If you’re new to vaping, figuring out how to actually vape e-liquid can be quite daunting, especially if you find you cough when you first inhale.
Firstly, a few tips on what equipment you need:
Start out with a simple device, then work your way up. Cigalikes look and feel like cigarettes, vape pens are bigger and have a longer battery life, pod mods are lightweight vaporizers and all-in-one starter kits are perfect for beginners. You will also need some e-liquid if your device is not already pre-filled – you can get e-liquid in an endless variety of flavours and they also come in a variety of nicotine strengths.
Most refillable vaping devices will need a new coil head roughly every week, you simply screw them into your tank. These coil heads contain a heating element (coil) surrounded by wicking material (cotton), which atomize the e-juice and turn it into vapor.
When you first take your vape out of the box it will have a fresh coil installed and won’t have e-liquid in the tank – do not press the fire button as it will instantly destroy the coil head. You need to first fill the tank to its appropriate level and wait around 20 minutes to let the cotton soak up the juice – if you rush this, it will taste like burnt cotton!
How to inhale
Turn on your device to its lowest recommended setting then place your lips on the mouthpiece and take a drag whilst simultaneously pressing the fire button. Inhale then quickly let the vapor out.
If you’re not used to this feeling, you may cough or sneeze – this is very normal. Just take smaller puffs to start with. There are two ways to inhale; ‘mouth to lung’ and ‘direct lung’ inhalations.
Mouth to lung mimics smoking a traditional cigarette – it’s a two-step process in which you inhale vapor into the mouth first, as if sucking on a straw, and then draw down into the lungs. It is usually done with lower airflow settings. The vapor remains in the mouth for longer and there is a reduced throat hit.
Direct lung inhaling is a one-step process in which vapor is inhaled directly into the lung, much like sucking the air from a balloon, this is similar to the technique used for smoking a shisha pipe or bong. It is usually done with wider airflow settings. This draw method is usually used with sub-ohm vaping and the throat hit is more intense.
Coughing and vaping
The most common side effect experienced by first time vapers is a cough and sore throat. This could be because some people are sensitive to the propylene glycol in e-liquids but, for most, this is a temporary effect and the body soon gets used to this chemical.
In contrast, tobacco smoke contains ingredients which are specifically designed to stop smokers coughing – the absence of anaesthetics and antitussives in vapes could explain why you cough when you first try vaping.
Ex-smokers should also understand that when you stop smoking, the tiny hair-like cells on your respiratory tract called cilia start growing back and this can often mean you cough more.
Here are some suggestions on how to stop coughing when vaping:
- Experiment with different inhaling and exhaling techniques and speeds.
- Change the PG/VG ratio in your e-liquid – VG is smoother.
- Reduce nicotine levels to see if affects the throat hit.
- Drink water to stay hydrated.
- Add a drop of menthol to your e-liquid.