I’m sure you can agree that, like most good things in life, vaping comes with its own set of challenges.
From learning the jargon to understanding the differences in e-juice, vaping does have some obstacles you’ll need to learn how to overcome. One common obstacle that vapers, especially newbies, tend to run into is a sore throat.
For some people, vaping can cause irritation or ‘scratchiness’ in the back of their throat, an annoyance that can rob you of the joy that vaping could and should, be. If you’re experiencing a sore throat from vaping, there are a number of possible causes and, fortunately, most of them have solutions that aren’t too difficult to implement.
In this article, we’ll be going through eight possible causes and fixes for your sore throat to help you get back to blowing flavorful clouds as quickly as possible.
Aside from trying these solutions, make sure that you stay hydrated before, during, and after your vaping sessions to avoid sore throat. The chemicals in the vapor absorb moisture which can dry out your mouth and throat really quickly.
Sore Throat from Vaping — 8 Possible Causes and their Solutions
1. Smoker’s Flu
‘Smoker’s flu’ (also known as ‘Quitter’s flu’) is street lingo for tobacco withdrawal. If you’ve recently made the switch from cigarettes to vaping, it may take your body some time to adjust.
Vaping’s lack of tar and other harmful chemicals usually found in cigarettes allows your body to start healing itself and absorb more oxygen every time you breathe.
Tobacco withdrawal symptoms can include things like:
- Sore throat
- Chest/Nasal congestion
- Digestive issues
Solution: Smoker’s flu is, unfortunately, not real flu, so flu medicine won’t help you in this situation. Aside from toughing it out, you can help speed up the process by:
- Eating healthy
- Resting and exercising
- Staying hydrated
2. High Nicotine Content
Even though most vapers love the throaty nicotine hit that can come from vaping, it’s important to make sure that the nicotine concentration you’ve decided on isn’t too high for you.
While a throat hit in and of itself isn’t a problem, going too high on your nicotine can cause a scratchiness in your throat—eventually leading to a rather unpleasant vaping experience.
Solution: Try gradually lowering your nicotine concentration until you find the one that doesn’t hurt your throat but keeps your vaping enjoyable. You might want to try using a different type of nicotine (salt nic vs. freebase nicotine) to see if this allows you to stay at higher concentrations without irritating your throat.
3. Vaping Style
Whether you were previously a smoker or not, you might find that inhaling an e-cigarette hurts your throat when you’re starting out. This could be due to the way you’re inhaling.
There are two ways of pulling vapor from a vape:
- Direct-to-Lung – is when you inhale vapor from your device straight into your lungs, almost like sighing the vapor in.
- Mouth-to-Lung – refers to the style of vaping which involves pulling vapor first into your mouth and then into your lungs, similar to pulling on a cigarette.
Solution: Fortunately, this problem has a pretty easy fix—try another style of vaping! If you’ve been using one method since you started vaping, try giving the other one a go and see if it works for you.
Remember that Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) is a lot easier with a smaller vaping device, like vape pods, than with larger devices.
4. High PG Content
Your standard (and safer) vape liquid consists of two base liquids: Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG).
VG generally determines the density/thickness of your cloud, while PG helps to give you that nice throat hit. If the PG content is too high, however, it may take that throat hit past the point of ‘nice’ all the way to ‘not so nice’, leaving you with a sore throat.
Solution: Try looking for e-liquids with a lower PG content. Luckily, most vape juice bottles tell you the ratio/percentage of PG and VG that it contains, making it easy for you to spot the ones that could be causing your sore throat.
5. Specific Flavorings
Because of the variety of vape liquid available and the diverse taste of people, you’re bound to run into some flavors that cause irritation, either in your mouth or in your throat.
Heavy flavors like desserts and tobaccos can contain chemicals that you might have a sensitivity to. These flavorings can leave you feeling sick and can easily cause a sore throat.
Solution: To prevent this, switch to lighter liquids or perhaps try a different dessert flavor. Fruit flavors, like strawberry banana and watermelon, are much lighter on the palate, while menthol flavors are even better.
Try picking up a mix of fruit and menthol to find the flavor that’s easy on your throat.
6. Metals Inside Coils
As more people have started vaping, it has become clear that there are vaping sensitivities among people. One not-so-uncommon problem that arises for some vapers is being allergic to nickel.
There are many coils that use nickel inside, and allergic people will find themselves sporting a sore throat or an annoying cough if they happen to use one of these coils.
Solution: If you think this might be your issue, try looking out for coils that don’t contain nickel, or at least in much lower amounts. Avoid Ni80 (Nichrome-80) coils which are heavily nickel-based wires.
While other coils can also contain nickel, it’s usually in amounts too low to cause a reaction.
7. Dry Hit
One of the most common pitfalls that almost all vapers experience at one point or another is the dreaded dry hit. A dry hit happens when there is little to no juice left on your coils/cotton, giving you a burnt, harsh taste that will definitely hurt your throat.
Solution: Before you vape, always check that there is enough juice in your tank or on your coils, especially if you use the Drip technique. If you feel that your hits are getting a bit dry, try dripping some e-juice straight onto the coils, and cotton, from above – you can do this whether you’re using an RDA (Rebuildable Drip Atomizer) or not!
8. Vaping Frequency
As much fun as blowing huge clouds are and as delicious as your flavors can be, the saying “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing” is definitely true with vaping.
If you’re an avid vaper or life’s stress has you craving nicotine, you might find yourself with a sore throat rather quickly. This is because vaping always affects your throat, although usually it’s unnoticeable.
Vaping a lot can compound these effects until your throat is too sore to keep chasing clouds.
Solution: Waiting longer between your vape hits will quickly help your throat get better. Make sure that you take deep breaths of clean air in between your hits so that it can soothe your throat and keep you vaping for longer.
You could also try increasing your nicotine concentration to reduce the cravings between hits; although, as mentioned before, taking this too high will also give you an irritated throat.
That concludes our list of eight common causes of a vaping-related sore throat. Try each of these solutions one at a time so that you can be sure which problem is causing your annoying sore throat.
Finally, remember that we are not doctors, and if your sore throat doesn’t go away or you develop other symptoms, be sure to contact a medical professional for a checkup.