Understanding Electronic Cigarettes: What’s a Throat Hit?

vaping throat hitOne of the most common and frequently misunderstood terms you will see when reading about ecigarettes and vaping is “throat hit.”

Sounds violent. Don’t worry, it’s not. A throat hit is nothing like a throat punch, so don’t panic.

Just wanted to get that cleared up.


So what exactly is a throat hit?

To smokers (or former smokers), a throat hit is the physical feeling you experience in the back of your throat when you inhale. If you’ve smoked regular cigarettes, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you’re choosing eliquids that have nicotine, chances are that you smoke — be it a lot of a little — or you used to smoke and are making the transition to vaping. Many vapers say that physical sensation of the throat hit is a major factor in their overall vaping experience.

One of the first things you will notice when you try electronic cigarettes for the first time is that the throat hit is different from the sensation you experience when inhaling traditional cigarette smoke. And if you’ve never smoked, it’ll be a unique experience all its own.

There are two main factors that will impact your throat hit sensation:

  1. Nicotine level: Basically, the higher concentration of nicotine in the eliquid, the stronger the hit. Nicotine  levels between 8–16mg provide most vapers with an noticeable throat hit similar to that of smoking an average cigarette.
  1. Eliquid ingredients: Not all eliquids contain nicotine. Many ejuices are completely nicotine free. But that doesn’t mean there’s no throat hit. Various flavours and ingredients, like menthol, grain alcohol, cinnamon and capsaicin, will impact throat hit sensations. These ingredients are often used to replicate the nicotine throat hit, but are used in ejuices with little to no nicotine concentration.

Other factors that may impact the intensity level are ecig wattage (the more powerful the ecig, the stronger the hit) and the propylene glycol (PG) content (that’s the smoke-like vapor you see).

Finding your ideal throat hit sensation

We can’t tell you what your “ideal” throat hit would be–that’s a personal preference. Some people prefer a light sensation while others crave a stronger hit. Preferences can also change over time. Fortuntely, vaping allows you to continuously change and experiment with different throat hit levels to find the one that suits your taste today.

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