Vaping and coughing shouldn’t go together, but it does happen. If you are a new vaper, you should be aware that it is natural that you might cough and that it is pretty standard, especially for new vapers adjusting and coming from cigarette smoking. But what are the main reasons why vaping occurs, and how can you prevent them? In this blog, we talk about vaping without coughing, all the factors that contribute to a vape cough, and how you can stop them from happening.\
Table of Contents
- What is a Cough?
- What Causes Coughing?
- Why Do You Cough When You Vape?
What is a Cough?
According to Harvard Health, although often viewed as a sign of illness, a cough is beneficial and helps fight disease and expels “mucus, microbes, and foreign particles from the respiratory tract, protecting the lungs from infection and inflammation” (Harvard Health, 2019).
What Causes Coughing?
More importantly, a cough can be voluntary or involuntary. Several things can trigger a cough. According to Harvard Health, “nerves can be irritated by infections, allergies, cold air, tumors, chemical agents such as smoke, mechanical factors such as dust particles, or by normal body fluids such as nasal mucus or stomach acid.” So as you can see, a large number of things can trigger a cough, and even just the vapor of a vape could trigger a cough, but not always. There are more precise reasons why people cough when vaping; since most vapers seem to have no coughing problem when vaping, there are many ways to fix and prevent coughing.
Why Do You Cough When Vaping?
There are many reasons why you could be coughing when vaping. Coughing while vaping could occur because of the ratio of Propylene Glycol on your vape juice, because you are using the wrong technique when vaping, or you are probably using the wrong nicotine level, the wrong device, or maybe you are currently dehydrated. All of these reasons could be the cause of why you cough when you vape. But fret not; we will go over all of these (and more) in detail in the following sections.
Sensitivity to Propylene Glycol
One of the reasons you could be coughing when you vape is that you could be sensitive to Propylene Glycol. More propylene glycol in the VG/PG ratio could mean a harsher throat hit, which could be the culprit to why you cough when vaping.
There is also the matter that some people are sensitive to propylene glycol, and some are even allergic to it, and this is one of the primary reasons why taking a hit of a high propylene glycol ratio vape juice could lead to coughing.
To avoid this, you can always try a less heavy propylene glycol vape juice that uses less than 40% PG or even a maxed-out vape juice that has zero propylene glycol and is 100% vegetable glycerin.
Using The Wrong Technique When Vaping
Another reason why you might be experiencing a cough every time you vape is because you are using the wrong technique when vaping. This is a significant problem and the main reason newbie vapers cough.
Essentially there are two techniques in vaping, mouth to lung and direct to lung. Vaping mouth to lung is easy, instead of drawing (or inhaling) fast and hard to get more smoke, as one usually does if smoking a cigarette, when vaping you should inhale soft and slow, since no matter how fast or how hard you vape you’ll still get the same amount of vapor.
After inhaling soft and slow, you’ll want to store the vapor in your mouth, and then after a few seconds have gone by, pull it to your lungs and then exhale. This is the proper way to inhale and use a vape.
The other technique is the same except that you’ll want to pull directly to your lungs, but again the same principle stands. Don’t try to pull fast and hard to get more vapor; try soft and slow and for a more extended period. By practicing these two techniques, you’ll be blowing plumes of smoke without coughing in no time.
Using the Wrong Nicotine Level
If technique and propylene glycol aren’t the factors making you cough, you should consider nicotine levels. The nicotine level in your vape juice could be a significant player in why you are constantly coughing.
If you happen to be a new vaper, you might haven’t considered the nicotine level in your vape. Since newbies aren’t looking for this when buying their vape juice, e-liquids are often sold without a nicotine level in mind, and they unknowingly buy them without asking first for advice.
Although a good vape salesman usually asks some questions before purchasing, this isn’t always the case.
For newbies who are making the switch to vaping from cigarette smoking and don’t know what kind of nicotine strength they get, so they don’t cough, they should follow these approximations:
- 0mg: 0 milligrams equals zero cigarettes.
- 3mg: equals less than ten cigarettes a day.
- 6mg: equals about half a pack of cigarettes a day.
- 12mg: equals about a pack of cigarettes a day.
- 18mg or higher: this is equal to about a pack and a half a day.
However, it would be best if you remembered that nicotine levels are highly subjective. They vary by a person because everyone absorbs nicotine differently. So your best bet to combat coughing is to begin at the bottom of the nicotine strength ladder and slowly make your way up until you find a comfortable strength where you can get strong nicotine hit, but that does not make you cough.
You should also consider that you might be using the wrong type of nicotine. Nicotine salts that are more potent than traditional nicotine or freebase nicotine are usually sold, and newbies might be buying nicotine salts that can reach almost 25mg and 50mg. And although they are a lot smoother to inhale, someone not used to this strength of nicotine could cough due to the nicotine content.
Using the Wrong Device
Perhaps the problem might be that you are using the wrong device. In the world of vaping, many types of devices are available to vapers. Some make the mistake of starting with a much more advanced device. These types of devices, often called sub-ohm vapes or box mods, deliver nicotine more quickly to the body, and starting with one of these if you aren’t used to traditional vape juices could be why you are coughing. To prevent coughing in this scenario, try switching to a more simple device like a vape pen or pod system, which are easier to use and don’t deliver nicotine to the body as quickly.
For those of you who did not know, vaping can dry your mouth. Even a phenomenon called “vapers tongue” occurs to vapers who vape too often where the taste buds go numb and dry out, making vapers unable to taste the flavors of their favorite vape juice. Because of this, you could be coughing because you are vaping without being hydrated, and the added effect of the vape is causing you to vape.
To prevent both coughing and vaper’s tongue, keep a bottle of water close at hand and stay hydrated while vaping.
Stop Chain Vaping and Slow Down
Although this also happens to be related to technique, you could be coughing because you are chain vaping. Chain vaping, similar to chain-smoking, is another primary reason why people cough.
Although you could be vaping with the correct technique, increasing the speed at which you take your hits could make you cough since you will be inhaling nicotine at a much faster rate. To prevent this, you should consider switching to a higher nicotine level vape juice since you most likely aren’t receiving enough of a nicotine high. Alternatively, you could also try a higher PG ratio vape juice to get a harsher throat hit that would make the experience of vaping more similar to smoking.
Finally, when switching from smoking to vaping, there is an adjustment period where you have to wait it out. You’ll probably be coughing while your body adjusts to a new form of nicotine. Since you won’t be inhaling ash and tar but a pure vapor, you might begin to cough all the leftover toxins from smoking while starting to vape. So the answer to this is to wait it out while vaping becomes your main form of nicotine intake.
As you can see, coughing can occur for many reasons; from using the wrong technique to being simply dehydrated, many things can make you cough while vaping. But it would help if you didn’t let that deter you from vaping and enjoying a new hobby. We are sure that with our guide, you’ll find out the reason for your vape cough, and once you address it you will learn how to hit a vape pen without coughing.
- Harvard Health. (2019, February 7). That nagging cough. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/that-nagging-cough