What is Vaping Cough and How Can You Avoid It?

With millions of former smokers now enjoying a smoke-free life as part of the vaping community, lives are being saved on a daily basis. At the same time, however, not everything is peaches, cream, and unicorn dreams. Many of these new vapers are finding that vaping can come with problems in need of a solution too. For example, there are vapers who discover that the use of an electronic cigarette causes them to cough – often quite severely. Many, of course, assumed that their coughing days were ended when they made the transition from cigarettes to vaping. So, what is vaping cough, why does it occur, and how can you avoid it?


The Vaping Cough

Like most coughs, this one occurs as a result of irritation to your lungs and throat. Now, you might assume that the switch from cigarettes to vaping would mean less irritation to your lungs, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the tissue in your body reacts to the different ingredients in e-liquid vapor, producing that coughing sensation. Other times, the warmth of the vapor triggers the sensation. In still other cases, it can simply be related to the way you inhale. All of these things can cause vaping cough, and leave some vapers wondering why they ever bothered to quit smoking in the first place.

The fact is, though, that vaping cough is not evidence that vaping is dangerous like cigarettes. It’s not even evidence that you’re just not cut out for the vaping lifestyle. Instead, it is merely evidence that your body is reacting to the vapor in a certain way. The important thing is to identify the reason why you are coughing so that you can do something about it. After all, you don’t want to stop vaping and return to cigarettes; that would be a return to that same life-threatening habit you just escaped!


Identifying the Reason for Your Cough

There are several different reasons for vaping cough, and identifying the issue at work in your own situation is vital for correcting the problem. Here are the most common issues that people face:

  1. Vapor is a foreign substance to your lung. Yes, sometimes the problem really does just come down to the newness of it all. If you’re a former smoker, your body had probably gotten used to the smoke and the ingredients it contained. Well, vapor comes with a whole new set of ingredients that your body hasn’t had a chance to get used to yet. That can produce a reaction from the lungs as they try to expel the intrusive substance coming into their realm. Remember also that e-juice manufacturers don’t add a bunch of chemicals to their recipes in the same way that cigarette manufacturers do. So, while many tobacco companies add chemicals to suppress the coughing reaction in the human body, no such chemicals exist in e-juice recipes. That causes your body to initially react to the vapor in the same way it would react to cigarettes were those chemicals not present.


  1. Nicotine content matters. Your e-liquid may contain nicotine at higher levels than your body is accustomed to ingesting – especially if you smoked filtered cigarettes. The filters on those burner cigarettes limit the amount of nicotine that reaches your lungs, so they naturally react to the sudden infusion of higher concentrations of the substance. Moreover, the absorption of nicotine begins as soon as you inhale, as the mucous membranes in the mouth start to absorb it before it ever reaches the lungs. All of that is different enough from the cigarette experience to provoke a reaction from your body.


  1. Vapor quantity can matter too. For many people, the problem has to do with how they inhale. If you inhale your e-cigarette vapor the same way you inhale cigarette smoke, your body can react in a negative way. Remember, most smokers use the lung hit smoking method, drawing smoke to their lungs as they inhale, without allowing it to rest in their mouth for any length of time. If you do this while vaping, your body may need time to adjust to the greater quantity of vapor that it is taking in. Moreover, vapor can often be thicker in consistency than the smoke from cigarettes, and that too can cause problems.



Correcting the Problem

There are different ways to avoid this problem or correct it once it occurs – with the method you choose dependent upon the reason you’re suffering the cough. You can try these solutions to see if you can minimize any coughing fits you experience:

  • Vaping without the coughIf the problem is that your lungs need time to get used to the vapor, then the only answer is time. For most of us, it took time to get used to the smoke when we first turned to cigarettes. Now that we have done away with those deadly nicotine-delivery devices, we should be willing to give out bodies time to adjust to the safer vapor too. In the end, that will be time well-spent.
  • If your problem is the level of nicotine in the e-cigarette, that is perhaps the easiest thing to correct. The great news is that e-juice comes in a wide variety of nicotine levels, including juice with no nicotine at all. Often times, our bodies are simply rejecting the higher level of nicotine ingestion that can come with the switch to vaping. Simply drop down on your nicotine content and then give your body time to get used to each new level as you gradually raise that content over time. Eventually, you can feel comfortable at your desired nicotine level.
  • For those reacting to lung hit coughing, the solution may take some self-restraint. Instead of vaping in the same way that you smoke, try to avoid those long, sustained inhalations. That can produce too much vapor at one time, and overload your lungs. Instead of that drawing technique, try to use shorter inhalations, taking in smaller amounts of vapor at a time. That technique has the added advantage of preserving more of the great taste of the e-liquid too, so you’ll enjoy double the benefits!

Above all else, recognize that vaping cough is a temporary sensation for most new vapers. Over time, your body will generally grow accustomed to your new lifestyle, and the cough will end. Obviously, the occasional dry hit might induce a momentary cough at any time, but nothing like what you might be experiencing in the early days of vaping. Just identify the cause, make the needed correction, and trust that the cough will subside over time.

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