of a long vaping session, and it’s effectively your body suggesting to take a rest from vaping for a while.
Inside my experience, this nausea increases gradually, but it’s better to just take a rest when you notice it starting. In this way it never becomes too unpleasant, and you won’t experience the most significant other initial symptom: vomiting. This isn’t difficult to avoid whatsoever, and many vapers may have an escape on the first indication of nausea even without having to be advised to do this. You might also get yourself a headache if you’ve overdone it a little, but nausea is definitely the easiest thing to take into consideration.
It’s unlikely you’ll actually get to this stage by vaping, but it’s worth knowing the main things to consider. Probably the most serious nicotine poisoning symptoms are much less prone to occur when you’re vaping, but are worth mentioning anyway. These include coma and seizures (like our 1800s experimenters experienced), slowed heart rate and then in the worst cases, respiratory failure. It may not be as poisonous as numerous sources claim, but it certainly is still poisonous.
Can You Get Nicotine Poisoning by Vaping? For vapers, the most important question for you is whether this is really something to be concerned about in practice. Would you vape your way to your nicotine overdose? Could you find yourself with some of the more serious signs and symptoms of nicotine poisoning?
The easiest method to consider this (and to get a straightforward answer!) is to work out how much e-juice you’d have to vaporize in the space of several hours going to the minimum toxic dose of about 500 mg.
Employing a 12 mg/ml e-juice, you’d need to vaporize over 40 ml to approach 500 mg of nicotine vaporised. Realistically, this just isn’t going to happen. For the 18 mg/ml e-liquid, you’d still need to vape almost 28 ml of e-juice in a number of hours to even have a chance.
This is actually only the first step, though, as well as the nicotine would have to go into the vapour and stay absorbed by the body before it could poison you.
Estimating this aspect is a touch tough, but research from Dr. Farsalinos considered experienced vapers’ plasma nicotine levels after utilizing a mod plus an 18 mg/ml e-liquid. The analysis didn’t make use of a modern device, but to answer the real key question here it’s a lot more than sufficient. The participants vaped 10 puffs in five minutes, then had one hour to djurpj the unit however much they liked.
After a few minutes, experienced vapers ended up with about 8 nanograms (billionths of the 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 indicates that this minimum plasma concentration recorded from a person who died from nicotine overdose was 4,000 ng/ml (similar to 4 mg per liter).
Based on the vaper who got the best plasma nicotine levels, his or her 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 under two hours. In other words, they’d need to get about 80 times more nicotine in their blood within twice the amount of time.
This ought to clearly reveal that vapers really can’t overdose on nicotine by making use of their e-cigarettes as intended. It seems unlikely that it’d be physically easy to inhale just as much vapour as you’d must.