Vaper's cough is a common side effect of when vaping with your electronic device; be it an e-cigarette all the way up to a mod. It tends to occur most among newbie vapers who are still in the process of adapting to the vapor and the proper methods used when using their device.
There are several reasons that vaper's cough happens, and it isn't as bad as you might think.
The main ingredients in most e-liquids are: flavorings, vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), and nicotine. Propylene glycol is a substance known to be of a low toxicity in the human body and is often used in food products. E-liquids with greater quantities of PG have a harsher hit then liquids which have a higher percentage of vegetable glycerin. These higher concentrations can cause mild irritation in the throat before a person becomes accustomed to it, leading to coughing from an initial sensitivity in those first starting to vape. Trying a juice that has a higher amount of VG can help ease the coughing of people more sensitive to the propylene glycol.
The amount of nicotine in the e-liquid can also affect the likelihood of a cough. The nicotine used when vaping doesn't contain the chemical anesthetics that tobacco smoke from traditional cigarettes must reduce the frequency of coughing among smokers. Therefore, it is a cleaner and less toxic habit because it doesn't contain the large amount of chemicals found in cigarettes. Now, with all that being said, you need to figure out what your nic strength/level will be. If you’re a former pack or two a day smoker, you are going to need a higher nicotine dosage, preferably 18mg all the way up to possibly 36mg. For those just starting out vaping that were not really heavy smokers, a nic strength of less than 18mg should work.
Improper Inhalation Techniques
Another common cause of coughing is an improper inhalation technique. If a vaper inhales in a short, hard hit like one would with a cigarette, it can overheat the e-liquid, causing a dry hit that tastes bad and makes the user cough. Vapor is denser and heavier than smoke, thus requires a different technique. Longer, gentler draws, or several short puffs which are held in the mouth for a moment before inhaling, can help alleviate the frequency of coughing.
Now You Know
This all shows that the cough associated with vaping occurs for more benign reasons than the cough that comes with traditional smoking. It happens while the body adjusts to the propylene glycol, the higher purity nicotine and while learning the proper inhalation techniques. The coughing that a former smoker experiences when first starting to vape is also often a sign that the tar in the lungs is being cleared out and a temporary transition is occurring as the lungs adjust to the new substance.
When you first begin vaping and experience that first cough, be rest assured, it isn't because of health reasons, but only that you're experiencing that adjustment period.