Let us be frank and talk about “vapor’s tongue.”
First and foremost let me rant for just a moment. *Grabs a soapbox and takes a long vape of Butterscotch.* We the vaping community need to stop referring to this condition as vapor’s tongue: the tongue has absolutely nothing to do with this condition. Your tongue has the ability to taste five sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory. For example, it allows to feel the sensation that blueberries are sweet, green apples are sour, tobaccos are bitter, bacon is salty and oregano is savory. But it is the olfactory sensors at the top of your nasal passage that allow you to taste blueberry as blueberry, green apple as green apple, tobacco as tobacco, bacon as bacon and oregano as oregano. Thus, when you are not able to taste your e juice it related to your olfactory senses not your tongue. I propose that we change the terminology to something more appropriate such as vapor’s fatigue. *Hops off soapbox.*
For, the remainder of this post I will refer to “vapor’s tongue” as vapor’s fatigue. If anyone has a better idea for the terminology comment below and explain why! Let’s get this phenomenon renamed and stop this cycle of misunderstanding.
So what is vapor’s fatigue (vapor’s tongue)? Well, this when you are no longer able to “taste” the flavor of the e juice you’re vaping. This is due to olfactory fatigue, also known as odor fatigue or olfactory adaptation. It is inability to distinguish or “taste” a particular odor or “flavor” after prolonged exposure.
Now that we know what vapor’s fatigue is let’s talk some reasons why it may happen, how you can overcome it and prevent it.
It is well amongst analog smokers that smoking dulls your sense of taste. As you make the switch from analog cigarettes to electronic cigarettes your ability to taste will improve over time. For some this takes as little as a week and for others up to 6 weeks. Unfortunately, sometimes with this increased sensation your olfactory senses will be overloaded and shut down causing the accursed vapor’s fatigue. Do not panic this is completely normal and simply your olfactory senses’ way of recuperating. This may happen several times as your sense of taste returns and should only last for a few hours or in some cases a few days. Eventually, your body will adjust and this should no longer keep happening. In this case of vapor’s fatigue just wait it out.
*If your sense of taste is not returning after quitting smoking analog cigarettes after 4 to 6 weeks please see your licensed medical professional.
Vaporizing will dehydrate you no matter what. Vapor absorbs any moisture in surrounding air. Your mouth contains a lot of moisture. Hence, when you vape the vapor absorbs the moisture in your mouth. If too much moisture is absorbed it will result in dry mouth: a condition where a thin film forms on the inside of your mouth isolating your tongue and olfactory senses. Hence, you experience vapor’s fatigue. To remedy this case and/or to prevent it from happening simply increase your water intake. Personally, this is type of vapor’s fatigue I used to suffer from the most. I am a heavy diet soda drinker and at one point was getting dry mouth then vapor’s fatigue after any vape session that lasted more than 5 minutes. I switched to only drinking water while vaping and have had no problems since!
If you vape the same flavor all day every day your olfactory senses can become desensitized to that particular flavor. For example say your all day everyday vape was blueberry. You loved blueberries as a kid and MBV’s blueberry is sweet, juicy and right on par. Then you notice after vaping blueberry daily for 6 months that the flavor is getting weaker and weaker. Then one day you can’t taste the blueberry at all, you’ve become desensitized to the flavor. Fear not, to remedy this case of vapor’s fatigue you can take two approaches: switch to a new flavor or have a flavor rotation. I personally think that having a vaping rotation is the best method. When I first started vaping all I vaped was Cinnamon Roll. Eventually, I couldn’t taste the flavor anymore. My olfactory senses had adapted. I then started rotating between 4 flavors and now I have no problems tasting Cinnamon Roll. You can also to take the approach of just switching flavors: i.e. switching from Cinnamon Roll to Butterscotch. I would recommend changing your flavors up significantly if choose this method. For example if you usually vape Cinnamon Roll and can’t taste the flavor anymore I would recommended trying to vape one of our other desert flavors like Butterscotch or Strawberry Shortcake instead of trying to vape something similar to Cinnamon Roll like Sticky Bun.
Still having issues with vapor’s fatigue? Well, a trick commonly employed by wine tasters and perfume mixologists is to inhale fresh coffee grounds. Coffee interacts with specific chemicals in the olfaction sensors and will in turn cause your olfactory senses to reset. So put down that e-cig, smell some coffee grounds and/or have a cup of coffee.
Fellow vapers have also reported that vaping flavors like mint, menthol and cinnamon work well as olfactory cleansers. You can also keep a bottle of unflavored e juice to vape when experiencing fatigue. This will give your olfaction sensors time to reboot and you won’t be wasting flavored e juice.
Another thing to touch on briefly is allowing your e juices to fully steep. Most e-juices will taste best after 3 to 4 weeks of steeping. This allows the flavor to fully develop and mix with the nicotine. Sometimes fresh juice will have little to no taste, so it may not be you it may actually be your e juice!
If you have tried all the above the remedies and you are still suffering from vapor’s fatigue it may not hurt to think about either adding extra flavor shots and/or changing your blend. Remember that PG carries the flavor and VG dampens it. Sometimes a small change like adding an extra flavor shot or changing from 50% PG/50 % VG blend to a 65% PG/35% VG blend can make quite a difference.
Do you have any cures you have discovered for vapor’s fatigue? Any flavors that are amazing palate cleansers? Thought of a better term then “vapor’s fatigue.” Comment and share below.
Live, long and vape!