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How to Hit a Vape Pen Without Coughing

Nothing kills the vibe of a relaxing vaping sesh quicker than hacking up a lung. And while a chronic cough is definitely something to check out, most uncontrollable coughing fits can be avoided with a few simple tweaks.

How to hit a vape pen without coughing

You don't have to be a doctor to understand why coughing happens when you vape. Inhaling any foreign substance (smoke, dust, vapors) irritates the lungs. The act of coughing is your body's way of expelling that irritant. So if you want to suppress the cough reflex, you need to minimize the irritation—luckily, there are a few simple ways to do just that.

Inhale into your mouth—not your lungs

The first step is to take shallower, shorter hits. Instead of inhaling deeply into your lungs—as many experienced smokers who make the switch to vaping do—take small sips of vapor into your mouth. Then, after breathing it out to create that cool, smoky effect, you can slowly inhale the rest. This method requires a little more patience than deep lung hits, but slowing down your breath will lessen irritation and save you from coughing fits.

Adjust the settings

A lot of times, coughing is just a result of not yet finding the right balance of heat. Higher heat produces a thicker smoke that's more likely to irritate your throat. The simplest way to find the sweet spot is to start with lower settings and gradually turn them up until you find the perfect hit.

Skip the fruity flavors

Who isn't a fan of a tropical paradise or a mixed berry blast? While these juices taste great, some people are actually allergic to fruity and even menthol flavors, which can cause coughing. If you've tried other methods and still can't seem to stop the cough, it might be time to ditch the dragon fruit for a more soothing flavor.

Clean your vape pen

A buildup of residue can also lead to a cough-inducing hit—especially if you're smoking cannabis.  Bud burns very easily, which in turn makes it easy to inhale burnt residue along with the vapor. So do yourself (and your lungs) a favor and clean your vape pen regularly.

Up your H2O intake

Vaping can cause dehydration, which can lead to a whole host of problems, including a hacking cough. So if you're an active vaper, make sure you're getting plenty of water throughout the day.

Aim for at least four to six cups a day, or more, if you can swing it.

Vape less

Last but not least, if you find that you're coughing more than usual, it might be time to take a break from vaping. Overdoing it —whether you're new to vaping or a seasoned pro—can really mess with your lungs and your ability to breathe properly. So if you're coughing up a storm, it might be time to put the vape pen down for a few days and cut back on how much you're vaping.

What makes you cough when vaping?

As we previously mentioned, coughing is a reflex that helps to clear your airway and protect your lungs. Whenever something foreign enters the lungs, a message is sent to your brain to alert it. Then the brain alerts your chest and abdominal muscles to contract and force out the intruder via cough.


So while it may be annoying, coughing is actually a good thing—it's your body's way of saying, "Hey, this isn't supposed to be here." And in the case of vaping, it's usually caused by one (or more) of the following:


  • You're new to vaping: One survey of 600 vapers found that over half coughed during their first time using a vape pen. After vaping for at least 10 weeks, 92% of those people no longer had any coughing fits. 
  • You're not cleaning your vape pen: A buildup of residue can irritate your throat and cause you to cough. So if you want to avoid a hacking fit, make sure to clean your vape pen regularly.
  • You're taking too big of hits: Bigger hits mean more vapor, which can irritate your throat—especially if you're taking deep inhales directly into your lungs. To avoid coughing, try taking shallower, shorter hits instead.
  • Your heat setting is too high: If you're coughing up a storm, it might be because you're vaporizing at too high of a temperature. Try turning the heat down and gradually increasing it until you find the right degree of warmth.

How to soothe a cough from vaping

Don't worry, there are a few things you can do to soothe your throat and get rid of that pesky cough, such as:


  • Drinking more water
  • Eating pineapple, which has an enzyme that can suppress coughs
  • Drinking peppermint, thyme, ginger, slippery elm, or marshmallow root tea
  • Gargle salt water
  • Take a break from vaping

To sum it up

Vape cough happens, but it doesn't have to ruin the vibe. By following the tips above, you can minimize your chances of coughing and maximize your enjoyment.

Frequently asked questions

How can I smoke a cart without coughing?

Take smaller hits, clean your vape pen regularly, make sure your heat isn't set too high and drink plenty of water.

Why do I cough when I hit my vape now?

It could be caused by a number of things, including residue build-up, dehydration, or taking too big of hits.

How do you get rid of a tickly cough from vaping?

There are a few things you can do to soothe your throat and get rid of that pesky cough, such as: drinking more water, eating pineapple, drinking tea, gargling salt water, or taking a break from vaping.

What to do about a vaping night cough?

If you find yourself coughing even when you're not vaping, it might be time to take a break. Chronic coughing can be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as bronchitis or COPD. If your cough is accompanied by shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest pain, see a doctor.