Is Vaping Giving You Hiccups?

May 10, 2023

Is Vaping Giving You Hiccups?

Is Vaping Giving You Hiccups? Here is Why – and How You Can Stop it

Hiccups are a fairly common occurrence, affecting everyone from babies to adults. Common causes range from hitting the booze, to downing carbonated beverages like soda and overeating or eating spicy food; swallowing air while chewing gum also. But short-term hiccups can also come from not-so-common sources. Like vaping. Some people report experiencing hiccups when they vape. While vaping and hiccupping don’t necessarily go together, it’s usually nothing to get worried about. In fact, it can reveal a few things about your general approach to vaping that you need to tweak in order to enjoy the best vape experience.

The reason you get hiccups when you vape

Vaping hiccups are mainly down to one thing: nicotine. However, they are not primarily caused by the vapour you inhale. Rather, the hiccups mainly come about when you ingest nicotine as you vape. Not willingly, of course, but from swallowing nicotine-containing vapour that has been condensed in the mouth. On other occasions, you may get hiccups when you take quick draws on your vape. These hiccups are as a result of swallowing gulps of air, something that can also happen when you take quick draws on a combustible cigarette. The reason you get hiccups when you swallow nicotine is because your digestive system treats nicotine as a potential threat in your body, causing it to go into defensive mode. This results in your stomach swelling temporarily, in turn triggering a hiccup response in your diaphragm.

5 things that can worsen vaping hiccups

Vaping doesn’t normally cause hiccups, so whenever you hiccup while doing your thing, know something’s up. Usually, it will be one or a combination of the following factors:

  1. The nicotine is too strong

One of the things that can exacerbate vaping hiccups is using a high strength nicotine juice. Inhaling vapour that has a high nicotine concentration could also lead to coughing and spark a sore throat. It is when the nicotine somehow ends up in your stomach that the hiccups are triggered. However, it doesn’t exclusively have to be a high strength juice. People new to vaping could take a while to get accustomed to it (as will people using nicotine for the first time) and hiccupping could be one of the side effects you get along the way.

Solution: If you’re new to vaping, it’s a good idea to start with a low nicotine juice (think 6mg to 9mg), then crank it up a notch once you bed in. Likewise, if you’ve been vaping for a while and start getting hiccups when you vape a high strength juice, consider bringing it a level down. Assuming you’ve ruled out any of the other causes (as below).

  1. Wrong kind of nicotine or e-liquid base

Another reason you could be getting hiccups when you vape has to do with the type of nicotine used in your e-liquid or the constituents of the juice itself. Here’s what we mean… Your standard e-liquid is made up of several ingredients, notably PG (propylene glycol), VG (vegetable glycerine), flavouring and, of course, nicotine. When you vape a juice containing too much PG (propylene glycol), it can dry your throat and/or cause dehydration. One of the things that’s likely to happen when you suffer a dry mouth is that the nicotine that lingers in the mouth could become more concentrated. Thus, when you swallow saliva with a high concentration of nicotine, your chances of getting hiccups increase. Hiccups could also be down to the type of nicotine in your vape juice. These days, e-liquids come in two nicotine formulations – freebase nicotine (the standard kind used in most e-liquids) and nicotine salts (a more recent variety). Nic salts are smoother but have a higher nicotine concentration, so depending on the individual, the choice of nicotine with respect to this could be the cause of the hiccups.

Solution: If standard e-liquids are giving you hiccups, switch to nic salts and see how you fare, especially if you desire a high nicotine strength but find yourself hiccupping when you vape freebase e-liquid. Similarly, if you’re using a juice high in PG (think 50/50 e-liquid), experiment with a lower PG ratio and see if there’s a difference. Higher VG juices tend to be kinder on the throat, but on the downside, they lack that punch if throat hit is what you’re after. A workaround is to switch to salt nics.

  1. Using the wrong kind of e-cig device

Inexperienced vapers should avoid high power e-cig devices such as mods and direct lung (DL) kits. That’s because these devices are purposefully intended for inhaling high amounts of low strength vapour directly into the lungs. Since most new vapers resort to the mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping style by default (as opposed to DL vaping) – which is the inhalation technique used in regular vape pens – inhaling on high-powered devices this way could cause hiccups. Reason being that there will be a lot of vapour condensing in the mouth. Pairing DL devices with regular or high strength juice (upwards of 12mg) will only aggravate the issue.

Solution: Using an e-cig device suited to your level of vaping can resolve the problem in this case. If you’re a beginner, there are many impressive kits out there. We recommend the AV Series 1 Starter Kit. Alternatively, if you’ve been using a high power device and want to stick with it, try a lower strength juice or pair the device with a nic salt mix.

  1. Swallowing nicotine e-liquid

Something else that could lead to vaping hiccups is accidentally swallowing nicotine e-liquid. This could be occasioned by a leaky vape device or e-cig spit-back. Spit-back is what happens when an e-cig device shoots hot e-liquid droplets into your mouth due to say, vaping at a super high wattage or a host of other reasons.

Solution: To prevent this from happening, it’s important to get to the bottom of the leakage on your device.

  1. Vaping like a heavy smoker

This is a trap heavy smokers in particular fall into. If you were a heavy smoker or chain smoker and import the old habits with you when you switch to vaping, you’re likely to get hiccups when you vape. That means the cause of your hiccups could be vaping frequently whenever you crave nicotine or taking quick inhales on your vape device in a bid to get the same effect.

Solution: First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that vaping is somewhat different from smoking, so you should avoid inhaling on your e-cigarette like you would a regular fag. As well, when vaping, aim to take a few more seconds’ break in between inhales. You might also want to put your vaping kit down more often. After all, not only will this help keep hiccups at bay, but your wallet will thank you for it as it will mean less spend on e-liquids and accessory replacement.  

Final Word

Getting nicotine hiccups is not dangerous, provided it’s your normal short-term hiccups and not the sign of a bigger underlying problem. In fact, it’s nothing compared to the bouts of hiccups some people experience when using nicotine gum, lozenges or oral sprays as their cessation tool of choice. The good thing is that vaping hiccups won’t take long to subside, and with the simple solutions we’ve outlined here, addressing the issue should be pretty straightforward.

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