Every vaper goes through a coughing phase. Long-time smokers and vapers may look incredibly cool with their smooth hits and perfect smoke rings, but at some point, they were first-timers that couldn’t take a hit without a hacking cough.
And while it’s understandable for newbies to cough when they puff on their vape device for the first time, it shouldn’t become a habit. Coughing while taking a hit ruins the fun experience of vaping. Plus, it’s embarrassing to do it in public or around avid vapers who know what they’re doing.
Today, we’ll be taking you through how to hit a vape pen without coughing. That way, you don’t have to worry about a distracting tickle in your throat killing the chill, relaxed vibe of your vaping session.
Why do I cough when I puff on my vape?
Coughing fits occur when you inhale anything that can be irritating to the lungs. It can be anywhere from dust to vapors to fumes. Coughing is just your body’s reaction to this irritant and your chest and abdomen muscles’ involuntary way of trying to expel the foreign substance from your lungs.
It may feel scary to suddenly cough out of nowhere, especially when vaping. But coughing is simply a reflex that forces your body to clear your lungs and airways to keep you safe and healthy. Your brain sends signals to your muscles to cough out whatever may be irritating your lungs.
Coughing usually happens to people who inhale and exhale vapor for the first time. It’s likely because they’re not used to using e-cigarettes yet, but it can also be a lot of different factors like taking too long of a hit, having a bad reaction to the e-liquid, or having dry mouth.
The good news is that most people grow out of those coughing fits the more they get used to vaping. The trick is to know exactly what is triggering your cough so that you can find a solution to help you keep it from happening again.
Top tips for hitting a vape without coughing
Finding yourself with a hacking cough right as you try to vape can kill the mood. So, how can you avoid coughing when you want to take a hit? Here are our top tips to help old and new vapers alike get a smooth vaping experience with zero coughs.
1. Take smaller, shallower hits
The most common reason a vaper would end up coughing while taking a hit is that they’re inhaling too deeply into the lungs—and in such a fast way, too. Instead of doing fast and deep hits to the lung, it might be better to do slow, short, and shallow hits to the mouth.
Vaping slowly and in shorter, more mindful hits won’t overwhelm your throat and lungs, so it can keep coughing at bay. Doing it this way is a lot better for newbie vapers.
After all, vaping is not a race. The quality and enjoyment of your vaping experience don’t rely on how fast you can inhale the vapor. In fact, it can be more relaxing to go slow and concentrate during smaller hits.
2. Practice your vaping technique of choice
When learning how to vape, you can’t just wing it and inhale blindly without knowing what vaping technique you’re trying to do. If you just inhale however you feel like it each time, you’ll likely cough more.
Choose a specific technique you want to use while vaping and try to perfect that technique until you’ve got it down pat. Here are two common types of vaping you might want to practice:
- Mouth-to-lungs vaping: This type of vaping is done when you take a small, short puff into your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs. It’s similar to how one would smoke cigarettes, so it’s perfect for those vaping for the first time.
- Direct lung vaping: This kind of vaping is similar to how you would take a hit on a bong. Direct lung vapes are large, and when you inhale, you’ll feel like you’re directing the vapor straight into your lungs. This is better for long-time vapers and experts.
Learn more about the difference between mouth-to-lungs and direct lung vaping with this quick video:
3. Adjust your nicotine level when needed
Another reason for your coughing might be because your throat and lungs are sensitive to specific ingredients, like nicotine. Nicotine is extra irritating to the throat, which can cause coughing fits even if you’re used to smoking.
If you’re already good at your vaping technique and have trained yourself to do smaller, shorter hits at a time, adjust your nicotine levels to see if the coughing goes away. Sometimes, it’s all a matter of going for vape juice with less nicotine for you to enjoy a smooth, cough-free vaping session.
If you’re a newbie to vaping, you might want to buy a vape with low levels of nicotine. You can then gradually move on to vapes with higher nicotine levels as you get used to taking hits.
You could also consider keeping nicotine out of your system entirely, especially if you think you’re allergic to it. Instead of nicotine-infused e-liquids, try out CBD, which some people argue is healthier and has plenty of therapeutic benefits.
If you suspect that you are allergic to nicotine and experience symptoms like hives, difficulty breathing, and swollen skin, stop vaping right away and seek medical attention.
4. Dial down your vape pen’s heat settings
When your vape pen is extremely hot, it can trigger a coughing fit. Higher heat levels on a vape pen lead to thicker smoke, which is a common reason why smokers cough. If you can, lower the heat settings on your device and see if you can handle the amount of smoke that comes after it.
Those who activate higher heat levels in their vape pens are likely those trying to do some cool tricks with the vapor. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to successfully perform those tricks if you can’t even breathe smoothly and cough-free when you take a hit.
5. Try another flavor of vape juice instead
One surprising reason that you might be coughing so much while vaping is that the flavor of your vape juice is irritating your throat.
Citrusy flavors like lemon and orange or minty tastes like sweet menthol can tickle your throat more than others because of their sharp, fragrant notes. If your throat is quite sensitive, you should avoid these and try to go for something milder and has more candy-like and gourmand flavors.
Go for non-citrus, sweet fruits like mango or banana flavors. You can also opt for non-fruit variants like vanilla. That way, the flavor is robust and delicious but won’t be so harsh on the throat when you take a puff.
6. Clean your pen regularly
If you vape marijuana, you should constantly be on the lookout for the buildup of dried and burnt herbs in the airflow of your vape pen.
Bits of bud can often get stuck on the coil and connection plates of your vape. This can end up being charred and burnt when you activate your vape. When you inhale fumes from these burnt pieces of weed, it’s more than likely that you will cough.
Check now and then if there are pieces of cannabis lodged in your vape pen. Get them out before taking another hit.
7. Drink more water to avoid dehydration
Vape liquids are made of two main substances—propylene glycol (or PG) and vegetable glycerin (or VG). While these two chemicals are safe to inhale and smoke, they can cause dry out your throat and mouth.
Because of this, dehydration is one of the most common side effects of vaping. And when you’re dehydrated, you’re more vulnerable to coughing.
To combat this issue, make sure to drink plenty of water, especially on days when you’re planning on vaping more than usual.
Try to drink anywhere from 6-8 glasses a day. The extra moisture and lubrication of your throat can help prevent dehydration, and consequently, bad coughing fits while you try to take a hit.
If you’re worried about a cough that doesn’t seem to go away whenever you take a hit on your vaping device, don’t worry. It’s likely a temporary issue that you can fix with one of our tips above.
Whether it’s because of an inefficient inhaling technique, an allergic reaction to an ingredient in your e-juices, or even just a bad habit of not drinking enough water throughout the day, there’s always something you can do to avoid coughing as you vape.
The sooner you pinpoint the reason why you’re feeling a tickle in your throat as you take a hit, the faster you’ll find how to hit a vape pen without coughing. And the more vigilant you are about keeping it from happening again, the more enjoyable your vaping experience will be.
Got any more questions about coughing while vaping? Let’s help each other out by sharing tips with fellow vapers in the comments!