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Why Do I Get Headaches, Start Coughing, or Get Dry Mouth and Throat When Vaping?

by Tsholo Mofokeng 09 Apr 2024 0 Comments


Vaping has gained significant popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional smoking. While many people turn to vaping as a perceived safer option, some vapers experience adverse side effects such as headaches, coughing, dry mouth, and throat irritation. Understanding the reasons behind these symptoms is crucial for vapers and those considering vaping. This blog aims to explore the common side effects of vaping and provide insights into their potential causes and management.

Understanding Vaping: A Quick Overview

Vaping involves inhaling an aerosol, commonly referred to as vapour, produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. These devices come in various forms, including e-cigarettes, vape pens, and mods. The substances used in vaping can range from nicotine and THC to CBD and flavourings.

Why Do I Get Headaches When Vaping?

Headaches are a common complaint among vapers, and several factors could contribute to this symptom:

  • Nicotine Levels: High nicotine concentrations in e-liquids can cause headaches, especially for new vapers or those not accustomed to nicotine.

  • Dehydration: Propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), common ingredients in e-liquids, can lead to dehydration, which may result in headaches.

  • Sensitivity to Ingredients: Some vapers may be sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients in e-liquids, leading to headaches.

To reduce vaping-related headaches, vapers can try adjusting their nicotine levels, staying hydrated, and choosing e-liquids with a higher VG content, as VG is less likely to cause dehydration compared to PG.

Coughing: A Common Side Effect of Vaping

Coughing is another prevalent side effect reported by vapers. Possible reasons for coughing when vaping include:

  • Throat and Airway Irritation: The act of inhaling vapour can irritate the throat and airways, leading to coughing.

  • Sensitivity to PG or VG: Some individuals may be sensitive to PG or VG, which can cause irritation and coughing.

  • Improper Inhalation Techniques: Incorrect inhalation techniques, such as inhaling too quickly or deeply, can also trigger coughing.

To minimise coughing while vaping, vapers should practice proper inhalation techniques, adjust their device settings, and consider switching to e-liquids with a smoother blend.

Dry Mouth and Throat: Dehydration and Vaping

Dry mouth and throat are common symptoms associated with vaping, primarily due to the hygroscopic properties of PG and VG, which can draw moisture from the mouth and throat.

Symptoms of dry mouth and throat may include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Bad breath

To alleviate dry mouth and throat when vaping, vapers can increase their water intake, use hydrating mouthwashes, and opt for e-liquids with a higher VG content, as VG is less dehydrating compared to PG.

Understanding the Ingredients: Potential Sensitivities and Allergies

It is essential to be aware of the ingredients in vape juice and recognise potential sensitivities or allergies. Common ingredients include nicotine, PG, VG, and flavourings, which can vary in quality and purity.

Symptoms of ingredient sensitivities or allergies may include:

  • Skin rashes or hives
  • Respiratory issues
  • Digestive problems

Vapers should read labels carefully, research ingredients, and consult healthcare professionals if they suspect an allergy or sensitivity to vaping ingredients.

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

While most vaping-related side effects are mild and temporary, some symptoms may indicate a more serious health issue, such as:

  • Persistent or severe headaches
  • Chronic coughing or respiratory issues
  • Persistent dry mouth or throat

If vapers experience these symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical advice promptly. Healthcare professionals can provide personalised advice, identify underlying health issues, and offer support for managing vaping-related symptoms.


In conclusion, while vaping is often perceived as a safer alternative to traditional smoking, it is not without its potential side effects. Understanding the causes of common symptoms such as headaches, coughing, dry mouth, and throat irritation can help vapers make informed decisions about their vaping habits. By adopting proper techniques, staying hydrated, and being mindful of ingredient sensitivities, vapers can enjoy a safer and more enjoyable vaping experience.


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