Vaping Makes Me Cough

Vaper's cough is a common problem for people when they first begin vaping.

And though it typically passes quickly as you get used to the sensation, it's an irritating experience most of us would rather avoid.

If you've ever wondered why vaping makes you cough, today we're exploring the phenomenon, why it happens and how to stop it in its tracks.

Why Does Vaping Make Me Cough?

Vaper's cough is most common with people who are still getting used to vaping and can particularly bother ex-smokers or anyone trying to make the transition away from cigarettes.

There's a few reasons why vaping might make you cough at first. If you're a former smoker, there's two major factors. The first is that traditional tobacco cigarettes have many more ingredients, some of which are designed to feel smooth and less irritating, thus preventing coughing.

When you swap over to e-liquids, most formulas only have a handful of ingredients, and none of the chemicals added to cigarettes that would prevent any initial irritation. Smoking also kills off cilia, a cell that lines your windpipe and inside of your lungs. They function to trap things like dust and anything else you breath in to prevent irritation.

When you smoke, these cells are depleted, so it's possible that in the early days you'd be more sensitive to vapour than someone who has never smoked. Over time as you stop smoking and cilia has time to regenerate, coughing stops.

Vaping Makes Me Cough Even Though I've Never Been A Smoker 

Vaper's cough isn't a phenomenon strictly experienced by former smokers. If you're new to vaping but have never been a smoker, here's what could be causing the problem:

  1. Nicotine strength - E-liquids with a higher nicotine strength typically also have a stronger throat hit. If you're not used to nicotine this can cause coughing at first. Try switching to a lower concentration or to an e-liquid with no nicotine in it at all.
  2. E-liquid ingredients - Another common explanation for vaper's cough in the community is the ingredients used to make e-liquids, in particular, propylene glycol. Some new vapers find they are sensitive to the feel of this ingredient at first, which could account for the cough. Try switching to a different e-liquid flavour to see if it has any effect and take careful notice of the PG/VG ratio of each. You might also consider switching to a max-VG e-liquid.
  3. Technique - It takes a minute to get your technique down when you first start vaping, and for many vaper's cough is just a result of getting used to this new sensation. Mouth-to-lung vaping - where you inhale straight into your lungs, like cigarettes - causes coughing for some and not others. Try drawing vapour into your mouth and holding before inhaling into your lungs, as this may work better for you. The speed of inhale and exhale might make all the difference too, so play around with your technique until you find what feels right.