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What About This Cough?

While most Vapers claim they did cough when they first tried Vaping, for most, it is temporary.
In studies, almost 57% of the people asked, said they coughed when they first vaped, 93% of them no longer have a problem. Research by scientists backs this up, suggesting that the most common side effect experienced by first time vapers was a cough and sore throat.
So it seems for most people, it’s only temporary and does stop.

Everyone coughs now and then

I coughed a little when I started vaping, but I continued with it because I was fortunate enough to have heard my friends who vaped talk about it before. For me, it took a couple of days to learn how best to hit the kit and stop smoking. Sure as sunshine, you’ll cough again, we all do now and then.
A large number of vapers believe that we cough due to the Propylene Glycol. It seems that about ten percent of the population is sensitive to it, which isn’t to say their allergic, just sensitive. Of course, there could be other factors like unknown ingredients, contaminants and so forth which cause us to suffer irritation and make us cough.
This is part of the reason why it’s so important to know the ingredients of your e-liquid and deal with reputable distributors of e-juices.
So, if these are causes, then why do vapers cough when they first use e-cigarettes, but not after they’ve used them awhile?
We don’t seem to have a absolute answer at right now, but one possible reason is that your body gets used to these chemicals just as they did with those in cigarettes.

Differences And Causes

There’s a school out there who believe that cigarettes are manufactured with anesthetics to reduce coughing in smokers. This would mask the symptoms and muddy the waters when comparing vaping to cigarettes.
However, this is why you can breathe in tobacco smoke when you can’t breathe in bonfire smoke too well, when they are basically the same.burning plant matter…. Some of the over nine thousand ingredients identified to date are there to to make the smoke smoother, less irritating, and to prevent coughing.
Thusly, the absence of anaesthetics and antitussives in vaping could be the reason why you cough when you first try vaping.


Most smokers draw cigarette smoke through their mouths and straight into their lungs.
But lots of vapers draw vapor into their mouths and hold it there before inhaling into their lungs. This could be partly the reason for coughing more at first. Because some vapers find that using the same technique for cigarettes causes them to cough.
Does the difference between techniques explain why people cough when they first vape, but not when they are experienced vapers? It certainly stands to reason.

Surveys do suggest that technique does make a difference for at least some vapers.
At first, I thought that mouth-to-lung inhale was less likely to make you cough when vaping, but in fact it seems to vary from vaper to vaper. Most likely due to different kits and juices used.
With smoking, you slowly destroy tiny hair-like projections on your respiratory tract called cilia. When you stop smoking, these slowly grow back. One of the effects of the hairs growing back is coughing. This is but one of many side effects you can experience when you stop smoking.
Some vapers have suggested that this regrowth of cilia could be why new vapers cough.
This might explain why some new vapers have a recurring cough when switching to vaping. However, it doesn’t explain why smokers cough when they vape their first e-cigarette.

Some other possibilities:

The higher nicotine levels in some e-liquids does seem to lead to a harsher vape, and the increased likelihood of coughing. Which doesn’t change the fact that some vapers out there need that higher level of nicotine to give up smoking.
Some believe it’s all about the kit used. coughing is an issue for you, it may be worth using a more basic device when you start off. Again, you do need to balance this with research that shows cigarette smokers are more likely to successful switch to electronic cigarettes with more advanced devices. This is probably because they deliver more nicotine more quickly than basic devices do.

I’ve been a smoker for 45 years. Yeah, I know, I know. For me, finding the right combination of e-liquid and hardware was paramount. I’m lucky that there’s never a shortage of vaping devices around me. But I still had to try a few different kits and juices until I found one that worked for me. I always enjoyed smoking, but not the side effects; the breath, the stinky clothes, the breathlessness. I still love the smell of cigarette smoke, but if I have my e-cig with me, I can make it through.
Both propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG) attract water, which helps make the clouds of vapour that you see when exhale. The minor side of this can be dehydration and occasionally a sore or dry throat, which may contribute to coughing.

When I Stopped Coughing After A Few Days

I remember it was both a familiar and alien sensation. Unlike smoking, there wasn’t any warmth to the vape; and there was a “catch” on the inhale whether from the sensation or the flavour I can’t be 100% sure. It was definitely a unique experience, but the taste from the vape convinced me to keep at it. That I think was the most surprising thing, the taste. I did cough, almost immediately after each vape for the first dozen or so then less regularly for a few days then it stopped. Unless I’m a complete moron and don’t leave a fresh tank to wick properly!
I knew that the cough reflex was my body trying to clean itself so didn’t really pay it too much attention, especially as I had been coughing a lot with the recent cigarette binge, but the sporadic coughing didn’t make it difficult to vape.

Beating The Cough

1. Experiment with techniques
Now, I’ve always assumed that a ‘mouth-to-lung inhale’ would be less likely to lead to coughing. But that’s not always the case. I used to cough (and still do sometimes) with mouth to lung inhales, never with direct lung inhales for some reason. Therefore, it’s important to experiment with technique to find the right one for you.


2. Change PG/VG ratio.
If you continue to cough when you vape, you could try changing the PG/VG ratio.
Most e-liquids are made up of PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine). VG is smoother, and many people who use high powered box mods find they need to use an e-liquid with a high VG ratio to avoid coughing.
There’s a small minority of people need to use a 100% VG e-liquid, although unfortunately these can be rather harsh on atomisers.

3. Experiment with levels of nicotine.
We’ve seen that nicotine can affect the throat hit that you get. So if coughing is an issue, it may be worth temporarily reducing the nicotine that you use and see if that solves the problem.

4. Drink water
Often we see that PG and VG can cause slight dehydration, but can you tackle this by simply drinking more water.

5. Change the speed of inhale. By experimenting with the speed you inhale, you may be able to reduce coughing.

6. Add a little menthol.
Some ex-smokers suggest adding a drop of menthol e-liquid to your e-juice. I personally love menthol, so I can’t say enough good about it.

There you have it, folks. If you’re just starting to vape and having some problems with coughing, we hope this will help you get past it and on your way to a long life enjoying vaping.

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