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What is Vaper’s Tongue?

What is Vaper’s Tongue?
October 9, 2018 2 comments

Nearly every vaper has dealt with the condition known as “vaper’s tongue” at some point or other. The condition is marked by a sudden, dramatic loss of taste for up to several days. The loss typically applies to the flavor of vaped e-juice, but can extend to food and drink too if severe enough. Even the sharpest citrus flavor or most pungent tobacco flavors are rendered totally mute by vaper’s tongue. The good news is, the condition is temporary, generally not too serious, and can be mitigated with a few easy techniques.

To gain deeper insight into this annoying taste numbness, we have to understand the relationship between tastebuds and the nose. (i.e., how taste is augmented by the olfactory sense.) Our nose plays a huge part in helping us distinguish different flavors, as well as registering them in the first place. The aroma of an e-liquid (or anything else) combines with what you taste to produce a complete “flavor.” The nose’s connection to vaper’s tongue is less direct than the tastebuds, but still contributes to taste, (or lack thereof).

So What Exactly Causes Vaper’s Tongue?

Multiple factors can lead to vaper’s tongue. However, sustained vaping over a long period of time (“chain vaping”) seems to be the root cause. Other than that, the condition arises from:

Damaged Taste Buds

If your tastebuds aren’t functioning correctly for whatever reason, you’ll have a much harder time tasting e-liquid. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and eating extremely spicy foods are all detrimental to your tongue to a degree. Tastebuds live by a natural lifecycle - dying and re-growing every week and a half or so. So if damage to the tongue occurs outside of vaping, time and consideration of habits will allow your tongue to rejuvenate itself.

Consistently Vaping the Same Flavor

Flavor itself won’t cause vaper’s tongue, but any e-juice flavor will diminish over time if it’s the only one you vape. This phenomemon exists simply because your tastebuds quickly grow accustomed to a constant, unchanging flavor. Some vapers theorize that the ingredients in e-juice coat your tongue in a thin film after a while, which leaves no room for flavor. In any case, try changing up your juice to alleviate muted flavor. Variety is the spice of life!


Inhaling vapor or smoke of any sort dehydrates the body to a noticeable degree. A dehydrated state means less saliva in the mouth, forcing your tongue to work twice as hard to do its job. Be sure to drink a glass of water once in a while between vaping sessions.

Stuffy Nose

As previously discussed, the nose plays an important role in helping us get a complete sense of flavor - be it food, drink, or e-liquid. Blocked nasal passages lead to an ability to taste that’s only half-functioning.

To Summarize

Vaper’s tongue is quite common, and rarely a serious health concern. (That’s not to say it’s not super agitating.) By allowing yourself time between hits, staying hydrated, and switching up your flavors once in a while, you’ll be able to largely circumvent this annoying affliction and enjoy the full bodied-flavor of your e-liquid as it was intended to be. Happy vaping!

Max C. December 8, 2018 at 5:26 AM
Interesting info. I try to take a few deep inhales of unbrewed coffee (stronger the better it seems, gf drinks strong\bold beans & it seems a bit better then my regular Folger's) every morning to help.
Kurt M. February 12, 2019 at 2:24 PM
I concur, a strong coffee helps a lot.