A man coughs while vaping.

Why You Cough When You Vape, and How to Stop It!

Updated: September 2021

“You’ve got to try this again, Julia!” I said to our accountant.

She’s been smoking for decades, and occasionally mutters about quitting. I’d been trying her on various vape pens and devices trying to get her to switch. This time, I was trying her on an Aspire Mini Nautilus and iStick, hoping that a more powerful e-cig would do the job.

“Oh go on then.” Julia lifted it to her mouth and inhaled.

“It’s not working!”

“Just press the button and inhale.”

Julia did as I asked, only to burst into a fit of coughing.

“Here you are!” she gasped in between coughs. “You can have that back!”

Julia’s not the only one. Plenty of people cough when they first vape. I suspect many give up because of it. 

Fortunately, it’s often easy to prevent coughing by changing your inhale technique, your vape pen or your vape juice. 

Let’s take a deeper look…


How many new vapers cough when vaping?

Julia’s not the only one who coughs when vaping.

In fact, when we surveyed 600 vapers, almost 57% of them said they coughed when using a vape pen for the first time.

Cough when started vaping

Research by scientists backs this up, suggesting that the most common side effect experienced by first-time vapers was a cough and sore throat. For example, Polosa et al found that 32.4% of vapers reported coughing when they first started.

A temporary effect?

For most vapers, coughing when vaping is a temporary effect.

While almost 57% said they coughed when they first vaped, 93% of them no longer have a problem.

Do you still cough when vape

For those interested, 92% had been vaping for more than 10 weeks, with just 1% of those surveyed vaping for 0-1 weeks.

We All Cough Now and Then

I coughed a little when I started vaping, but I was far too excited at the world of possibilities in front of me for it to be an issue.

I’ve found that it takes about a day to acclimatise to a harsher juice, so I can’t imagine that the cough should be an ongoing issue. I’m sure we all still cough every now and then when we take too big a hit though!

Max from GetVape.co.uk

Why do you cough when you vape?

Technique used when vaping

According to nicotine expert Dr Jacques Le Houzec, many smokers are very tentative when they first use an e-cigarette. 

As a result:

  • they inhale for a short period of time 
  • they inhale a lot of air with the vapour.

Experienced vapers don’t inhale air with their vapour. They also take longer, slower inhales.

This difference could explain why people cough when they first vape, but not when they are experienced vapers.

Our survey seems to suggest technique makes a difference for at least some vapers. Although many respondents (40.58%) were unsure or couldn’t remember whether changing technique helped, almost 30% felt it did help:

Technique used help stop cough

Jacques agrees. He finds that he can get any smoker to vape without coughing by getting them to take a long drag without breathing in extra air.Learn more about vape inhaling technique.

Ingredients in vapour

Most vapers will probably tell you we cough because of propylene glycol (PG).

Based on a very rough estimate (put together by Chris Price of ECigarette Politics based on an analysis of forum posts), around 10% of the population is sensitive to propylene glycol. (A much smaller proportion is allergic to it ).

In addition, Professor Polosa told me there may be other elements in vapour that  cause vapers to cough:

we cannot discount the possibility of other unknown ingredients, contaminants, by-products in the e-vapour causing similar irritant effects.

But this raises a question.

Why do vapers cough when they first use e-cigarettes, but not after sustained use?

No-one seems to have the answer at the moment, but one possible reason is that your body gets used to these chemicals.

Lack of anaesthetics

Chris Price believes that tobacco smoke contains ingredients that stop smokers from coughing. Chris told me:

Essentially, 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 thing: burning plant matter…. Some of the 9,600 ingredients identified to date are in there to make the smoke smoother, less irritating, and to prevent coughing.

A 2007 study by Rabinoff et al makes references to anaesthetics  in tobacco smoke. They also referenced other botanical and chemical additives which could “reduce, mask, or prevent smokers’ awareness of the adverse symptoms caused by smoking”.

The absence of anaesthetics and antitussives in vaping could help explain why you cough when you first try vaping, even if you don’t cough when you smoke. 

When you smoke, you slowly destroy tiny hair-like projections on your respiratory tract called cilia. When you stop smoking, these slowly grow back.

A by-product of the hairs growing back is coughing – just one of many side effects you can experience when you stop smoking (for a more complete list, see here: 7 Quit Smoking Side Effects: The Essential Guide for New Vapers and Quitters).

Cilia projecting from respiratory epithelium in the lungs
Cilia in the lungs. Via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bronchiolar_epithelium_3_-_SEM.jpg

Some bloggers have speculated 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.

Update: The speculation has now been confirmed by a study by Polosa et al. The study found that after switching to vape, cilia completely regrows. As it does so, it starts moving excess mucous out of the airway passages, causing coughing in the process. Polosa describes this as a ‘purposeful/functional cough”.

For more information, you can see a summary of the study and an interview with the lead author here: Vaping Can Restore Lung Defence Finds New Study.

Nicotine strength & throat hit

If you’re an experienced vaper and you’ve tried a zero nicotine vape juice, you’ll have noticed a reduced throat hit.

A higher nicotine level seems to lead to a harsher vape and an increased likelihood of coughing.On the other hand, some people need a high nicotine level in order to successfully switch to e-cigarettes.

Read more:

Device used

The device you use can also contribute to coughing. In fact, many users cough when they first switch to a sub-ohm device.

So if 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 successfully switch to electronic cigarettes with more advanced devices. (See Polosa et al: Success rates with nicotine personal vaporizers: a prospective 6-month pilot study of smokers not intending to quit.)

This is probably because they deliver more nicotine more quickly than basic devices, as the graph below shows:

New generation device v. cigalikes.

Finding the Right Device and E-Liquid Was Key

I’ve been a smoker for nearly 15 years. When I first started using electronic cigarettes, I continued to smoke for nearly 2 years. I’ll be 1 month smoke free next Wednesday, so I’m still at the start of my journey. It has not been easy, but it’s getting easier.

For me, finding the right combination for e-liquid and hardware was key. Working for ECigarettedirect, I’m lucky that there’s never a shortage of vaping devices around me. But it was only when I started sub-ohming with a box mod and an Aspire Atlantis Clearomiser that I could eliminate smoking 100%.

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 know I’ll be ok.

Tom – ECigaretteDirect Staff


Both propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG) attract water, which helps make the clouds of vapour that you see when exhale.

A minor side of this can be dehydration and occasionally a sore or dry throat, which may contribute to coughing.

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.

Paul Barnes fdm.ukvaping.com

6 ways to stop coughing when switching to e-cigs

1. Experiment with techniques

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, as this comment by Brown Eyed Pea on Reddit shows:

I used to [cough] (and still do sometimes) with Mouth-to-Lung inhales, never with Direct-Lung inhales for some reason

So it’s important to experiment with technique to find the right one for you. You can find a full overview of vape inhale techniques here.

I’d love to know which techniques work

2. Change VG:PG ratio

If you continue to experience a cough when you vape, you could change the VG:PG ratio.

Vegetable glycerine model.

Most vape juices are made up of PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine). VG is smoother, and many people who use high-powered vape mods find it reduces or eliminates coughing.Want to know more? See The Vaper’s Guide to PG Allergy: Sensitivities, Allergies and What Vapers Can Do About It.

3. Experiment with nicotine levels

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.

However, remember that scientists tell us the harm with smoking comes from the smoke, not the nicotine. So once you are used to vaping, it might be worth increasing the nicotine level if it helps you stay off tobacco cigarettes.

4. Experiment with nicotine salts

Until nicotine salts came along, it was almost impossible to vape high nicotine vape juice because the throat hit was too harsh.

Nicotine salts changed this. By using the natural form of nicotine found in tobacco, the throat hit was softened, enabling vapers to use higher nicotine levels without leaving a harsh feeling at the back of the throat.

If you find the throat hit from vaping irritating, or if it is making you cough, it’s well worth trying nicotine salts.

Some of our favourite options here are the HEXA Pro and Hexa Mini – closed pod systems that combine regular vape juice and nicotine salts for a hit that is very close to that of a cigarette. 

For those with open systems, check out this range of 10ml nicotine salts.  But do note, they are best used in low-powered devices and pod systems, not high powered mods!

5. Drink water

We’ve seen that PG and VG can cause minor dehydration, but can you tackle this by simply drinking more water.

6. Use a lower wattage device

One reason people cough is because they are getting too much vapour. You can combat that by using a lower powered device such as a vape starter kit.

If you need a strong nicotine hit without wanting to cough too much, the Uwell Caliburn G combined with nicotine salts is the perfect solution. Nicotine salts deliver a stronger nicotine hit without the harsh throat hit often associated with high nicotine levels. 

Blue Caliburn G on a white background.

Another alternative is the Innokin EQ FLTR. This uses soft tip, cigarette-style  filters which produce a thin stream of vapour with a soft throat hit. 

Innokin EQ FLTR in the hand.

If you want to be able to change the wattage of your device (increase or decrease the power), you might want to try the Innokin Jem. The experience is similar to smoking a cigarette, it comes with a long-lasting battery and is easy to use.

Innokin Jem

Innokin Jem

Reader suggestions

7. Change the speed of inhale

In the Facebook comments below Alan Miller finds that inhaling really slowly can lead to coughing, as their is not enough air hitting the coil in your e-cigarette. By experimenting with the speed you inhale, you may be able to reduce coughing.

8. Change the speed of exhale

Celeb Fawkes finds that you can reduce the chance of coughing by using a slow, controlled exhale.

9. Add a drop of menthol

Edward suggests adding a drop of menthol e-liquid to your e-juice.

Finally, the positive side effects of vaping

If you are thinking of quitting e-cigs at the first hurdle, it might be worth considering the positive side effects of vaping.

While most reported side effects are both minor and temporary, research shows that the positive effects of vaping can be huge, especially if you switch 100% to electronic cigarettes. Here are just some of those found by scientists:

Graph showing changes in physical conditions following switching to ecigs.

For the full story, click below.

E-Cigarette Side Effects

Did you cough when you first vaped? Share your story below!

Article Sources

Farsalinos et al: Characteristics, Perceived Side Effects and Benefits of Electronic Cigarette Use: A Worldwide Survey of More than 19,000 Consumers Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(4), 4356-4373; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110404356

Polosa et al: Effect of an electronic nicotine delivery device (e-Cigarette) on smoking reduction and cessation: a prospective 6-month pilot study BMC Public Health 201111:786 https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-786

Polosa et al: Success rates with nicotine personal vaporizers: a prospective 6-month pilot study of smokers not intending to quit  BMC Public Health 2014, 14:1159  Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(4), 4356-4373; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110404356

Rabinoff et al: Pharmacological and Chemical Effects of Cigarette Additives, Am J Public Health. 2007 November; 97(11): 1981–1991, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.078014

Stratton K, Shetty P, Wallace R, et al: Clearing the smoke: the science base for tobacco harm reduction—executive summary Tobacco Control 2001;10:189-195., http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/tc.10.2.189

77 thoughts on “Why You Cough When You Vape, and How to Stop It!”

  1. Very useful information which I can use in my work as a stop smoking advisor (our team are positive about the use of e cigs to quit tobacco use).

  2. I only cough when I have no nicotine e juice, but I don’t understand why this is? I’m fine with 12mg, and I found the 6mg also makes me cough!

    1. For me it is vice versa…I have some kind of asthma so I can vape only no nicotine e-juices…Really interesting case that you cough only if u vape no nicotine e-juices, no idea why… very good article by the way 🙂

  3. coughing is a real issue. I thought it might be on safe to vape but I believe it’s much better than smoking cigarettes with all the tar and chemicals that are associated with smoking. I also find certain flavors like banana and cinnamon can be harsh and often make me cough a lot more something to think about

  4. Its just occured to me would it not be a good idea to develop an ejuice or eliquid thats essentially organic, and aids in the repair of cillia whilst vaping whilst enjoy the tastes. In effect reversing the dmage to the lungs. Is there such a juice or a multivitamin juice that can be vaped, enhancing immunw systems or voginitive abilities.

    1. Hi Max, unfortunately e-cig retailers (at least in the UK) are not allowed to make any claims. Also, we will not be able to use organic ingredients under the TPD because the inherent variability of organic products leads to variations in test results.

  5. I have been vaping for around a year, but have developed a really bad cough which I have had for 5 months. My friends and family have all commented that they think I should stop vaping. Is there anyone else experiencing this?

    1. I am a regular smoker and the other day my friend offered me an electronic one. It was too hard to resist my coughing. But he confronted me that its just an initial experience that will help relieve my day. When in office, I now sometimes try out vaping from my friend. I hope it will work soon.

      1. Hi Jack, what type of e-cig was it? When you are starting out a basic ego kit can be a better starting point that a mod. You can also try a higher VG ratio which is less likely to make you cough (although bear in mind these are harder on the coils in the e-cigs, especially with basic mods.)

    2. Do you vape the same flavour all the time?
      I started caughing when i changed to a new flavour,, but i like it so much that the caugh is just a minor irritant.
      Having said that, if i were you i would see a doctor,as you may have a chest infection that needs antibiotic treatment.

    3. I have developed a cough when I vape also.I think maybe I vape too much.I’m down to 3mg of nic now and tend to switch back and forth between flavors.( I have 3 or 4 tanks on the go)Doesn’t seem like high vg is the cure.I smoked cigs then pipe for years.Then switched to chew then to snus.My brother and son convinced me to switch to ecigs.
      It is odd that after a year I now have a cough.

    4. Hi Jayne. Is it possible that vaping has meant that you have cut down or stopped smoking and that, therefore, your lungs are starting to recover and are now coughing up all the tar and other nasties caused by smoking?

    5. Try turning down the wattage down to about 25…..nicotine levels can also cause coughing …Try 3 mg or zero mg for a bit….I still cough after 10 months ….I just keep turning the wattage down and Vape 0 mg juice…Try these things before you quit ….Good Luck

    6. I am having the exact problems for same time frame. Had asthma test and chest xrays…all normal…anyone have any suggestions?

    7. When I first switched to vaping I got a really bad cough and went to the doctors after a couple of months. Turned out I had developed a chest infection, he prescribed me some antibiotics and it cleared up.

    8. I’ve been vaping for about 3 years, mostly 50vg/50pg, a few months ago changed to 70vg/30pg , with bigger holes in coil, and have developed a harsh cough. Enjoy vaping, but want to get rid of cough. 6mg nicotine is maybe too much, I don’t know. Has this happen ended to anyone else?

  6. I’ve been coughing a lot everytime I vape until I discovered that mouth to lungs strategy somewhat works for me. Coughing was reduced, thanks to your guide. I’ve been using a 40 wattage mod and now I’m planning to upgrade if to a mechanical mode with a higher wattage but I’m afraid that the coughing will start again. I’ve been using also a mentholated juices but I wanted to try a different juice without menthol, I hope the coughing will not start again. By the way, vaping helps a lot in reducing the number of cigarettes I take everyday. From 30 sticks to 15 sticks saving me enough money to upgrade my vape device. Thanks to your guide, it will be a great help to Vapers.

  7. Have been smoking e cigs for about a year now and have gradually been getting stronger models. At the moment I have a 1300mah battery with an aspire k1 clearomiser. But I just bought my first sub ohm box MOD egig which is a 30 w and 0.5 ohm coil but every time I inhale from it is really harsh and makes me cough my lungs up even on the low settings.I always normally smoke medium strength menthol flavor and Not sure whether it is the liquid but is it possible that the quality of clearomizer and coil are making me cough. Any advice would be great thanks

    1. When I try to MTL any sub-ohm setup, I cough regardless of Watts, reduced air flow, or smaller drip-tip. Only way I could vape a Cubis Pro was with the 1.0 or 1.5 Ohm coils. Even the 0.6 Ohm MTL coil makes me cough… RTA’s are the go – try Kayfun, Ubertoot, or Digiflavor Siren. Or if you want dispodable coils, Aspire Nautilus/Mini or Nautilus X for top filling if you’re happy with less flavour than the first two…

  8. Thank you very much!

    I recently returned to vaping and could not figure out why I coughed so bad now when I didn’t before.

    It was my technique.

    Now I’m doing quick but strong “direct lung” inhales on my iStick. I will need to experiment with how long of an inhale I can handle still, but a marked improvement already.

    *12mg Nic juice

    1. Hi Bobby. I have the same problem, in that I was fine using an e-cig (basic tank and battery type) a couple of years ago, stupidly went back to smoking and now, trying to get off the tobacco cigs, finding that the e-cig makes me cough really badly.

      You say it was your technique. In what way did your technique change? I ask, because I don’t think I am doing anything differently from a couple of years ago, but am desperate to be able to use an e-cig again.

    2. I had the same problem, but when I started to inhale straight to the lungs and not like a cigarette it was much smoother and no coughing al all.

  9. Hi,
    I think I gone over the top as a first time user. Received my Joyetech Ego One Mega v2 today, and after all that reading and researching I thought I got it right. But now I think I bought the wrong modell and E-juices now after the first day.

    It burns a lot, I have been smoking for a long time, 20 years, something a pack a day some periods 15 cigaretts a day.
    Past few years I have been smoking these click models, Marlboro Beyond Gold, or are they called Marlboro Beyond Blue. I don’t know. Anyways, I have been trying mouth first but it burns going down, I have tried direct in hail to my lounges, nothing really gives any different outcome.
    So I tried some of the other juices, I got some mint and some mentol, some tobak taste and so. No candy or coola or anything like that. All are 55/70 VG and the rest is 45/30 PG.

    The result is the same, so I went ahead and switched out the Atomizer, 0,5 ohm to the 1.0 ohm, maybe this change made some difference but still nothing like all the great stuff I read about before deciding to go for this so my question is to you guys, what am I doing wrong here?

    I appreciate your guidance.

    1. Hi Assarélius, what wattage/voltage are you using? You mention the resistance but if the wattage is too high that could lead to the coil burning out. Also, are you priming the coil before use?

      1. James,
        The Ego One Mega V2 is not a variable wattage device. That being said, since its all factory, nothing should be burning.

        When you are filling your tank up with liquid, are you letting it sit and absorb into the cotton? You want to make sure that the juice absorbs into the cotton or else you will dry fire. Dry firing will ruin your coil if there is barely any juice on it, because it will burn the cotton. The best thing I can say to you would probably be swap to a brand new coil, drip juice on all your cotton wicking holes to get it primed up, and then put it on your mod. After that, fill up your tank and let it sit for a little bit. (5-10 mins to be on the safe side) Try vaping on it after that, it should be good. With tanks like that, you cannot chain vape very long or else you can start getting dryish hits, and that’s when you need to stop and let the juice absorb into your cotton. On that device, VG/PG ratio doesn’t matter in burning cotton.

        Reply back so I know if this helped or not. If not I can go into more depth. Figured I’d try to keep it simple. 🙂

        – Trevor

  10. So glad I Google this. I have been smoking for 18 years and gave up trying e-cogs before because of the coughing. I recently bought one of the tanks with the atomisers hoping this would be better but still found myself having a coughing fit with each inhalation.

    After reading your guide, I tried holding the Vale in my mouth before inhaling and it worked!!!…no more coughing. In addition, if I accidentally inhale straight away, it now isn’t so bad….still a little cough but controllable.

    With that said, I can now put my cigarettes to one side and hope never to return to them. Fingers crossed I can stay smoke free. The tank starter kits are expensive with my full 3 month starter kit costing near £60 but in comparison to the cost of cigarettes, this will pay for itself withing 2 weeks. I recommend the VIP stalls/shops as they don’t automatically recommend the most expensive kits but listen to what u say u r looking for and recommend accordingly.

    So excited and positive that this may be the start of a much healthier wealthier future for me.

    Thank you!

  11. Does anyone use 10motives to vap? I find these really nice but I’m recovering from a cough and cold and they make me cough so much ☹️

  12. Hi James – After smoking most of my life & having tried to kick the stinkies many times unsuccessfully I began vaping about 3 months ago for the 1st time ever. My two buddies (both hard-core smokers for years previously) both now are Aspire & I-Stick users so I decided to go with the same as them. I purchased the Aspire Nautilus 5 Ml mounted to the E-Leaf I-Stick TC 40 Watt. To report what I found in the beginning – I did have a really sore throat, what felt to be lung discomfort,& yes coughing, bad headaches (Ones that lasted for dayssssss), & VERY sensitive teeth (when I began vaping). I was so bummed-out was vaping not for me!?. My 1st juice was a 50/50 blend of E-Juice 18MG. Decided this juice just wasn’t for me – Read about reducing the nic for those who had reactions to vaping. Suggestions pointed to choosing a lesser PG as well as some people seemed to be PG sensitive- I thought that might be me. Brought another juice with a lesser PG & an Omgs Nic -(In hindsight) It was a pretty crappy juice I brought from a city vape store & I reached for the only juice they had in a tobacco flavour with an 0MGs. – even with the lesser PG & the 0Mgs. Vaped that for about 2 weeks. I wanted it to be the answer – but it still made me feel not so good. Throat & chest still not feeling so great, Teeth feeling still really sensitive. Sadly still had not found my sweet-spot. I then thought maybe I should go 100% VG -2 weeks ago I got my 100% VG which I bought online – & for now I m just going with an 0MG juice. Happy to say I have felt comfortable every since. No more coughing & throat feels fine now & super pleased to say no more senstive teeth either. I also brought a 3 MGs of 100% VG of the same brand as well – if I feel I need to switch it up at any time – but for now – I m just enjoying the great tobacco flavour this juice has at 0MGs. Phew!! On another note..Sorry..while I m here. Perhaps you have a suggestion regarding the following – I do like the ELeaf & its great to chill with at home – but its too big to chuck in my handbag – & if it lays on its side it tends to leak etc. I need something like an e-cig I can throw in my pocket or in my bag for bars & work etc. Plus one that can handle 100% VG Juices. I like the look of the Emili Pocket e-cig & also like the look of the Halos – Nowhere can I seem to find any infos that says specifically if either of these device cans handle 100% VG..? You might be able to suggest other units similar to the 2 units I have suggested above that perhaps do handle 100% VG?

    1. I cannot be taken as an avid or high knowledge vaper, but they do have a decent one by e-leaf now called the icare or the icare-mini they are very small has a pretty good draw and flavor its an auto shutoff and just draw style not a push button style. They have a small tank but its easy to fill easy to alter the vapor/air mix and all the tools you need are included(as part of the cap/mouth peice). It is a low cost option with inexpensive atomizers it runs around $20 USD, and the atomizers are around $2 each. The battery life is around 4 hours of heavy vaping, and can be used while charging. It is not a perfect device but it is a good one to start with/change up to if you are trying to find one that works for you. Its size is about as thick as a bic lighter and just a little larger if you get the bigger of the 2 and about the size of a flash drive if you get the smaller one, it will not go off in your pocket.

      In my opinion…
      Small , Easy, little to no tools or outside devices needed to maintain, adjustable air ratio, inexpensive, doesn’t seem to leak (as long as you have the air tube on properly and not rediculiously loose, does not need to be flipped upside down to refill, Simple to use, better clouds than most if not all pen style’s.

      Small tank so you may need to fill more often, Not adjustable wattage, small enough to misplace, awkward placement for the led(to tell you the charge level left), the coils/atomizers do not last nearly as long as some of the more expensive units, and it was a little awkward that it says icute on the side, not the huge clouds(if you like to show off), and if you chain vape for to long (i have not had any issues and i’ll vape while watching movies) it could dry out the cotton, could have a little spray if you don’t put the atomizer on well enough, and it has a small delay on the draw, do not blow into it unless you want it to build up pressure and auto fire for a little bit(blowing a cloud out the mouth peice like when you are blowing through the air holes on most normal mods (from the kanger tech styles to Aspire K1)
      its best for lung draw but with a little bit of use you can figure out how to mouth to lung just fine.

      over all its a good device and can be easily charged with a computer, phone charger(usb mini), or even an extra phone battery pack.

      I apologize for the long message and hope it helps anyone who wants a smaller device.

      1. (minor edit) The amount of VG or PG does not seem to have much of an effect on performance or duration. and although i have not burnt out any coils yet i’m told with heavy use they last for about a month with 80%+VG

  13. I started vaping a year ago and had the usual cough for about a week or so, but just persevered as I had to stop smoking for very real health reasons. Now so happy with vapig that I would never entertain the idea of smoking another cigarette. More recently I’ve started mixing my own liquid and tried to introduce a friend in order to get her to quit cigarettes. However, she just could not get over the initial vaping cough. A lot of trial and error later with various eliquid mixes and we’ve cracked it. A 30%PG/70%VG mix (much less harsh), and as also suggested in the article above, 1% menthol to 4% of another flavouring, which she says also feels more soothing on her throat than her preferred flavour without menthol. Nothing scientific about a single case, but I’m convinced that higher VG mixes are better for people who genuinely cannot get on with predominantly PG liquids, and a drop of menthol also helps without dominating the flavour experience. With regards to devices, I started off with the readily available pen type refillable e-cig and am now using a cool fire 4 with a nautilus mini tank. I was surprised how much more intense the nicotine “hit” was when I switched (same liquid in both) so there may also be something in the contention that higher end devices also have an effect. Incidentally the recommended voltage for nautilus mini coils is 4.2 to 4.8 volts. I vape at 4.4 volts, but my aforementioned friend, who has the same device, vapes at 3.7 volts and is perfectly happy, so it might also be worth considering turning the power down if you have a variable voltage device and are having coughing problems.

  14. I know this is an elderly post, but Im commenting because I have just started coughing after 4 years of only vaping, after having smoked cigarettes for 25 years… My feeling is that its all the rubbish on my lungs getting cleansed gradually perhaps? I only cough if I take a really big draw and it just feels like my lungs and throat start to tickle and then i have a coughing fit.

    Anyone else had this, any advice?

  15. Been vaping since July 2016. Started off with a cheap 1300 Mah battery stick. Then moved on to a IStick Pico with an ijust 2 tank. Using .3 ohm coils at 40W
    Coughing is a concern. Thankfully in India, we have a wonderful antitussive called Kantheel. Take 2 of those when leaving the house, and no cough through the day. Unless water consumption is reduced.
    Having smoked tobacco for 17 years, I am glad to have found vapes and will never go back, cough or not be damned.

  16. Hi,
    Posting this question for my wife who has been suffering from continuous a cough for a few years now.
    Her cough is dry, loud and every 5- 10 seconds.
    When she sleeps there is not a single cough.
    Needless to say, it is driving us crazy (her particularly).
    Things are done so far tested for allergies and she does have mild allergies and takes shots every few weeks.
    Another medication that she takes is regular series and montelukast sodium with pretty much no effect.
    Her coughs are getting worse and more frequent and doctors have no more suggestions.
    I would greatly appreciate any feedback, suggestions and help regarding this problem.
    Thank you

  17. Found this really useful. Was coughing so badly when I started with the ecig with every inhale and was about to give it up as a bad joke. After googling and came across your site, I have changed a few things as suggested, persevered and now nearly a week into and think I’ve finally got the hang of it. Surprisingly not wanted a normal cigarette at all

  18. I found if you inhale, and just tap the button while your inhaling. You can control the amount you inhale. Instead of holding down the button which makes you draw to much smoke at once.

  19. I’ve been an avid vaper for 5+ years, using a wide variety of devices and juices. I LOVE VAPING. That said, for the past year, I’ve developed what I can only describe as having a tightness in my chest, as though my lung capacity is reduced and a tickling sensation that results in a cough. I can say that it is not related to PG allergy, nic level, lack of hydration, wattage, or the way I draw. My fear is that it’s related to sub-ohming for a few years and that I’ve developed some sort of COPD. I came across a similar comment on GrimmGreen’s instagram from a cloud comp’er.

    Vaping IS safer than smoking – BUT – we need to do some more studies to see what it’s long term affects are, using current and popular devices/juices – not just cig-a-likes from 6 years ago.

    Telling people “it’s PG allergies” or “drink water” isn’t doing any favours.

    1. Hi Sammy, The only known side effect I have seen is that it can lead to a restriction in airway passages. However, Farsalinos has indeed pointed out that if there is any harm it is likely to come from vapour, so from a health point of view vapers would be better of avoiding sub-ohming.

  20. Yes I have COPD… trying vaping so I don’t smoke real cigarettes. However I’m worried that vaping may inflame airway passages ..pls share ur thoughts

  21. I actually had quit smoking for 3 months or so, before taking up vaping in desperate attempt to relieve the incessant cravings I had at the time.

    No coughing at all, when I first started.

    However because of dehydration and the effect on my voice which I required to make a living, I slowly switched back to tobacco. (drinking more water doesn’t cut the mustard I’m afraid)

    Now when I try to vape I experience extreme coughing fits.

    I wondered if it had anything to do with the effect of phlegm that builds up to protect the lungs when smoking tobacco and the dehydration effect of vaping

    Good post BTW

  22. I am so desperate to stop smoking . I have bought a tarot nano vapor. Every time I give it a go I cough so bad . I am told that I am using it the same as a smoke . What can do and what am I doing wrong . Help

    1. Hi Deborah

      I’d suggest that the Tarot Nano Vapor is not a great device to start with. It’s got a big power range and while that would be great for clouds it’s not good for someone who is coughing when they vape. I’d look for something simpler and with less power such as the Jac S17 (https://www.ecigarettedirect.co.uk/jac-series-17-ecig-kit). That would produce less vapour and be less likely to make you cough.

      In terms of using it like a cigarette, with an e-cig you should take longer, gentler inhales. If you’re coughing, try inhaling the vapour into your mouth before you take it down into your lungs.

  23. Thanks for this article I’ve been vaping for about a year and a half and I still cough. I can see now it’s bc I was inhaling too slow and exhaling too fast so I’m gonna try and fix that. I I use a tube mech mod with an rda and I really like vaping so, Thank you!

  24. Thanks for this! Trying to quit smoking and was a little worried about how my first vaping experience is going. I find that the mouth to lung hit helps as you said it might. I’d also like to note that I was told by my local vape store employee to start out on a low PG because it provides that “throat hit” which can lead to coughing or irritation. I’m on 70/30 vg 12 ejuice and finding it much better with the MTL.

  25. People cough because the smoke from a vape is very moist like the OP has stated and cigarette smoke is very dry…it’s pretty simple to comprehend.

  26. Just wanted to say thank you to all for the article and all of your comments.

    After 40 years of cigarette smoking and several attempts at giving up, I have decided to try vaping in the hope that it might at least help me cut down on the number of cigarettes I smoke, and – who knows? – maybe even give up cigarettes entirely.

    First attempt a couple of hours ago was a big shock, though – major coughing fit!

    Came online to see if that was unusual and discovered it’s not (so at least it’s not just me thank goodness!), and found this article plus all the various comments.

    Had a think about it, and a few minutes ago tried again, but with a drastically modified technique – instead of holding the button down continuously while drawing the vapour directly into my lungs, I started drawing then pulsed the button a couple of brief times, and held the vapour in my mouth for several seconds before slowly inhaling some of it. No cough! But still a nice nicotine hit (which makes me think I could probably shift down to a lower strength eliquid).

    I’m feeling really hopeful now that vaping will help me to give up cigarettes completely. Thank you for all the useful information on this page, which helped point me in the right direction!

  27. I’ve been a smoker for more than 30 years. Started when when I was 14. I tried (halfheartedly) a few times but it never stuck. I’m a diehard menthol smoker but once legalization was passed to no longer sell this I persevered, moving onto to the non-monthol of the same brand. I never liked the taste or smell of cigs, but I was addicted. That is until the price of a carton went up to 130. I walked by a vape store, did a double take, and decided to go in inquire what the hype was all about. After consulting with a very helpful employee, I bought a aspire pocket x. After telling him I was a pack a day menthol smoker he recommended a 6mg menthol liquid. THE best decision I’ve ever made! I’ve never inhaled cigs directly into my lungs, always holding the smoke on the back of my mouth and then inhale to the back of my throat, then exhale, but I do sometimes get a ‘kick back cough’, typically it’s my first couple of puffs in the morning so I’ve learned to take short puffs initially. Not a big deal to me since the benefits very much outweigh this slight irritant. It’s been just over a month and I definitely notice the difference in my breathing. I can actually take a full breath now. I didn’t realize I couldn’t until I could. I haven’t smoked a cigarette since I started vaping and I won’t ever go back. My only disappointment is that 1, I started smoking to begin with and 2, I didn’t start vaping sooner.

  28. I have just started using e-cig about 4 days ago and have been experiencing throat hit. Started with zero nicotine and now 12mg.
    One thing I figured may be helpful, vape hits the throat more when the battery is low as compare to when it is fully charged. It may be a wrong observation but is working with me. I have been a smoker for about 25 years now.

  29. Holy crap, thank you!!! I’ve finally made the switch from smoking to vaping, and I spent about two days doing both until just today I went to 100% vaping. I was coughing every single time and it was driving me crazy until I found your article… when smoking cigarettes I would always bring smoke into my mouth before inhaling, so I decided to try a direct vape to lung inhale in low wattage (25 watts) and success!! Smooth with no cough. Frankly I’m amazed – I didn’t think it would make so much of a difference. Thanks for the tip.

  30. When I tried it the first time on a box mod, low nicotine juice, I barely coughed. I think if I did, my boyfriend merely laughed and asked “Are you okay baby girl?” Now, after several months, I have my own vape on a 50mg nic salt and have used it only for a couple days (after getting it over the weekend) and I’ve had terrible coughing fits, trying to take large inhales. I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually, but I sure won’t stop no matter what. Would love more inhalation tips if anyone has them.

    1. 50 mg is seriously strong! I assume you’re not in Europe as the legal limit here is 2ml. Nicotine salts are better used in smaller, lower powered devices, so the device could be a problem. If you don’t need the strengths to replace the urge to smoke, why not switch to a lower nicotine juice?

  31. Every smoker I’ve known has always took a drag through there mouth then inhaled and I found most vapers inhale straight in regardless I’m just leaving this comment because I was intrigued but the statistics and how backwards it seemed 🙂 great article

  32. Hello! I’ve bought a vape a few months ago and so far what i’ve been doing is switching it out for a cig. (pretty heave smoker, trying to smoke less.) With that i mean i take a cigarette then few hours later i take the vape and repeat.

    Also since weed is being legalized more and more maybe its useful to have a paragraph about weed and vape related in this article?

    Things i have found:
    -Some tastes will make me cough more (banana more than watermelon)
    -Indeed more VG will help the cough for me but not too much.
    -Higher wattage is more smoke but also more coughs duh.
    -When i’m stoned i can smoke it at the highest wattage and i can take as long of a puff i as i want without a problem.

    Now my question is: Why, when i’m stoned, i can puff at any wattage for any ammount of time without coughing but otherwise i can not?

    I also thought maybe the issue has nothing to do with weed. Maybe because i switch out vape and cigarettes every time i can’t actually get used to the vapor and that’s why i keep coughing. Could this be a reason aswell?

    (Sorry my english and grammar isn’t that good.)

  33. Here’s what solve my coughing problem:
    – right inhaling technique
    – proper hydration (im too dehydrated from caffeine)
    – consider your atomizer type (sub ohm tanks needs time intervals for them to properly wick or else you get that micro dry hits causing cough)
    – avoid low quality coil heads that don’t wick properly
    – use salt nic, it didn’t gave me cough except those dry hits my low quality coil gave me.

  34. Thanks, James this made a lot of sense. I’ve been having trouble getting started with this whole vape thing because of the coughing. I figured this CAN’T be good for you… Then, I saw your article. Again, Thanks.

  35. Marissa Coltman

    I’ve been vaping for 3 months and have gradually developed a persistent dry cough. I’m using a pro ohm basic device with 50/50 liquid and am beginning to think I might be sensitive to the liquid?! Partner keeps saying I should stop vaping but I feel I need it to get over a 25 year 40-a-day cigarette habit! Would you suggest I try sub-ohm and move to a lower level of PG? Thanks in advance, Rissa

    1. Hope you have sorted out that cough it is very annoying I know try mixing your own and try a 70vg 30 pg mix I found that so much better no coughing for me
      Good luck

  36. I have been vaping about a year now I’ve always had a bit of a cough I started to mix my own e-liquid I found that a higher pg would make me cough but juice mixed 70vg 30pg I found it was a smooth smoke and Best of all no coughing 😊😊😊

  37. I completely stopped smoking in 2012 thanks to vaping. I’m not sure what happened, but around 2017, I think I got drunk at Superbowl and started smoking Djarum cloves, AGAIN! GRRRRR…. I stopped vaping completely 😥After going through 5 packs of smokes per week for the last 4 years and thousands of dollars later, I decided last week, I’m done. I pulled out my Alien mod, took her to the local hookup, got my old favorite juice. So excited.. First hit, the tickle, then cough. Wth. Every single hit, horrible and immediately, I cough. I changed the puff strength, the watts, nothing worked. I knew it wasn’t my juice, it’s my fav go-to and I’d never coughed this bad before.
    Anyway, after 4 days and countless videos, Sherlock here starting messing with the air vent. It was all the way closed. I’m like, hmmmm, it’s been so long, I couldn’t remember how I used to set it. So I opened it up fully, took a hit, NO COUGH! OMG. Solved the fricking problem. I’m so stoked. Back to big dragon plumes that taste like strawberry sour straws 😋

    1. Ah, Djarum, I used to smoke those when I worked in Indonesia.

      That’s a super useful comment, thank you. I’ll keep that in mind in case I come across vapers who have a similar problem.

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