E-Cig Terminology: What is “Throat Hit?”

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When you shop for e-cigarettes, most companies focus the lion’s share of their marketing on puff counts and “satisfaction.” But what most aren’t discussing is a factor equally important to those looking to replicate the sensation of smoking: the throat hit.

While the term “throat hit” might seem a little off-putting, it is one of the key elements for a fulfilling vaping experience as it is a sensation that is unique to the act of smoking, and without it, making the switch to vaping is much more difficult for smokers, if not impossible.

Thankfully, the e-cig industry is constantly evolving, and many companies offer products that not only produce the same sensations as cigarettes, but even surpass them. Read on to learn more about this often overlooked factor for vapers. 

All About Vaping: What Exactly is Throat Hit?

Liquid nicotine in vial

Just as the term implies, throat hit is the feeling you get in the back of your throat when you inhale vapor from your e-cigarette. Depending on nicotine content, e-cig vapor hits the back of the throat, just like tobacco smoke, creating a sharp, warm sensation that is relieved when the user exhales. While this might cause slight coughing in new e-cig users, it becomes an integral part of the satisfaction that comes from vaping.

When it comes to electronic cigarettes, there are three primary factors that contribute to the throat hit: Battery output, flavor and nicotine.

First off, battery output plays just a minor role in throat hit when using “cig-a-like” batteries and disposables, such as White Cloud’s Cirrus and Fling models. Those who use more complicated mods and APVs can increase throat hit through increased voltage and wattage settings. But that’s a topic for another post.

The primary force behind the throat hit sensation is nicotine. As you can see on our nicotine strength comparison chart, the more nicotine in an e-liquid, the stronger the throat hit. For example, our 2.4% nicotine strength offers a mid-range throat hit, while our 5.4% strength is labeled “harsh” (Yes, we said “harsh.” Don’t be afraid – it’s not like inhaling Listerine and rusty blades. But you will notice a difference if you’ve only vaped or smoked Lights). Likewise, a sharper flavor such as menthol, intensifies the throat hit already provided by the nicotine. Suffice it to say, our XX-strength Menthol is probably not for everyone; but, for those vapers looking for maximum potency in every puff, it’s hard to beat.

Finding the Right Throat Hit: It’s All in the Nicotine

The chemical makeup of nicotine

As discussed above, throat hit is largely dictated by the nicotine strength of your e-liquid. If you are not satisfied with the throat hit of your e-cigarettes, you can select e-liquids with higher nicotine levels. It seems simple enough, and most e-cig companies offer a range of strengths – typically going as high as 2.4% nicotine content to as low as 0% (nicotine-free).

For example, a 2.4% e-cig is a good starting point for many former smokers and newer vapers, as it offers a comfortable balance of flavor and throat hit, similar to smoking a “Medium-level” cigarette. In contrast, a nicotine-free e-cig is great for smokers who don’t want the sensation or the nicotine, but still enjoy the great flavors e-cigs offer.

However, if you’re one of those people who only bought the red boxes, it’s likely that a 2.4% top level might seem a little weak, at least when you first start vaping. Many former smokers give up on vaping and return to tobacco because the e-cigs they purchased don’t satisfy their nicotine and sensation needs. They end up taking deeper puffs and using the e-cig considerably more often than they smoked, spending more and enjoying it less.

Related: E-Cig Basics: Understanding Nicotine Strengths

White Cloud’s Selection of Nicotine Levels

White Cloud E-Cigs Nicotine Strength Chart

White Cloud offers a wider range of nicotine strengths than most cig-a-like brands, ranging from nicotine-free all the way up to the aforementioned 5.4%. Having six nicotine strengths to choose from seems overwhelming to a new customer, until they realize they can more closely replicate the throat hit and sensation of their preferred brands. By having these options, and offering more throat hit levels, our customers are able to craft a vaping experience that meets their needs, so they can get more satisfaction without having to use our products more than necessary.

Throat hit is often considered an afterthought by e-cig marketers who prefer to speak about nicotine and flavor without explaining how they play a role in the physical satisfaction of vaping. While many know nicotine can increase satisfaction, few know all the reasons why. Throat hit is one of them, and should be a consideration when choosing an e-cig that will satisfy you.

Related: Why Vaping May Lead to Throat Irritation