Throat Kick

by Edwin Estioko

What's kicking your throat? | E Smoking | What is throat kick? | Research | What do users think? | The new attraction of throat kick | What causes throat kick?

A user enjoys a throat hit.

“What’s Kicking Your Throat?”

It’s that smooth feeling down your throat that refreshes you all over. That is what a throat kick is all about.

It’s a kick, a hit, a high, a momentary sensation that leaves you longing for more. It’s that shortness of pleasure really that gets you hooked. And you can only get it from vaping an e-ciggy

Let me say that again, vaping an e-ciggy gets you a throat kick. The electronic cigarette is a new thing, and the people who use it have created their own vocabulary to talk about their e-smoking experiences because conventional words won’t fit.

“Vaping” is when a user inhales the vapour from an e-cigarette; “analogue cigarette” is the regular non-electronic cigarette, and “throat kick” is that harsh yet pleasurable feeling at the back of your throat from an e-cigarette’s warm vapour that you otherwise won’t get from an analogue.


How does e-smoking work? E-smoking is inhaling vapour that is released by the device upon heating liquid solution with concentrations of nicotine from zero to low and midrange (6–8 mg/ml and 10–14 mg/ml respectively) to high and extra-high doses (16–18 mg/ml and 20–54 mg/ml respectively). According to most users, a throat kick comes from using 17 mg or more.

What is throat kick?

"...that special feeling when the vapor hits the back of your throat."

Because it's slang, there’s not one exact definition for a throat kick. Google-ing the phrase or searching for it at Wikipedia will most likely give information on how to make that perfect, possibly fatal, Karate kick to your opponent’s throat. But e-cigarette users know what it means. Most will explain that a throat kick or throat hit is that special feeling when the vapor hits the back of your throat. A good e-cigarette produces a good throat hit.

Ok, so it feels good and makes you want to vape again and for a longer drag. But is it safe? Is it nicotine that’s doing it? Is it that same addiction from smoking analogue that many people wished to avoid and why they turned to e-cigar in the first place?


According to research conducted by tobacco companies on the effects of nicotine, what vaper's call throat hit is the impact caused by nicotine. The study said,

“The sensory attribute most associated with nicotine is described within the company as 'impact' . It may be described by consumers as throat catch, throat hit, throat grip, etc. Our definition of impact is: the sudden sharp but short-lived sensation (typically less than one second in duration) which is noticed immediately the smoke makes contact with the back of the throat. A physiological explanation of the impact sensation is that nicotine causes smooth muscle to contract. The contraction is proportional to the dose of nicotine applied to it. In fact, the relationship between the applied dose and the magnitude of the contraction is logarithmic, but for all practical purposes, the more nicotine the stronger the contraction and hence the impact sensation.”

So according to the tobacco companies, the sensation is not exclusively from vaping an e-cigar but consequently from puffing nicotine.

What do users think?

"While some admit that a hit comes from nicotine and have enjoyed it both from analogue and e-ciggy, others say nicotine has nothing to do with it."

According to one e-cigarette user, a throat kick “is just feeling something in the back of the throat. In some cases it is a smooth feeling and in some cases it is a harsh feeling. The same goes for analog cigarettes. A Marlboro Red will give a harsh throat hit while a Newport will give a smooth throat hit.”

You kind of lose the point why you switched to e-cigarette, right?

It is apparent in e-cigarette on-line forums that the community is split when it comes to opinions about what causes throat kick. While some admit that a hit comes from nicotine and have enjoyed it both from analogue and e-ciggy, others say nicotine has nothing to do with it. One user said regarding the source of a good kick, "I find that strength, flavor, and (the e-cigarette) device can all affect it, so at least with e-cigs, I disagree that it's purely the effect of the nicotine.”

Another user explained, “I get the same hit with non-nicotine. So it can't be the nicotine, or you would get the same reaction chewing gum, or with the nasal spray, or with the patch.”

An e-smoker who had been a smoker of analogue for many years confessed, “I don't recall ever saying that a cigarette had a ‘hit’, until I began vaping.”

Most analogue smokers will admit that they first got into the habit not for the kick on the throat but for more social and psychological reasons. First-time users got into the habit because everybody else was doing it. Peer pressure, remember?

The new attraction of throat kick

“a powerful erotic sensitivity of the oral zone … just as fundamental as sexuality and hunger.”

A second study said people turn to smoking, analog smoking, more for its social reward and oral-sexual gratification than a sensation in the throat. People smoke because to them it is “for self-expression“, it is fun, “a reward that we can give ourselves as often as we wish”, and a “powerful erotic sensitivity of the oral zone … just as fundamental as sexuality and hunger.”

The study concluded by saying that “psychological pleasures derived (from smoking) proved much more powerful than religious, moral, and legal persuasions.” Not a single mention of throat kick was made.

Throat kick is a term that came from the habit of e-smoking. Nobody mentioned it before. Since most of the buzz about this sensation comes from the vaping community, it is most probable that a throat kick is not related to analog cigarettes.

What causes throat kick?

So what’s kicking your throat? It’s still hard to say. Unless e-smoking becomes completely legit in the States not many research studies will be conducted about it and about throat kick.

A few e-cigarette users believe they know the answer – flavour and Propylene Glycol, a safe, colourless liquid that forms the majority of the solution in an e-cigarette. The solution comes in different flavours such as USA Mix, Vanilla, Chocolate, Clove, Strawberry, Camel, Coca-Cola, among others. Users observe that different flavours produce different quality of hits. One user said:

“I plan to mix them with flavoring extract and glycerin, which I'm hoping will add noticeable flavor and higher vapor output/throat hit.”

Next time you get that kick in the throat, enjoy. It can’t kill you.

Dislaimer: The views of the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of ECigaretteDirect. does not sell the flavours mentioned above.

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