Many smokers engage in the same ritual. After eating their food, they get up from the table, grab their stuff, and head for a post-meal smoke. Similarly, numerous vapers reach for their wax pens and vaporizers right after finishing dinner.
Of course, how the exact ritual looks and what steps it includes may vary depending on the person. For example, some people might leave the table and go outside, while others will stay put and puff away right where they sit.
Nevertheless, both groups will fill their lungs with vapour after satiating their appetite. Why is that?
Well, the short answer is that the power of habit makes them do it. But, the more in-depth we go into this subject, the more complex it becomes.
Here’s why so many people vape after a meal and why it’s probably not the healthiest thing to do:
The After-Meal Vape: Why People Do It?
The post-meal vape is a common habit among vapers. Many people in the process of quitting smoking report that they first started doing this while smoking cigarettes — it simply stuck with them, even after making the transition.
So, why do so many people begin to do it in the first place?
To answer that question, we need to take a look at the following three factors:
- The Role of Nicotine in the Brain
- The Power of Habit
Let’s start with the first one.
The Role of Nicotine in the Brain
Nicotine is one of the main ingredients in cigarettes and e-liquids for vaping. Once inhaled, it travels through the lungs and enters the bloodstream. From there, it makes its way to the brain, where it binds to nicotinic receptors and causes several different effects.
One of those effects is increased alertness. Another is improved attention span and focus. And finally, nicotine can also help people relax and reduce stress levels. These effects are usually short-lived (around 30 minutes to an hour) but can be quite pronounced while they last.
Now, most people smoke or vape tobacco products because they enjoy these effects. And they especially enjoy them when they need a quick pick-me-up or want to concentrate better on something.
Nonetheless, as we all know, smoking and vaping are not exactly healthy habits. So, how can smokers satisfy their cravings for nicotine without harming their health?
Well, that’s where nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) comes in. NRT is a group of products designed to provide smokers with nicotine in a much safer way than cigarettes or vaporizers can.
Some examples of NRT products include gum, patches, inhalers, and lozenges. These products allow smokers to get their daily dose of nicotine without any harmful side effects.
However, NRT products cannot compete with cigarettes or vaporizers when it comes to convenience and price. This is why most smokers will still choose to smoke instead of using NRT products, even though they know smoking is bad for their health. The same goes for vapers who will opt for their wax pens over NRT gum or patches every time.
The Power of Habit
Another factor contributing to the popularity of having a post-meal vape is habit formation.
Habits are behaviours which people perform automatically without any conscious effort or thought. For example, brushing your teeth every morning or tying your shoelaces before going outside are habits most people perform without thinking about them.
Once a habit is formed, it becomes very difficult to break it. This is because it has become hardwired into our brains, and we no longer have any control over it.
The post-meal vape has become a habit for many smokers and vapers because it’s something they do automatically after finishing their meal. It’s like brushing your teeth — you don’t even think about it; you just do it.
This power of habit is why so many people find it very difficult to quit smoking even though they know it’s bad for their health. Their brains have been programmed to crave a cigarette or a puff on their wax pen after a meal, and they can’t break that habit no matter how hard they try.
The final factor contributing to the popularity of the post-meal vape is addiction.
Addiction is a condition in which a person becomes dependent on a substance or behaviour and finds it very difficult to stop using it even though it’s harmful to their health. Smoking and vaping are examples of behaviours that can lead to addiction because they involve the use of nicotine, which is highly addictive.
The fact that the absorption rate in the body is high post a meal promotes forming nicotine addiction. During this time, the body can absorb nicotine much faster and in much more quantity than it would otherwise. It makes the effects of this already potent substance much more pronounced.
On top of that, people addicted to smoking or vaping will often feel withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit, such as irritability, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can be very unpleasant and make it challenging for addicts to stick to their quit attempt.
The After-Meal Vape: Is It Safe?
Now that we’ve looked at the reasons why so many people vape after a meal, let’s answer the question: is it safe?
The short answer is no; it’s not safe. This is because vaping involves the inhalation of vapour which contains harmful chemicals. These chemicals can damage your lungs and cause a number of health problems, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Just like smoking after a meal can increase your risk of cancer, so does going for a quick vape. If you are making an effort to quit, wait a bit after eating before reaching for your vaping device.
The main conclusion from all the above is that vaping after a meal is not good for your health as it can cause numerous health problems. For example, it can lead to coughing and wheezing. In some cases, it can even lead to serious respiratory issues like asthma or even a heart attack.
Yes, it’s true that you won’t get into the same trouble with your lungs as a smoker who has just eaten a meal. However, vaping after a meal exposes your lungs to chemical substances at the same time as you digest your food, which, to put it mildly, is less than ideal.
So, what’s the outtake here? Well, it’s time to stop vaping after a meal and do something else instead. Try to form new, healthy habits that can replace vaping and help you live healthier.