Throat hit is vital for most vapers, especially ex-smokers who use vapes as smoking cessation products. When vaping, many factors contribute to the intensity of a throat hit including nicotine levels, and the contents in your vape juice.
Majority of vapers consider throat hit important when they begin vaping, but that number drops with time as the vapers now start prioritizing other things such as vapor and flavor. It is common knowledge that nicotine brings about throat hit; hence vapers who want to reduce or not experience any throat hit should use no nicotine vape. Here’s everything you need to know to better your throat hit experience.
What is throat hit?
If you are new to vaping and have never smoked before, you might be wondering what throat hit is. The term refers to the sensation at the back of the throat caused by inhalation of nicotine-based vapor.
Some vapers consider throat hit as critical to improving their vaping experience. Throat hit is essential for ex-smokers who are vaping for smoking cessation as it gives them the satisfaction that they used to get from cigarettes, preventing them from slipping back into traditional cigarette smoking.
Throat hit from an electronic cigarette can either be strong or gentle depending on the vape juice flavorings and nicotine. A strong throat hit is quite irritating, and if you have never smoked before, it can make you cough. A gentler one, on the other hand, brings about a smoother sensation than that of smoking the standard cigarette. However, it is worth noting that there are cigarettes that give a mild throat hit such as Marlboro.
Can I get throat hit with nicotine free e-liquid?
Nicotine is the cause of that “irritation” you feel when you smoke or vape. Therefore, 0mg nicotine e-liquids do not have throat hit. That said, several seasoned vapers have found ways to get the throat hit sensation by using 100% PG based e-liquids or blends with high PG ratios. It is worth noting that though PG might give you a tingling sensation in your throat, it is different from that of nicotine. Vapers who want to use vape juice with no nicotine also opt for methanol e-juice flavors as they give a kick in the throat but like that of PG, it is different from nicotine hit.
How important is throat hit and why?
In a recent survey of 1,100 vapers, 48% of the respondents said that throat hit was “very important” to them when they started vaping while 30% said it was “important.”
The nicotine hit is the criterion many smokers use to determine whether to switch to vaping or not. Throat hit gives smokers the feeling of smoking the standard cigarette when they vape. A satisfactory throat hit from vaping helps smokers to stop smoking and adopt vaping.
Lack of throat hit for most smokers would feel like going cold turkey, and this can deter their efforts to stop smoking. Throat hit is, therefore, important in smoking cessation.
For people who vape for other reasons such as curbing sugar cravings, throat hit might not be as crucial because it is not a sensation they have experienced before and grown addicted to. Because throat hit is not a priority to them, these vapers will often go for vape juice with no nicotine.
Factors that affect throat hit
While the nicotine levels in vape liquids determine if or not there will be throat hit, some vapers can get a harsh throat hit from e-liquids with nicotine levels as low as 6mg due to the following factors:
PG and VG
Vape liquids are made of two primary base ingredients, that is, PG (Propylene Glycerol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerin).
PG is a colorless non-viscous liquid that is used to carry flavorings in food substances such as baked goods. PG brings out the sweet taste in these substances. VG, on the other hand, is a natural, organic, sweet, and viscous liquid that is made from vegetable oil. It is mostly used in cosmetic products and food production.
E-juices can be purely made of PG/VG, or they can be a blend of the two. How do these ingredients affect throat hit? Since PG is a potent humectant, it produces a harsh throat hit, like the one tobacco cigarettes, would produce. Due to its humectant properties, it tends to gather up moisture in the throat and mouth. Thus, when used consistently, it gives vapers a dry mouth and a sore throat. Compared to PG, VG gives a smoother throat hit.
In addition to affecting throat hit, the two ingredients also deliver flavor differently. PG produces a more pure flavor compared to VG, which is sweet; hence it makes the flavor of vape juice harder to detect.
When using vape juice with no nicotine, you’ll realize that the throat hit from PG is not the same as that of nicotine. It is sharper and more biting at the back of your throat, and it can even cause a slight cough. The trick is to get the right PG/VG blend for the kind of throat hit you are seeking (hard/smooth) and the power levels of the device you are using. More about devices will be discussed later in the article.
Because PG throat hit can become a little unbearable, it is wise to go for a mid-range PG/VG blend. A 50/50 PG/VG ratio will give you a less severe throat hit. However, if you are a clouds chaser, more PG means less vapor production and less dense clouds.
Nicotine levels also determine the harshness or smoothness of the throat hit that one will get, for vapers who do not use 0mg nicotine e-liquids. In fact, nicotine is the key influencer of throat hit in vaping. Unlike PG, its throat hit is robust, punchy and strong. The kick from nicotine can even feel uncomfortable, especially for vapers who never smoked before. Nonetheless, this kind of throat hit is the reason why smokers are able to switch to vaping and wean down of nicotine gradually.
Vapers who want a big and powerful throat hit go for e-liquids with high nicotine levels, say 16mg/ml, while those who want a gentler one go for e-liquids with 10mg/ml nicotine and less. It is worth noting that different devices deliver throat hit differently. Therefore, it is possible to use low nicotine levels and get a powerful throat hit with some devices.
Since vape devices deliver nicotine differently than traditional cigarettes, it is advisable to buy vape liquids from companies with pharmaceutical grade nicotine to get a harsher throat hit.
When you begin weaning yourself off nicotine, you can still get a harsh throat hit by tweaking the other factors discussed on this list.
The voltage/wattage you vape at significantly affects your throat hit. Some e-cigarettes do not have a variable wattage, and they only support vaping on low power. With such devices, it is harder to get a harsh throat hit with low nicotine levels or pure PG no nicotine vapes.
Bigger devices tend to have the temperature control mode, and they can vape on high wattages, which dramatically changes throat hit for users. As a result, most vapers lower their PG and nicotine levels when they get a more powerful device.
Power setting delivers throat it depending on the temperature of the vapor produced, the higher the temperature, the harsher the throat hit. So, PG gives you a smooth throat hit at 30W, increasing the power to 50 W will produce a harsher throat hit. Likewise, the throat hit form nicotine becomes more powerful as you raise the temperature.
Power settings allow you to control the type of throat hit you get and you can always dial in a different wattage or temperature to change throat hit.
Along with the factors discussed above, you can adjust the airflow to your device if you are still not getting the hit that you want. How does airflow affect throat hit? Tightening the airflow increases throat hit while increasing airflow decreases it. When more air flows to a vaping device, the temperature of the vapor reduces. Also, the vapor becomes less concentrated, reducing throat hit.
Types of devices
As mentioned earlier, the type of device that you use contributes to the kind of throat hit you get. Most vaping beginners will go for low power devices with coils of 1.2 ohms or higher such as vape pens and pod systems. These devices require the mouth-to-lung vaping method, which is very similar to smoking the standard cigarettes; hence they are very satisfying for new ex-smokers. Low power devices need high PG content to deliver a good throat hit. A ratio of 40/60 VG/PG provides a punchier throat hit in these devices. They also require high nicotine levels to deliver a harsh throat hit, but they are very good at carrying the flavor.
Sub-ohm tanks, with a coil resistance of fewer than 1 ohms, are often used by seasoned vapers. These devices might be counter-active for recent ex-smokers because they do not resemble cigarettes and they work best with the direct-to-lung vaping method which does not offer the same sensation as smoking cigarettes. Sub-ohm vaping devices can achieve very high temperatures and wattages; hence they require vape juices with 70% and above VG content. Otherwise, the throat hit will be too much. The same goes for nicotine. Levels higher than 6mg/ml are likely to produce a harsh and painful throat hit. Hence, they are suitable for people who have weaned off nicotine to low levels. Vapers who use no nicotine vape juice can get a strong throat hit form these devices, with low levels of PG.
Sometimes vapers buy vape liquids that have sat in the store for a long time. E-juices that have been stored for a long time tend to produce a harsh throat hit. If you are not looking for a harsh hit, breathing your vape juice will reduce it, but this will also diminish the flavor. You can increase the flavor by steeping the e-juice. If the e-juice is pre-steeped, avoid steeping it in heat as this could damage it.
The flavor of your e-liquid changes your throat hit too, and each flavor provides different results. Menthol flavors are known to add to that kick in the throat especially if you are using high PG 0mg nicotine e-liquid. Citrus flavors can improve throat hit too, although they are smoother than menthol. Sweet fruity flavors give a subtler throat hit as do dark flavors such as coffee, bakery, and dessert flavors. It is worth noting that sour fruit flavors enhance throat hit.
E-liquids tend to be alkaline because they ingredients are alkaline. This alkalinity decreases throat hit. Vapers increase the throat hit they get from 0mg nicotine e-liquids by adding acidic juice or flavor concentrate to lower the PH.
Is throat hit harmful?
Throat hit from vape devices gives smokers the same satisfaction that they got from smoking. However, a very harsh throat hit can hurt your throat and cause you to cough up phlegm if you are an ex-smoker. This does not mean that it is harmful, but rather, that your body is beginning to clear up the tar that accumulated in the lungs due to smoking. Moreover, vaping has been proven to be safer than smoking as it delivers nicotine in a less harmful way than smoking.
Tips and tricks to stop coughing
If vaping is causing you to cough, you need not worry. Vape liquids lack the anesthetics and antitussives found in cigarettes that prevent coughing. That said, you can avoid coughing by:
- Reducing PG levels as PG absorbs moisture causing a dry mouth and sore throat
- Experimenting with the mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung inhalation techniques to find the one that does not cause you to cough
- Hydrating to counteract the effects of PG
- Increasing the speed of your inhale to allow more air to hit the coil of your e-cigarette
- Exhaling slowly
- Using the best 0mg nicotine e-liquid if nicotine is causing you to cough
How Nicotine-free e-juices decrease the harms and hurts of throat-hit
Nicotine is the key determinant of throat hit. Although PG and menthol give you a kick in the throat, the sensation is not the same as that of nicotine. If you want your throat to hurt no more, you should go for the best 0mg nicotine e-liquid to avoid a cough and phlegm brought about by nicotine.
Though coughing might not seem harmful to a vaper, the body at some point reaches its maximum threshold. Coughing is meant to expel foreign bodies from the throat. When you use vape juice with no nicotine, you prevent the lining of your throat from being severely irritated and causing pain or discomfort. More to that, no nicotine vapes are free from harsh, harmful chemicals and there is a reduction in gag reflexes among nicotine free vapers. Therefore, nicotine free e-juices, especially the fruity instead of creamy ones, are beneficial for users.
Vaping is a vital harm reduction tool, especially for ex-smokers. It helps to quit harmful nicotine addiction and live a healthier life gradually. The Side effects of vaping such as coughing are temporary and can be avoided with the techniques discussed above. Bonus, vaping helps in dieting, by preventing calories accumulation from the deserts and sweets you crave. Various vaping flavors clear your desire.