Why is my Vape Harsh? V.2

Why is my Vape Harsh? V.2

A lot of vapers ask me, “Why is my vape harsh?”, and then get quite disconcerted by the subsequent flood of questions. We talked about this fairly recently, but after re-reading it, we decided there was some additional info we could add to improve it.

As with the recent ‘Leaky tanks’ blog, there are so many factors at play when it comes to a vapes’ harshness, or ‘throat hit’ as we call it.

An important note to make is that throat hit is not necessarily undesirable. Some people really love a harsh, hot vape. A lot of people don’t though, and this is becoming more and more the case as people are further and further removed from smoking.

Obviously, this is just a trend, and there will always be people with different preferences, but a majority of vapers prefer a smoother hit. This being the case, I hope you’ll be able to figure out how to adjust your throat hit to whatever you want after reading this post, whether you want it harsh or smooth, hot or cold.

Whenever I’m teaching people anything, I think the best way to do so is to make sure they understand why things are happening, or done a certain way.

That being the case; Why is My Vape Harsh?

Well, my first question here is always the same. What is your nic strength? Nicotine adds a slight peppery sensation to your vape, and higher concentrations (12mg and up) will be quite noticeably harsher. Also, with more powerful devices, higher nicotine strengths will be harsher still. Generally, I suggest not going over a certain strength in certain devices.

For example, I’d never go over 6mg in a Smok Prince or a Melo 300. But I’d go as high as 45mg (nicotine salts of course) in a little pod-style device. A mouth-to-lung starter kit? Probably no higher than 18mg.

Ok, so with that out of the way, you’ve made sure you’ve got an appropriate strength, or you’ve changed your strength to a better level. You’re still getting that little scratch on the back of your throat?

The next question I’ll always ask is what juice you’re using. Liquids with a higher PG content tend to be harsher, as PG provides a fairly heavy throat hit. You might find switching to max VG gives you the smoother hit you’re after.

Damn, still harsh? At this rate, it might be your coil. When did you last change it? Try changing your coil and waiting for it to prime - don’t forget to wait - it might just be that your coil is burning a bit due to age.

Ok if it’s still harsh at this point, we’ve got some setup or settings wrong somewhere. We’ll quickly go over some setup.

Air flow: Open your air flow wider to mix more air in with your vapour, this will thin out the heated particles, producing a smoother hit.

Coils: Many atomisers have a plethora of coils available to them, and with rebuildables, you can make exactly what you need. If you need a smoother hit from a vape with no adjustable settings, a higher resistance coil should help sort this out. It’s worth noting different coil options are still a potential solution for wattage control devices, as different coils behave differently at the same wattages. Experiment with the coils available for your atomiser, at least enough so you know how each of them is distinct.

Wattage control: If your device has wattage control, try turning the wattage down in increments of 2 or 3 watts until it reaches a smoother hit. Cooler vaping temperature means smoother hit. A lot of regulated devices also have ‘firing modes’, generally referred to as ‘soft’, ‘normal’, and ‘hard’. If you need a smoother hit, try the other firing settings.

If you’ve gone through all of these steps and still your vape is too harsh for you, it might be time to pick a smoother flavour. Some flavour concentrates give a smoother throat hit than others. These are generally the creamy or the bakery flavours. A lot of tobacco flavours tend to be quite smooth as well, provided you’re opting for a low nicotine strength. Avoid menthol our sour flavours, as they tend to be harsher.

I’m hoping that, armed with this knowledge, you should now be able to iron out the last few creases that are making your vape harsh. Also, if you’ve been finding your vape to be too smooth, you’ll be able to extrapolate the reverse of these tips to procure a harsher hit.


  • Hi,
    I used to smoke a pack a day and find vaping very economical but not nearly as satisfying in the throat hit department. I have tried adding a sprinkle of sucralose to my vape juice which caramelises for a deep throat hit. It can be found at countdown, give it a try!

    Samuel on
  • I am vaping at 75W, with a preburnt dry coil. I just can’t get that satisfactory throat hit.

    Sam on
  • Thanks for the tips.
    What about Wattage to vape ratio?

    James on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published