Why Does Vaping Make Me Cough?

Many make the transition from smoking to vaping electronic cigarettes to kick their smoking habit. They are expecting a smooth adaptation. However, the new adjustment may not always be smooth-sailing. 

New vapers often cough and splutter when taking a vape hit, regardless of how often they’ve smoked before. It’ll be about a week or more before that bad cough starts to cease. 

7 Reasons Why Vaping Makes You Cough

Reliable research reports indicate that over 50% of new vapers cough in response to their initial vape pen hit. 

Fortunately, the coughing decreases drastically as the user acclimatizes to the vape hit. Reports state that it takes roughly ten weeks for over 90% of users to stop coughing, which is pretty positive considering how a smoker’s cough only seems to intensify as time passes. 

The switch to vaping helps prevent coughing overall. But, the real question is, why does vaping make me cough at all?

1. Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance largely prevalent in e-liquids. PG is responsible for producing inhalable vapor. However, this vape juice ingredient possesses many side effects, one of which is a sore throat. 

A sore throat can lead to throat irritation which then causes heavy coughing. So, when you cough after a vape hit, the juice’s propylene glycol may be to blame. 

Nevertheless, don’t be too alarmed, as the FDA recognizes this colorless liquid as a safe additive in vape products. 

2. The Concentrated Nicotine Level in Vape Juice

It is common knowledge that inhaling a vape juice with high nicotine strength can lead to a vaping cough. When you inhale an e-juice with high nicotine strength, it causes a slight throat hit, resulting in a minor burn in your throat and lungs.

So, be careful when choosing your e-juice. The strength of the nicotine found in your liquid could cause a dry throat, leading to a cough. Plus, most former smokers want to stop smoking when they switch to vapes, so think about weaning your nicotine levels down anyway.

If you’ve just started smoking vapes and still want to smoke a high amount of nicotine, you can try nicotine salts. Nic salts have higher nicotine levels while still being kind to your throat when inhaling vape smoke. 

3. Wrong Vaping Technique

When transitioning from traditional cigarette smoking to vaping, many people inhale the e-cigarette smoke directly into their lungs. 

In most cases, this wrong technique causes coughing when vaping. 

Instead, it would help if you adopted the mouth-to-lung vaping technique where you draw the vapor and hold it in your mouth before allowing it to enter your throat. Ceasing to inhale straight into your lungs as people do with the tobacco smoke in traditional cigarettes will make e-cigs more enjoyable. 

This technique reduces the intensity of the throat hit and allows the vaper to enjoy the full flavor of the e-cigarette liquid. The vapor loses most of its potency as it is held into the mouth, leading to a smoother lung experience. 

Experienced vapers sometimes look for a strong throat hit and thus prefer lung vaping, which uses the same inhalation technique as smoking cigarettes. However, as a new vaper, you should learn the ropes of the mouth-to-lungs strategy before experimenting further. 

4. Regrowth of Cilia

Smokers often have burned cilia in their respiratory tract. When you quit smoking and opt for an alternative, you promote the growth of damaged cilia in your body. 

Cilia bear a close resemblance to brush-like hair and remove mucus and dirt in the airways. They help you breathe easy by getting rid of irritants. 

Now, the lung is quite sensitive when the cilia undergo repair and regrowth, so many people believe their smoker’s cough worsens when they switch to e-cigarettes. But one of the main reasons vaping is a safer alternative to smoking is because it is less harmful to your cilia, makes lung disease less likely, decreases coughing overall. 

To stop coughing altogether, wait for your cilia to repair before using e-cigarettes.  

5. Malfunctioning Vape Mod and Atomizer

An ill-functioning vape mod will not supply enough power to the atomizer to help it create inhalable vapor. If your e-cig says ‘atomizer low,’ that is a clear indication something is wrong with your vape device.

In such cases, your vape pens will give you dry hits, resulting in a vaper’s cough. 

To maintain the optimum functionality of a vape mod:

  • Clean it frequently.
  • While cleaning, pay attention to your cotton, coils, and atomizer too.
  • Check to ensure nothing is past its expiration date. 

Burnt coils and cotton can be the leading causes of dry hits and reduction in flavor. 

When choosing a vape mod, go for a regulated mod; an unregulated mod is not for the uninitiated. You would need to know about Ohm’s law, battery safety, limitations, and coil rebuilding to use an unregulated mod. 

Without the proper knowledge, you will only get dry hits with an unregulated mod. 

A regulated mod, meanwhile, features an electronic circuit board that helps regulate current, thus preventing the e-cig from overloading, combusting, overheating, and exploding. Regulated mods also have specific features that enable users to adjust temperature and power settings. 

Additionally, it is in your best interest to use a lower-powered device. Increasing the wattage of your vaporizer can result in a hot vape, which can irritate your lungs. 

Finally, when you start vaping, it’s best to opt for a beginner’s vape kit to prevent the tickling sensation in your throat that can cause a coughing fit. 

6. Low-Quality E-liquid

Low-quality vape juices can be villainous to your health and be the primary cause of your coughing, partly because of their poor VG to PG ratio and high nicotine content. Selecting a liquid from the thousands of options available can be arduous, to say the least. 

So, spare no expense and purchase only positively-reviewed e-liquids. Also, be careful to check the expiration date of the e-liquid too. 

Old e-liquids can be stronger and more concentrated than freshly stocked e-liquids and are, therefore, likelier to irritate your lungs. 

Finally, be aware that certain flavors of e-liquid, such as menthol, cause more coughing in users than other flavors. 

7. Dehydration

E-liquid tends to absorb moisture. When you vape excessively, your throat and airways will dry out, causing you to cough. 

So, if you don’t want to cough when you vape, stay hydrated or try to stop chain vaping. Also, when you chain vape, you increase your risk of lung cancer, and many smokers develop a nasty cough. Therefore, if you want to prevent coughing all the time, stop vaping as often. 

Wrap Up

As a newbie learning how to vape, you shouldn’t go for an e-liquid with high nicotine, PG, or vegetable glycerine strength. You will be doing a disservice to your body if you do, and for what? So you can impress a few friends? 

In fact, trying highly concentrated and strong e-liquid might lead to spluttering mid-way through your vaping session, and that can be more embarrassing.

Take care of your mods, atomizers, coils, and cotton, too, to enjoy an excellent vaping experience. Also, be careful to adopt the correct vaping method and stay hydrated throughout your vaping sessions.