Despite being a fun way to "smoke", many vapers--especially the newbies find themselves coughing when they vape. In fact, according to a survey conducted by, more than half of 600 respondents say they cough when they puff. 57% of vapers who participated in the survey were guilty of coughing during the first time they tried vaping.

Studies conducted found that this phenomenon is backed up by science.

Research by scientists backs this up, with studies finding out that the most common side effects experienced by first time vapers was a cough and sore throat. However, 93% of the respondents who said they experienced coughing during their first vaping experience say that eventually, it was no longer a problem and was only a temporary effect.

So why do they cough? Researches suggest that these reasons can be the culprit:


Irritants in Vapors 

Most vapers will probably tell you it’s because of propylene glycol.

ased on a very rough estimate around 10% of the population is sensitive to propylene glycol, while a much smaller population are found to be allergic to propylene glycol.

At the same time, some elements found in vapour appears to be contributing to yhe cough, such as unidentified ingredients, contaminants, by-products which can be irritating to the throat for some. 

However, some find it interesting to find out how come many vapers cough when they first use e-cigarettes, but not after sustained use? Some researchers hypothesize that it can be possibly because the body grows immunity to what causes the reaction and it gets used to these chemicals.

Technique Used When Vaping

 Some experts argue that first time vapers cough when they puff because of their specific technique. While many smokers draw cigarette smoke through their mouths and straight into their lungs, some vapers draw vapor into their mouths and hold it there before inhaling into their lungs.

Cilia Regrowth

One of the body’s natural reaction when you smoke is the destruction of cilia, which are the tiny hair-like projections located on the respiratory tract. During the act of smoking, or vaping in this case, the chemicals you inhale are too strong for these thin strands. Naturally, the body has the ability to regenerate it and regrow it. Unfortunately, the process can be irritating and be the cause of cough.

Nicotine Strength

One of the probable causes of coughing during vaping is the strength of the nicotine present in your e-liquid. A higher nicotine level seems to lead to a harsher vape, and an increased likelihood of coughing.

Device Used

Sometimes, the device you are using can contribute to your coughing as well. In fact, many users cough when they first switch to a sub-ohm device. Though this might be a trial and error solution for you, it will be worth it in the end.


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

So, how to stop it?

Change your Techniques

Experiment with your techniques and find the right one for you, the one that you will enjoy, yet will not make you cough.

Identify the right PG/VG Ratio for you

If you continue to experience a cough when you vape, you could change the PG/VG ratio. This can also be determined after a round of trial and error. Most e-liquids are made up of PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine). VG is generally and undeniably smoother, and many people who use high powered box mods find they need to use an e-liquid with a high VG ratio to avoid coughing.

Experiment with Your Nicotine Levels

If coughing is an issue, it may be worth temporarily reducing the nicotine that you use.

Drink Lots of Water

If you have pin pointed the reason for your coughing is dehydration, the simplest solution is drink lots of fluids during and after vaping.

Change the Speed of Breathing

Fast breathing can lead to coughing, as their is not enough air hitting the coil in your e-cigarette. Find the right timing and tempo and lessen the chances of coughing when you use your vape device.