Vaping and kidney health: How Vaping May Impact Your Kidneys

Vaping and kidney health: How Vaping May Impact Your Kidneys

Does vaping lead to kidney health issues? In this article, we will examine the potential effects of vaping on kidney health. We will look at recent medical research findings and conclude with expert advice on adjusting vaping behavior to minimize any risks.

What is vaping?

Vaping (also called “smoking” with an e-cigarette) is an alternative to traditional smoking of cigarettes. Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling an aerosol that is created when a device, such as an e-cigarette, heats a liquid solution. This liquid, often referred to as “vape juice,” contains a variety of chemicals and flavoring agents. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, but most liquid solutions do contain nicotine, as well as propylene glycol, glycerin and other additives.

The Link between Vaping and Kidney Disease

E-cigarette smoking has been linked to chronic kidney disease in several studies. Some components in the vape juice, such as flavors, dyes, and nicotine, can affect the kidneys’ health. As the kidneys filter the blood, damaging ingredients from vape smoke enter into the bloodstream and eventually accumulate into the kidneys. This can lead to several complications, which may include kidney damage, impairment of the kidneys’ functional capacity, and even kidney failure.

Age has also been linked to vaping and the prevalence of chronic kidney disease. A study of smokers aged 18-24 found that those who smoked e-cigarettes were 2.5 times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. Clearance of nicotine among adults decreases with age, suggesting that older adults are more susceptible to the harmful effects of vapes and nicotine.

Research on Vaping and Kidney Disease

Several animal and human studies have found an increased risk of kidney disease associated with vaping. A study conducted on rats found that vaping induced proteinuria, a sign of kidney damage, and kidney damage was worse when nicotine was present in the liquid solution. Another animal study found that vaping caused damage to the glomeruli and renal tubules, two structures that play important roles in the filtration and elimination of waste products from the body.

More human research is needed to better understand the potential risks associated with vaping and kidney damage. A recent systematic review included twenty cases of vaping-related kidney damage in healthy young or middle-aged adults. The review found that all patients included had significant renal injury after vaping, and the symptoms included proteinuria, hematuria, kidney failure, and a decrease in the filtration rate of the kidneys.

In addition to damage to the kidneys, vaping can also have detrimental effects on other organs, such as the lungs, heart, brain, and liver. Heat from vaping can break down molecules in the smoke which results in heavy metals, such as lead, aluminum, nickel, and zinc, being released into the air. These heavy metals can build up in the bloodstream and organs and cause damage, including increased blood pressure and heart rate.


Vaping can cause significant health risks, including kidney damage, as observed in animal and human studies. Nicotine is a major component in vape juice and can cause damage to the kidneys when its clearance decreases with age. Besides kidney damage, vaping can also be associated with lung disease and other detrimental effects on the heart, brain, and liver. Further research is needed to better understand the potential risks of vaping and kidney disease.