What is "Nic Sick?"
“Nic sick”—otherwise known as nicotine sickness, nicotine poisoning, or nicotine overdose—results from excessive exposure to nicotine beyond your usual consumption. Although you can only be nic sick if you consume nicotine, the condition is not exclusive to smokers. The symptoms experienced during this time are generally non-specific, and vary from person to person.
According to the American Lung Association, “nic sick” symptoms can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomachache and loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Mouth watering
If you start to experience these symptoms around 15 minutes after consuming nicotine, you could be “nic sick.” These symptoms can come on within 15 minutes to 1 hour of consuming. Within 30 minutes to 4 hours, the symptoms can shift and may include:
- Weakness, slow reflexes, or unable to control muscles
- Pale skin
If you start to experience any of these symptoms, there’s a few things you can do to help combat it:
- Stop vaping or smoking until symptoms subside
- Remove yourself from the room if there are others smoking or vaping
- Drink plenty of water
- Take a hot shower or bath, as the steam should help
If symptoms continue to persevere for long periods of time, consult your GP. If someone you know is experiencing severe symptoms or is unconscious, call emergency services. Each person varies on how they experience symptoms, so usually you can deal with this yourself at home, although it is important to know when medical attention is needed.
How can vapers avoid getting "Nic Sick?"
For vapers, e-liquids such as nic salts can cause nicotine poisoning if the solution is ingested. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one teaspoon of liquid nicotine can be fatal for children as small as 26 pounds. The liquid nicotine can also be fatal to pets if ingested.
It’s crucial to keep your nicotine products safely away from children and animals. E-liquids for vapes will come in a bottle with a childproof cap, so make sure to check that its correctly sealed after using, and then placed away from reach. If you can, try and keep your e-liquids in their original packaging, but if that’s not possible, try and keep it in a container that can be safely sealed and kept out of reach.
This is the same for empty products. Even if they seem empty, there can still be some liquid left—make sure to seal up bottles correctly before throwing them away, and try to wrap them up in an additional carrier bag to avoid any spillage.
It’s worth noting that a nicotine overdose is incredibly unlikely, and would require a very high level of overexposure to nicotine. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get nic sick, however, so it’s important to make sure you are clued up to prevent any further issues.
Overview: Nic Sick is Preventable
Although the term nic sick sounds scary, (and it is, to a degree!) it is very much preventable. In addition, most new vapers will experience nic sickness as they find their optimal nicotine strength, and the symptoms almost always resolve on their own in a couple of hours.
Following our tips on this post will help you keep yourself, your fellow smokers and vapers, and those around you safe. A big part of keeping yourself safe from nic sick also involves being aware of what the symptoms are, and being conscious of when you may be experiencing them.
Keeping your nicotine items, whether you’re a vaper or smoker, is also an essential when it comes to avoiding nic sick. Simply making sure that the child proof lid on your e-liquid is a core and crucial step, and requires almost no effort!
Nic sick is preventable, and almost anyone can keep themselves safe from it.