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Why does Vaping make me cough?

By Russell Hirata | Aug 12, 2019 | Vape Blog | 8 min read

Why does Vaping make me cough?

A big common issue that is brought up is people coughing from e-cigarettes or vape products. Making the move from tobacco cigarettes to vaping is a positive health decision. The last thing you would want to worry about is if vaping has negative side effects.

Tobacco products are proven to have irritants and harmful chemicals that can ultimately lead to lung cancer or lung disease. Electronic cigarettes can help alleviate those problems and help quit smoking! It takes many vape puffs to equal one cigarette making vapes a better alternative for nicotine consumption.

Have you experienced coughing or wheezing while vaping e-liquid? Do not worry! Many doubters of vaping have compared e-liquid vapor to tobacco smoke. The cough experienced from vaping is nothing similar to a smoker's cough.

Anytime you inhale something foreign, your body's natural reaction is to cough. Some people can be more sensitive than others. Now you ask, well if I am coughing, it must be bad! The answer is no! This is a natural reaction but we cough to many different things we experience in life and not everything is bad.

For example, many people cough when they take medicine via inhaling for the first time! Coughing from vaping does not always last forever and some people may never experience this reaction from their first time. Coughing normally occurs during the first couple of vapes, then your body adjusts.

In most cases, new vapers develop a nicotine tolerance over time. There are also many ways to help alleviate the need to cough. Coughing is not a tell-tale sign that something is bad and should not deter you away from vaping!

Always remember that any vape products legally sold are approved by the FDA which means that almost all vape products are safe to vape! Coughing is natural.

So, why does vaping make me cough?

To understand coughing from vaping, vapers need to first understand what e-liquid is compromised of. You have probably seen on bottles giving a ratio of PG and VG. PG stands for propylene glycol while VG stands for vegetable glycerin. Both of these liquids are used to make up the majority of the juice we vape.

Propylene Glycol is found in food additives such as flavorings like vanilla extract and is used to help deliver sweet flavors and also nicotine. Vegetable glycerin is sourced from vegetables and is used to help give the juice a thicker body.

So why is this important? 9% of our population are allergic to propylene glycol. Usually, this allergy is very mild and will cause a small irritation or sore throat such as coughing. If you are the 9%, this is going to be something you may experience frequently. If that is the issue, I would recommend selecting a juice with a higher VG ratio. This, however, can be a lot heavier on your vaping device.

The main reason why vapers cough is due to the nicotine level. Many people are not used to inhaling large amounts of vapor with nicotine. Nicotine can provide a "throat hit" or a slight burn in your lungs and throat. This is natural when your body is absorbing nicotine. This effect is temporary as your body will get used to this. There are still some factors to help alleviate this.

The standard vaping level is 3mg of nicotine. This is safe and comfortable nicotine to both experience nicotine and not overexert your lungs. Anything 6mg and above along with a mod that can produce large clouds will be harsh. Zero mg juices are safe and can be used if you wish to avoid nicotine altogether.

Salt nicotine has recently become popular. Salt nicotine juices range from 25 to 50mg. Be careful when trying salt nicotine for the first time. Cigarette users enjoy salt nicotine because this type provides a similar throat hit. Salt nicotine is typically vaped on pod systems and lower wattage. This means that the amount of vapor is a lot smaller compared to traditional sub-ohm vaping. This helps offset a large amount of nicotine.

A vaping cough is often related to a high nicotine level juice. Vaping nicotine provides a slight throat hit which is a natural response to absorbing nicotine. Different setups and techniques can help reduce coughing.

Top 4 reasons causing your vape cough

Here are some more explanations that are not as common but still may be the reason why you are coughing!

#1 - Damaged Cilia

If you are an ex-cigarette smoker, your lungs are recovering from being damaged. Smoking cigarette smoke burns your cilia. Cilia is a group of brush-like hairs in your respiratory tract.

Cilia's job is to keep the airways clear of mucus and dirt, allowing us to breathe easily and without irritation. When cilia are re-growing, one of the reactions is coughing. Your lungs can be extra sensitive during the repair.

The good news is that vaping has less of an effect on your cilia and a healthier alternative than smoking cigarettes. Additionally, cigarettes stain your teeth over time and should be avoided altogether.

Ease off of smoking and vaping while your cilia repairs. Smoking, in general, paralyzes your Cilia.

#2 Bad vape mod or atomizer

Another reason can be your set up. A mod set up can be your best friend or worst enemy. Have you ever had a dry hit? I can guarantee that would make you cough. There are simple ways to alleviate coughing from your set up. Clean your vape mod regularly to ensure a good tasting vape.

Make sure your coils, cotton, and atomizer are fresh and not overused. Burnt coils and cotton can produce a distasteful flavor which may cause you to cough. I also recommend vaping on a cooler setting by lowering your vaporizer's wattage or increasing your airflow. A hot vape can irritate your lungs.

Whenever you have a new set up, remember the ohm laws and make sure your set up is correct. Any discrepancies can change your vapor.

A proper setup is recommended so you can avoid getting a dry hit. Be sure to use a reliable variable wattage box mod. These pair well with both tank atomizers and rebuildable atomizers. Shop our selection of vape mods, vape tanks, and vape atomizers.

#3 Poor e liquid quality

Juices can also be the source of your cough. Not only a high mg juice can be too harsh or the VG to PG ratio, but the quality of juice. There are many juices out there so stick with juices that are name brand and trustworthy.

With any product you buy, you want to buy one that is reputable and safe. A juice that is too old can cause irritation as well. Ejuice has a long shelf life however they do expire. Be sure to properly store your e-juice to safely preserve the contents.

A juice that sits too long also steeps. This means the juice will become more concentrated and stronger. This can affect your vaping and cause you to cough.

The flavoring of the juice can matter as well. Menthol is a very popular chemical that creates a cooling sensation. This can cause coughing as well.

Dehydration can also cause you to cough. Vape juice naturally absorbs moisture. This can ultimately dry out your throat causing you to cough. Phlegm is important for your throat and airways to remain lubricated and functional. It is best to stay hydrated when vaping or hydrated in general! Water is always good for the body!

Throw out expired e-juice and stick to reputable brands. E-juice quality is important for a safer long-lasting vape. If you are interested in receiving new e-juice each month from industry-leading brands, consider a Vapebox subscription.

#4 Different vaping techniques

Another reason can be the method of you are vaping. There are two main ways that vapers vape!

The first is a mouth to lung hit. This means that the vapor is being drawn and held into the mouth before entering the throat. Many vapers love this to experience the full flavor of vaping and reduce the throat hit. The vapor dissipates in the mouth leaving an easier lung experience.

Most cigarette users are used to a mouth to lung hit since cigarette smoke is extremely harsh.

The other method is a direct to lung hit. Direct to lung draws the vapor straight to the lung. If you are vaping salt nicotine or using a strong mod, this can be a lot for your lungs can cause you to cough.

Vapors enjoy direct to lung hit because of the strong throat hit. To adjust to coughing, I recommend learning how to mouth to lung before getting your lungs used to a direct to lung hit.

Consider vaping using the mouth to lung technique. This is generally regarded as having less of a throat hit. You can work your way into direct to lung once you can vape without coughing.

How can you prevent a vaping cough?

The primary way to solve a vaping cough is to work your way up to bigger and stronger vapes. Your body naturally adjusts while it takes in nicotine.

Starting out with lower nicotine strength, lower temperature, smaller clouds, and less frequent hits can help build a tolerance to nicotine. Once your body adjusts, you can start vaping how you want and venturing into different builds, juices, and pod systems.

For each issue, I provided an explanation of and solution that may be helpful in preventing coughing caused by vapes.

If you are interested in receiving high-quality vape juice each month, consider our monthly Vapebox. Our box contains vape juices and hardware that is tailored to your preferences. Signing up for Vapebox will allow you to sample new e-juices and upgrade old hardware that may be out of date.

We are running a free e-liquid promotion for a limited time in 2019. Vapebox offers e-juices and hardware that you'll need to start vaping. Check out our selection of box mods, vape batteries, tanks, Vape starter kits, and more!

For salt nicotine users, check out our salt nicotine vape juice, salt nicotine pods, and pod refills.

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