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How Can You Tell if Someone Is Vaping? 7 Signs To Look For

May 22, 2023

Vaping is an increasingly popular activity for people across the globe, but it's still misunderstood by so many. If you've begun to suspect that someone close to you has started vaping but hasn't informed you, there are clues you can pay attention to. While it's important not to jump to conclusions too soon, or come across overly accusatory, if you're concerned, there are ways to tell if someone you know has started vaping. 

To help you identify these, we've listed some of the critical indicators below for you to familiarise yourself with. One of these signs on its own doesn't guarantee a vaping habit, but they're still essential to know. Let's walk you through them. 

1. You Notice An Unusually Sweet Scent Around Them

Vapes juice is deliberately flavoured in a sweet way to encourage continued consumption. It's an effective tactic, making the vapour they produce taste delicious. However, this also carries a strong scent. 

If you notice an unusually sweet smell around someone that was never there before, they could have started vaping more frequently. It might be that they're just using a new perfume or shampoo, but vape scents are pretty identifiable due to their potency. 

2. Their Relationship with Caffeine Changes

Interestingly, increased nicotine consumption can also lead to a heightened sensitivity to caffeine in certain individuals. This is because they both affect the release of dopamine in similar ways. Although some people appreciate this increased sensitivity, others find it overwhelming, and you may notice that they stop drinking coffee altogether. This could be an indicator of increased nicotine consumption. 

Of course, this can swing in the other direction too. You might notice that they're more interested in coffee than they've ever been before. This increased sensitivity can go either way. Some love it and some hate it, so try to watch how many cups of Joe they're going through.

3. They're Thirstier Than They Used to Be

Vapers often uses the phrases ‘dry mouth’ or ‘cotton mouth’ to describe dehydration. This is primarily caused by propylene glycol, one of the main ingredients in e-juice (the liquid that gives vapes their flavour). For this reason, many vapers find themselves drinking more than they ever did before. It's one of the more noticeable changes to look out for. 

This dehydration extends beyond the inside of their body too. It can also cause increased dry skin or sensitivity. This is especially true if they use a high propylene glycol content vape. 

4. They Seem to be Coughing More Often

Vaping is known to inflame oral tissue and cells within the mouth, which invariably leads to increased coughing. If someone you know seems to be coughing far more than usual, it may be because they've started vaping. If you hear them clearing their throat more often, that is also a clue that they've started vaping. However, these are common symptoms of many illnesses, so don't immediately assume vaping is the cause. 

5. You Start to Notice Unfamiliar Items

Vapes come in all shapes and sizes, and while the innovation behind their multiple designs is a selling point, it can also make them pretty difficult to identify. Some look like earbud cases, whereas others look like USB pens, and some look completely unrecognizable. This is likely only a relevant indicator if you spend a lot of time with or live with this person, but if you start noticing unusual items in their possession, it could be their growing vape collection. 

6. They Experience Mood Swings More Often

Nicotine has been associated with increased positive mood for some time, but that effect isn't permanent. Although consumers may feel a certain buzz after they've had a hit of nicotine, it soon wears off, meaning their mood is less predictable. If someone you know has started to experience significant mood swings, it might be because of their new relationship with nicotine. 

7. They Are Eating Less Than Usual

Finally, nicotine is an appetite suppressant. If you notice that they're eating much less than they ordinarily do, or seem to have less interest in their favourite foods, it could be due to an increase in the nicotine they're consuming. If you're a parent, this is one of the more noticeable clues, as you're likely the one responsible for their meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Check if Someone Has Vaped?

Following the clues we've provided is a great way to get a headstart on whether or not someone is vaping, but it's a little tricky to know with absolute certainty. If you've identified a few of the indicators above and feel confident, asking the person upfront if they have vaped is a good option.

What Are 3 Signs of a Vaping Addiction?

If you not only believe that someone you know is vaping, but may even be addicted, you must understand the signs. These include:

  1. A Persistent Urge to Vape: If they seem unable to go for extended periods without vaping, it could indicate that they've become addicted. 
  2. Increased Irritability When Unable to Vape: If, when forced to go without vaping, they appear irritable or even aggressive, this is a strong indicator of addiction. 
  3. Nicotine Withdrawals: Lastly, presenting symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, sweating, restlessness, insomnia, and food cravings indicate nicotine withdrawal. 


Vaping can be a positive experience when done so responsibly. If someone you know likes to vape, it isn't necessarily a problem. For more information about vaping and the different devices available, visit our site today. You may find something you love!

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