Why Does E-Cigarette Vapor Make Me Cough?

This is a common question and often times it is misleading. When you take your first pull off an electronic cigarette you may feel a tickle in the back of your throat that causes you to cough, this is what is known as a throat but more on this later. Coughing over time will decrease as you begin to get used to the vapor entering your throat, but did you know there are several explanations for why you cough after a pull?

A New Throat Hit

Just like a traditional cigarette, electronic cigarettes also have a throat hit, their job is to mimic an actual cigarette so you can lean off that unhealthy habit and upgrade to the vaping lifestyle! Every time you take a pull off of an electronic cigarette, you will feel the satasfying sensation of a “throat hit”. When making the switch your first few pulls may cause you to cough, but this will fade over time as it may be shocking to your system at the beginning.

Remember this is a new substance entering your throat and lungs, and your bodies natural reaction at first will be to expel it by coughing, adjusting nicotine levels and taking shallow pulls will help your body quickly adjust.


A common side effect of vaping is dry mouth due to dehydration. This is due to one of the main organic, food based ingredients in e-juice known as propylene glycol. The propylene glycol has a drying effect on the soft tissues in the mouth and throat causing a cough and lack of saliva. To counteract this is simple, and we remind you to drink plenty of water throughout your day to stay hydrated to keep your mouth moist. Avoid drinking sugary drinks while vaping, as they can further dehydrate you.


Propylene Glycol Sensitivity

Though this is rare, some people after making the switch have a cough that is persistent or have itchy or red skin irritations. This is nothing to worry about as it just means there is a sensitivity to propylene glycol (PG), and a quick fix is to order e-juice that has a 100% vegetable glycerine (VG) blend. The only way to tell if you have a sensitivity to propylene glycol is by vaping a blend of strictly PG.

Your Lungs are Clearing

Another extremely common cause of cough in people that have recently switched in favor of electronic cigarettes, is simply due to the lungs thanking you and doing their natural job and cleaning themselves. Think a cigarette has thousands of toxic chemicals many of which cancer causing, so after all those years of smoking imagine the damage done to your lungs?

Your lungs will be purging the excess tar, mucus, and other contaminates from smoking, so expect to cough up brown/dark mucus. This process can take up to a month or even longer, but just think of how making the switch to electronic cigarettes is adding time to your life!

Andy Flynn

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