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Frequently asked questions

E-Cigarettes Frequently Asked Questions

Outlined below are some of the frequently asked questions about e-cigarettes.

Experienced vaper - Andy Morrison has put together some possible solutions / suggestions. These solutions/suggestions are based on Andy’s personal experience and should be noted as such. They are not the advice or recommendations of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board. E-cigarettes users should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. 

Q. My E-Cigarette tastes burnt

A. This can happen for two main reasons. The most common is that the atomiser needs replacing and the other reason is poor wicking – this is where not enough e-liquid is reaching the atomiser fast enough and this is causing ‘dry burning’.

Make sure there is a good amount of liquid in your tank and that the path for the liquid to the atomiser isn’t blocked in any way. Always give the wick a bit of time to transport more e-liquid to the atomiser between draws. If all of that fails to correct the problem then change the atomiser for a fresh one. Always remember to prime a new atomiser by making sure that the wick is wet before you begin to apply power from the battery.

Another possibility if you are using a 3rd or 4th generation device is that the voltage may be set too high. Try reducing the voltage. The correct power setting for your set-up is something you will learn in time. Learn how variable voltage and variable wattage works, and the difference between the two.

Q. I’m not getting enough vapour from my E-cigarette

A. The cause of this is largely dependent on what type of E-cigarette you are using. If it is a 1st generation E-cigarette (cig-a-like), then it is likely that the battery charge is getting low or the cartomiser is nearly empty. Recharge the battery and/or replace the cartomiser with a fresh one. 

If it is a 2nd generation E-cigarette, then check the battery charge state and the wicking to the atomiser. Recharge the battery and/or change the atomiser. You may also want to try a higher Vegetable Glycerin content e-liquid in your tank. Vegetable Glycerin tends to produce more vapour than Propylene Glycol, but is slower to wick.

If it is a 3rd or 4th generation E-cigarette, then check as per 2nd generation above and also adjust the power setting to find the optimum amount of vapour production. Remember that different types of e-liquid will produce different amounts of vapour and each set-up needs to be tweaked to suit your needs in the case of 2nd, 3rd & 4thgeneration devices.

Try different types of tanks and atomisers – they all vary considerably. Check out the reviews on-line. Trial and error will eventually find your ideal set-up.

Q. My E-cigarette is giving me a headache or making me dizzy

A. This is a common symptom of too much nicotine. It is also why it is very difficult to accidentally overdose on nicotine. Your body is forcing you to stop using it at least until the headache goes away.

Take a short break from your E-cigarette. The headache is usually very short lived and will disappear well within 30 minutes if you stop vaping. If the problem is happens again when you return to vaping, you should try moving to an E-liquid with less nicotine content. You can always go back up a level again if you have to, so don’t be frightened to try it.

Q. My mouth feels sticky or dry

A. This is normal, particularly in the early days of having switched to e-cigarettes. It may be the glycerine that is causing this. The best solution is to sip water when this occurs - water is preferable to any flavoured or sugary drinks. If you find it intolerable, try to find an e-liquid with a higher percentage of Propylene Glycol as opposed to Vegetable Glycerin.

Q. I get a runny nose

A. This is normal for most people using e-cigarettes, particularly on a cold day. It shouldn’t happen that often and is more likely to be a minor side effect.

Q. I’m getting dry skin

A. This can happen especially in the early days of switching. Your body needs time to adjust to the changes. It will go away in time, but to help things along try using some hypo-allergenic moisturiser. I found that it only really affected my nose and my forehead.

Q. My E-cigarette is irritating my throat and is causing me to cough

A. This may be a short lived side effect as you get used to using your e-cigarette. However, if it continues and affects your use of the product it may be being caused by one of the ingredients in the e-liquid. The most likely answer is that you may have an intolerance to Propylene Glycol (one of the ingredients in e-liquid). Try to find an e-liquid which has a higher ratio of Vegetable Glycerin to Propylene Glycol. Some vendors sell 100% Vegetable Glycerin e-liquids. Try one of these to test if it solves the problem. If not, then try reducing the nicotine level or changing to a different flavour.

(If any cough persists for more than 2-3 weeks, you should visit your Doctor –Advice of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde)

Q. I am not getting a strong enough throat hit from my E-cigarette compared to tobacco

A. Generally, the throat hit which smokers crave comes from the nicotine. Getting this right can be the most important part of a successful switch away from cigarettes.

Try an e-liquid with a higher nicotine content. You will find that you will be able to reduce the amount of nicotine after a short period of time. If you don’t want to try that, then try a menthol or mint flavoured e-liquid – they may offer a bit more in terms of throat hit.

Q. I can’t taste my E-Cigarette

A. A few possible solutions here, the most common of which is known as “vaper’s tongue”. This is where you have been using the same type of e-liquid constantly and for prolonged periods. You may have become immune to the flavour that you once liked so much. Try to have several different flavours on the go at any one time and switch between them throughout the day. Check that your battery has a decent amount of charge. A battery which is not delivering enough power will produce less vapour and therefore taste weak. Also check through the points in ‘My e-cigarette tastes burnt

Q. The e-liquid in my e-cigarette tank looks dirty or tastes musty

A. This generally happens more frequently with the sweeter tasting e-liquids or caramel/coffee flavoured e-liquids. The coil in your atomiser is getting caked up and needs to be replaced. More experienced users may decide to clean and dry burn their atomiser at this stage in order to get more life out of it, but the best option is to fit a new one. Be sure to wash out the tank with warm water and dry it off before refilling.

Q. I’m a few days/weeks without smoking tobacco and now I’m coughing up catarrh

A. This is a normal withdrawal symptom from stopping smoking. It is an indication that you’re body is clearing out the tar which has been going into your lungs. This should pass within a couple of weeks.

(If any cough persists for more than 2-3 weeks, you should visit your Doctor –Advice of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde)

Q. My battery runs out on me all the time

A. This is common particularly in 1st generation e-cigarettes. These batteries don’t hold much charge at all. It’s best to have at least one spare in your possession. The same can be said for the smaller 2nd generation batteries. Look for the Mah rating of the battery: the higher the rating, the longer it will last between charges.

3rd & 4th Generation devices tend to use different battery types which can be removed from the devices and charged separately. Again look for the Mah rating. No matter what device you are using, always carry at least one fully charged spare. Be sure to keep them in a protective case to ensure that you don’t run the risk of shorting them out on keys or coins in your pocket or handbag.

Another thing to remember with rechargeable batteries is that they degrade over time. They have a limited number of times that you can re-charge them and hold less and less charge as they reach the end of their useable life. Always dispose of dead batteries responsibly and ALWAYS use the correct charger.

Q. My tank has developed a crack or has developed a frosted or smoky appearance

A. This is a common problem with the cheaper poly-carbonate tanks. Certain e-liquids can react with the plastic nature of these tanks. Generally, they are the cinnamon, sour, or citric flavoured e-liquids. There are extensive lists of “Tank Crackers” to be found on-line. Another solution is to purchase a more expensive glass or pyrex tank. 

Any other questions, email us at [email protected]

Last Updated: 11 August 2020