Vaping without coughing begins with an understanding of where the cough might come from.
A few things contributing to coughing when using electronic cigarettes are a strong nicotine hit, using burnt coils, or using a high nicotine e-liquid.
In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons why you may be coughing and give you proven solutions for controlling it.
To vape without coughing, you must determine the origin. You can start by examining your vaping behaviors such as the nicotine strength you’re using and any underlying health conditions you may have.
According to the government of Canada’s website, about 65% of vape device users in Canada are current smokers and 20% are former smokers.
This shows your coughing may not have to do with vaping itself, but rather your habits associated with cigarette smoking in general.
Below we’ll share little-known facts associated with vape-related coughing and how to finally enjoy e-cigarettes and stop coughing once and for all.
Why should I care about coughing less?
Tobacco smokers expose themselves to more than 4000 chemicals and 50 carcinogens. When you stop smoking and decide to vape instead, you are removing 99% of those toxins.
If you quit traditional cigarette smoking and use a vape pen instead, you’re doing yourself a favor and working toward a healthier future.
For many vapers, it would be a shame to trade the idea of vaping for something potentially worse because of a cough.
Instead, consider the causes and solutions associated with vapers cough so you can enjoy the practice.
Coughing due to damaged cilia
Did you know there are hundreds of tiny “hair-like” projections in your lungs called cilia? Cilia are responsible for keeping your lungs clear by sweeping away all the dust and harmful particles.
If you have been a cigarette smoker in the past, then it’s likely that you have damaged cilia in your lungs.
In addition to manual chest physiotherapy or vest therapy, your doctor may prescribe breathing exercises or antibiotic regimens to help repair cilia damage in the lungs.
Coughing due to a faulty vape mod
Vapes are made up of many parts including the mod, or coil, which heats up the e-liquid to create vapor.
Often, when this mod is not properly attached or overused, it can create too much vapour, delivering a burnt taste and making you cough.
Burnt coils or bad mods can easily be fixed by visiting your preferred vape store or retailer and purchasing a new mod or coil.
To prevent a burnt coil, it’s important to never smoke from an e-cigarette low on vape juice.
Coughing due to bad quality vape juice
Many e-liquids at vape shops today have higher manufacturing standards than those found in gas stations or other countries such as China.
When smoking an e-liquid from a less regulated country like China, many ingredients can cause a sore throat or bad cough.
If you find that your e-liquid is making you cough, it’s a good idea to experiment with different, credible e-liquids and try not to chain vape.
Salt Nicotine liquids, for example, allow you to vape at higher nicotine strengths without feeling harsh throat hits.
Coughing due to high Propylene Glycol (PG) and Nicotine levels
E-liquid is made up of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavorings, and of course, nicotine if desired.
For an e-cigarette to simulate smoking, PG is important. The higher PG ratio creates the smoke-like “throat hit”.
With too much PG and a high nicotine level, you may find yourself having a rough time smoking as it may be too concentrated and not suited for your specific vape module.
By trying lower nicotine e-juice in your vape pens and using devices with adjustable airflow, you can easily adjust to the optimum PG and nicotine content.
Coughing due to old smokers cough
If you’re like many vapors who have switched from cigarettes, you may still have a smoker’s cough.
In smokers, the cough is caused by the body’s attempt to rid itself of chemicals absorbed into the airways and lungs through tobacco use.
If you find that your throat is irritated and you’re a heavy smoker, stop chain vaping immediately.
If you cough when you vape in addition to experiencing throat irritation, it’s best to take a break from smoking and invest in other nicotine products such as gum or patches until your throat heals.
Lungs compromised from smoking can never be fully healed, but a smoker’s cough will eventually go away on its own through careful attendance.
Coughing due to dry throat
The PG present in the e-liquid may cause you to have a dry throat. You cough when you have a dry throat because there is not enough coating on the back of your throat to make it comfortable.
The constant throat hit and strong lung inhale from using e-cigarettes contribute to having a dry throat.
This is an incredibly easy fix and your cough can be quelled by drinking plenty of water.
If you find yourself unusually thirsty, it’s a good idea to withhold using your vape pod until you have quenched your thirst.
Coughing due to lack of cough suppressants
If you are a former cigarette smoker, you probably didn’t know tobacco smoke contains cough suppressants to help you stop coughing and keep you buying them.
This explains how so many who’ve smoked tobacco cigarettes keep smoking for prolonged periods and why, when switching over to vaping, they may tend to cough.
This can be fixed again by lowering the propylene glycol (PG) level of your electronic cigarette, which is responsible for simulating the smoking feeling at the back of your throat.
With time and attention to your vaping technique, your throat will eventually become familiar and your cough will go away.
Coughing due to high nicotine vape juice
Did you know using a vape mod may give you a higher nicotine strength than cigarettes?
According to the University of California, researchers discovered that many smokers using JUUL products (136.4 ng/ml) had blood nicotine levels eight times higher than e-cigarette smokers (17.1) and 5.2 times higher than cigarettes (26.1 ng/ml).
A high nicotine level can easily catch someone off guard and cause intense coughing. It’s always recommended to start with a lower nicotine juice and build your way up.
What if I continue to cough after vaping?
If you are continuing to cough and have tried all these tips, it may be worth a visit with your doctor. If you were previously a smoker, there’s a high probability you have done some permanent damage.
Vaping, if done properly and without chain vaping, will not produce a harmful, long-term cough. If you continue to cough while vaping, you can quit smoking and try again once you’ve given your throat and lungs a break.
How long will my coughing last?
Depending on what’s causing it, your cough may last a few minutes after inhaling a vape or several days. In more serious cases it may last 2-4 weeks.
The longer your cough persists, the more serious it may be. Coughs lasting for a few minutes are generally harmless and superficial.
Do only new vape smokers cough?
Coughing after vaping can happen to anyone and isn’t always a sign of a new vape smoker.
People with a long history of smoking cigarettes can sometimes cough when vaping due to the difference between e-cigs and cigarettes.
Those trying higher VG e-liquids or e-cig brands can cough unexpectedly.
If you find yourself coughing out of nowhere after being a long-time vape smoker, chances are it’s not the vape that’s triggering your cough.
How does vaping affect my lungs?
Vaping, like smoking, affects the lungs because you are inhaling chemicals found in e-juice. Although these chemicals have not been proven to be as dangerous as cigarettes, there is little research on the long-term effects.
Your lungs can become irritated when inhaling things like too much vapor. This irritation may lead to bigger issues down the road if not monitored.
Does coughing mean my lungs are damaged?
Coughing can come from other places in your body such as your throat. Additionally, there can be other reasons for coughing or a tickling sensation in your throat that have nothing to do with vaping such as a cold or flu.
Coughing doesn’t always mean there is something wrong with your lungs. If you have reason to believe your lungs are damaged, it is best to consult a physician.
When should I be worried about a cough?
You should be worried about a cough and stop vaping when the cough is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Your lymph nodes are swollen
- You are having a hard time breathing
- There is a deficiency in your immune system
- More than three weeks have passed since it began
- The cough is accompanied by respiratory tract irritation or getting worse
- It hurts in your chest
- You’ve lost weight unexpectedly
How do I vape correctly?
Your vaping experience depends on the way you inhale. When you start vaping, make sure you’re doing it properly and without coughing.
It’s important to become familiar with the two techniques associated with vaping.
The first is mouth-to-lung inhaling where you hold the smoke-like vapour in your mouth and breathe it in from there. The other technique is direct-lung inhales where you inhale more vapor directly into your lungs.