The Toxic Dose of Nicotine: Shattering the Myth. The first port of call in any discussion such as this is to address a long-standing myth. Even today, many high-profile sources list the toxic dose of nicotine (the LD50 – or the dose that can kill about half of individuals exposed) as between 30 and 60 mg.
To place this in context of Vapor Tobacco, this is about 4 ml of 12 mg/ml e-liquid. The body does process nicotine quite quickly (your blood nicotine levels will decrease by about 50 % after two hours), so you’d have to consume all of it basically all at once, making it still quite a tall order.
However, research by Bernd Mayer has shown this value for that toxic dose is completely indefensible. Within the paper, he details several cases by which people consumed larger quantities of nicotine with only minimal symptoms. Along with this, the best quantity of nicotine located in the blood of people who died from nicotine was approximately 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 such results.
The other real question is where did the “30 to 60 mg of nicotine will kill you” claim result from? Mayer followed “circular and often misleading references” for quite a while and ultimately hit on the source: a 1906 textbook from a German toxicologist.
About this basis alone, it’s clear that we now have probably some issues with trusting this as being a source. He was actually a respected toxicologist at the time, but medical knowledge has advanced massively within the century as it was published, so it isn’t surprising that repeating this claim verbatim with no further analysis isn’t the very best idea.
The textbook cited some self-experiments performed within the 1800s, in which experimenters had the equivalent of a few cigarettes’ amount of nicotine and reported seizures and lack of consciousness. It is without saying 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 Excessive Nicotine. Vapers aren’t likely to suffer nicotine poisoning, but one thing that’s fairly common has a tad too much nicotine in just one sitting. The biggest tell-tale sign you’ve reached this time is feeling nauseous. You may notice this towards the end of any long vaping session, and it’s effectively your body letting you know to take a rest from vaping for some time.
Within my experience, this nausea increases gradually, but it’s better to just have a break when you notice it starting. By doing this it never becomes too unpleasant, and you also won’t experience the most important other initial symptom: vomiting. This isn’t difficult to avoid at all, and most vapers could have a break at the first sign of nausea even without having to be advised to accomplish this. You might also get yourself a headache if you’ve overdone it somewhat, but nausea will be the easiest thing to watch out for.
It’s unlikely you’ll actually be able to this stage by vaping, but it’s worth knowing the main things to consider. The most serious nicotine poisoning symptoms are even less very likely to occur when you’re vaping, but are worth mentioning anyway. Such as coma and seizures (like our nineteenth century experimenters experienced), slowed heartrate as well as in the worst cases, respiratory failure. It may not be as poisonous as many sources claim, however 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 certainly something to concern yourself with in practice. Could you vape the right path to some nicotine overdose? Could you find yourself with some of the much more serious signs of nicotine poisoning?
The simplest way to consider this (and to get a straightforward answer!) is to work out exactly how much e-juice you’d have to vaporize in the space of several hours hitting the minimum toxic dose of about 500 mg.
Employing a 12 mg/ml e-juice, you’d have to vaporize over 40 ml to approach 500 mg of nicotine vaporised. Realistically, this just isn’t going to take place. For an 18 mg/ml e-liquid, you’d still need to vape almost 28 ml of e-juice in a couple of hours to also have a chance.
This is actually only the first step, though, as well as the nicotine will have to go into the vapour and become absorbed from your body before it could poison you.
Estimating this aspect is a little tough, but a report from Dr. Farsalinos considered experienced vapers’ plasma nicotine levels after employing a mod plus an 18 mg/ml e-liquid. The analysis didn’t utilize a modern device, but to respond to the true secret question here it’s more than sufficient. The participants vaped 10 puffs in five minutes, then had one hour to djurpj the device 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. Following the full 65 minutes, vapers plasma nicotine levels rose to 24.1 ng/ml, though the highest recorded concentration was 48.1 ng/ml.
In Bernd Mayer’s paper, he highlights that this 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, his or her blood nicotine level will have to be over 80 times higher to achieve the minimum lethal dose. To pile on yet more implausibility, they’d have to accomplish this in just a couple of hours. Quite simply, they’d need to get about 80 times more nicotine in their blood in less than twice how long.
This will clearly show that vapers really can’t overdose on nicotine by using their e-cigarettes as intended. It seems like unlikely that it’d be also physically easy to inhale the maximum amount of vapour as you’d have to.