There are lots of things that make vaping a satisfying experience. And the right throat hit is one of them. In this guide, we will look into the main factors that affect your throat hit when vaping and how to get what you are looking for.
What Is A Throat Hit?
In vaping, a throat hit is a feeling that you get from an e-cigarette on the back of your throat as you inhale. A strong throat hit is quite similar to what smokers experience from a traditional cigarette and may make you cough if you’ve never smoked/vaped before. A weak throat hit, on the other hand, describes the feeling you get when the vapor goes down smoothly and is not causing much of a sensation on the back of your throat as you inhale.
How To Customize A Throat Hit When Vaping?
Getting the right throat hit from your vape is essential for a satisfying experience. But preferences differ and while some vapers like a stronger throat hit, others do what they can to avoid it. Here are a few things you can do to customize the throat hit on your vape:
Adjusting The Nicotine Level
The amount of nicotine in your vape juice is one of the main factors that influence your throat hit.
Nicotine is the ingredient responsible for a strong punchy throat hit, and the more nicotine you inhale, the harsher of a throat hit you will experience. If you’ve tried vaping e-juices with high nicotine content, you should be well familiar with the feeling. This feeling is quite powerful and maybe a bit uncomfortable to some — but those who have recently gone from smoking to vape may be looking to replicate it.
The rule here is quite simple: if you want a stronger throat hit, you should be vaping juice with more nicotine in it. If you want a milder throat hit, get an e-liquid with a lower nicotine concentration. For most people, a strong throat hit would require the nicotine strength of over 16 mg/ml and a milder throat hit involved vaping an e-liquid with the nicotine content of 10 mg/ml of nicotine or lower.
This part is quite simple but it gets complicated when it comes to the vaping equipment that you use. Some devices are so efficient at getting nicotine into your system that higher nicotine strengths may become too much to handle. In this case, it’s best to consult your local vape shop to recommend the right mod for the throat hit you are looking for.
Another good advice to keep to here would be to buy e-juice from brands that use pharmaceutical-grade nicotine. Lower quality nicotine tends to have a peppery flavor and come with a harsher throat hit but the one that would not be necessarily pleasant.
Changing The PG/VG Ratio
Another big factor that affects your throat hit is the PG/VG ratio of the e-liquid you’re vaping.
The general rule is this: juices high in PG make for a stronger throat hit than e-juices high in VG. Thus, high-VG juices are perfect for a smooth vape.
Juices that are high in PG offer a distinct throat hit: it is quite sharp and may feel slightly itchy on the back of your throat. It’s a bit different from the throat hit you get from nicotine itself, which tends to be thicker and more robust. But, in general, if you want to get more of a throat hit from your vape, you should go with a blend with a higher PG content.
There is a catch, though. The scratchy character of a PG throat hit may get quite unpleasant, especially if you are vaping on a high powered mod. Thus, if you are using a powerful box mod, it would probably be best to keep to a mid-range PG/VG ratio.
Another thing to watch out for would be a PG allergy. About 4% of the world’s population is sensitive to propylene glycol and, if this is the case, you may experience some unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, nausea, sore throat, skin rashes and more. If you are suffering from PG sensitivity, you may need to stick to vape juices with a higher VG content.
There is another downside of juices that are high in PG: it is that they are not the best choice for clouds. A high VG juice is what you will need for good vapor production.
Tweaking Your Mod's Power Settings
If you are using a vaping gadget that allows you to adjust its power settings (a variable wattage or temperature control mode), you can open up more options when it comes to managing your throat hit.
The temperature of the vapor is what affects your throat hit. The more you turn up the power on your mod, the harsher of a throat hit you will get. The higher temperature on your mod will also enhance the “character” of the throat you are getting: the throat hit from a high PG juice will become even sharper and the one from a high nicotine e-juice will be more robust. In short, turned up power settings will let you get the most out of whatever throat hit your juice has.
Opening Up/Narrowing The Airflow
One more factor that affects your throat hit is your airflow setting. The general rule for airflow settings is that a more open airflow will reduce your throat hit and a tighter one will increase it.
This is because as you allow more air into your device, the less concentrated the vapor becomes. Conversely, once you have tightened the airflow, the vapor gets more concentrated, which results in a stronger throat hit.
Typically, you would vape with a tighter airflow when you are inhaling mouth to lung, which involves drawing the vapor into your mouth and then inhaling it all at once, in much the same way you would smoke a cigarette. If you open up the airflow on your device and inhale direct to the lung, you will get a different type of hit when you vape that won’t feel as concentrated on your throat. If you want to learn more about the differences between a mouth-to-lung inhale and direct-to-lung inhale, check out our Vaping Guide on How To Master The Right Inhale.
Trying Different Wicking Material
The type of wicking material you choose may also affect your throat hit. However, the difference may be too insignificant for most vapors to act upon: and, as you may well know, cotton is the most popular wicking material. It is chosen for its ability to deliver a clean flavor and makes for a milder throat hit.
If you are looking for a stronger throat hit and if you are using a device that is easy to re-wick, you could try a hemp wick — these tend to offer a slightly harsher throat hit. Wicks made of silica also make for a stronger throat hit than cotton — but your flavor quality may suffer.
Experimenting With Flavors
While nicotine concentration and PG/VG ratio are the two main ingredients in your vape juice that affect your throat hit, the flavor of your e-liquid may be something to consider as well.
Although every vape juice has the main base ingredient (PG or VG) that carries the throat hit, the flavor of the e-juice will affect it as well. For instance, menthol is generally recommended for a stronger throat hit: you may even a dash of menthol to other flavors to boost the throat hit. Citrus flavors have a similar effect.
If you are looking for a more subtle experience and a gentler throat hit, flavors like coffee, tobacco, sweet fruits, cream, and baked treats may be a good fit. While this can be a nice way to customize your throat hit, most vapers would still choose specific flavors for the way they taste rather than for the throat hit they offer.
Vaping Nicotine Salts
Nic salts are typically recommended for ex heavy smokers as they allow for high nicotine concentrations but, with that, they deliver it without the harsh throat hit that high nic vape juices usually come with. If you want to quit smoking and are not sure where to start, nic salts may prove to be a workable solution as they can closely mimic the sensation you used to get from smoking. Learn more about nic salts in our Ultimate Guide to Nic Salts.
What Mods Are Best For Throat Hit?
As we were talking about vape juices, we have mentioned a few times that certain devices allow you to adjust power settings and airflow. These types of tanks will also offer you more flexibility when it comes to e-liquid selection. Closed pod mod systems, on the other hand, will keep your options more limited: you won’t be able to tweak settings and will need to purchase pre-filled pods from the same brand. On the other hand, this would be ideal for vaping nic salts.
Then, there are hybrid devices iQ ONE that takes their place somewhere in between.
If you want to keep your options open, you should probably get a kit with variable wattage and adjustable temperature control. This way, you will be able to vape any juice you like, have control over your airflow and really customize your throat hit.
Summing Things Up: Quick Tips For The Right Throat Hit
For A Stronger Throat Hit
For A Milder Throat Hit
Switch to different wicking material: cotton wicks are the most popular but a hemp wick may offer more of a kick.
Use cotton wicks: cotton wicks are great for a smooth throat hit and offer a good flavor experience as well. Plus, they are the most popular of all wicking materials.
For a Stronger Throat Hit:
Use a higher-nicotine juice. More nicotine equals more throat hit. Simple.
Choose a higher-PG blend: If you have a sub-ohm tank and mod, a roughly 50/50 PG/VG mix is good, for a basic tank system you should aim for a bit more PG than that.
Increase the power or temperature: More power or higher temperature will amplify your existing throat hit and add one of its own.
Go with a menthol juice: Menthol boosts throat hit, so if it’s a priority, try out some menthol flavors. Citrus blends can work too.
Decrease the airflow: Less airflow means a more concentrated, hotter vape, and that translates into a punchier throat hit.
Use a different wick: Cotton has a lot going for it, but if you really can’t get a good enough hit, try a hemp wick to give your throat hit more of a bite.
Quick Tips for a Stronger Throat Hit