Vapor’s Tongue or Vapor’s Fatigue?

10 Sep, 2013  

tongue

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!

46 thoughts on “Vapor’s Tongue or Vapor’s Fatigue?

  1. Joe Nance

    I submit that rather than vaper’s fatigue the term should be “vapor satiation” as it seems to be a close match to “semantic satiation” (the condition where after hearing a word many times over it seems to become meaningless).

    Reply
  2. VapinVicki

    Evidential my dear, I do believe you are on to something, I am a newbie vapor but have never been to keen on the vapors tongue theory. But in all actuality, taste and smell are very closely related. Smells engage the olfactory nerves in noses while your taste buds react on the tongue, and the two combine together to make up the experience. I use to laugh at my sister, who is a nurse, who said if you could smell a fart then you were actually tasting it too. Not nice to think about but anyways, I have noticed if I can smell a juice then normally means I can taste it, and If I get one that I can’t smell I usually can’t taste it either. So I believe both play a part in it. Also it goes along with peoples preference theory, peoples taste and smell sensory are different some have high taste buds and others are low. also big surprise here, not, smoking can wreak havoc on both your smell and taste senses. I also have learned that I have to rotate my juices or I will start loosing the flavor I love, I just get desensitized to it.

    Reply
  3. Charles

    Dill Pickle Juice!!!!
    If things take a break on you, take a mouthful of dill pickle juice and swish it around, then swallow.
    If that does not wake things up, you need to see a Dr.

    Reply
  4. Michael Russo

    Vapot Fatigue sounds great and really practical but usually “dirtier” words or phrases like “crap!” Or “what the hell?” Catch on the fastest….so I think the vaping community should take some risks and go with something like “dry olfactory” or “desensitized taste” to explain this. It will really shock the world and get the point across in a way that is still socially acceptable.

    Reply
  5. Dusty

    Thank you for the good ideas? Water, brushing teeth and a good mouth cleansing as well as nose and sinus are all good! I have found a fantastic e juice that works every time as a fantastic palate cleanse is mimosa! I love my black licorice! My #1

    Reply
  6. TexanStorm

    Just like pickles, green olives work. I noticed I was getting cravings for green olives when I was having vapor fatigue symptoms. I ate a handful of green olives before I went to bed one night and the next morning I had a strong sense of taste. I’ve had this happen twice with the same results when in the past I would have had to make a drastic change in juice to get taste back.

    Reply
  7. GypsyJen

    I am newbie to vaping, and had my first experience with vapor tongue/fatigue this evening. I have been using a watermelon e-juice which I love, but is a very mild flavor to begin with. Tonight, I realized I was tasting NOTHING. so I called a friend who is a old pro and asked him if there was such a thing as my e-juice losing its flavor. That is when he told me about vapor tongue/fatigue. He gave me a few suggestions, most of which are in this article. I didn’t have any coffee :( or pickle juice :( …BUT I did have some big red gum….chewed a piece of it and wouldnt you know, I can taste my watermelon again! thanks for this article, btw…VERY informative :)

    Reply
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  12. jesse

    another thing that can contribute to vapor fatigue is vaping inside as you are smelling the flavor constantly so try to ventilate the area. also if u use atomizers over dripping will dramatically speed up the vapors fatigue because u are essentially boiling the excess liquid and overloading your senses

    Reply
  13. Brandy

    I have vapors fatigue and it is killing me I have tried chewing coffee beans and even ate some pickled ginger, but still have fatigue. It has been 8 days now. What can I do to get my flavor back?? Please help me. My all time favorite is honeysuckle mist but it’s the one i was using when i lost my taste so i went to cinnamint and then to gren-ade. But they all taste waxy or have a chem after taste i have them all in separate tanks and have had many ppl try them thinking it was my juice……..ITS NOT!!!!!!!! Please do i just need to wait this out? I do drink lots and lots of water i would safely say almost a gallon daily. Please I close to returning to smoking cigarettes.. I’m that upset!!!

    Reply
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  16. Barb Marsh

    I have been vapin moo juice for months.I am switchin over to vanilla for a while and see what happens.I have thug juice and clove plus a few more but i really love moo so i hope this switch will do the trick.Keep up the good work thx

    Reply
  17. Sal C.

    I’ve been vaping for about 6 weeks. I love eveything about vaping and the community. However, I’ve had Vapers Fatigue for about 3 days now and it’s so frustrating. I normally rotate flavors out of pure enjoyment, so I’m confident that I didn’t satiate my senses. I’ve always had a problem drinking enough pure water and have been drinking more since I started vaping as I noticed it prolonged the flavors as I vaped. I’m just at a lose. I’ve tried coffee grind sniffing and that worked a little for about 4 puffs then gone again, I’ve tried increasing my water intake dramitically and nothing has changed. I tried switching to opposing e-liquid flavors and still nothing. The experience has become boring. I’ve also noticed that I get more moisture in my nasal area now as compared to when I didn’t have vapors fatigue. I’m hoping time will bring my tasty flavors back but now I’m worried. By the way, food taste just fine…. …Just really worried about this. Vaping saved me from cigs and I don’t want to return to them but the urges have been hitting me since getting vapors fatigue…. :-(

    Reply
    1. Tyler

      Hey there, sorry to hear about the vaper’s tongue. I have a question for you, When you switch flavors, how drastic of flavors are you switch? What flavors do you rotate?

      Also, when you find that you are having a tasteless palette, try smelling some coffee grounds!

      Reply
  18. tm

    I’m not crazy about the name vapor’s fatique.Sounds like it causes one to be tired as does dehydration caused by vaping.

    Reply
    1. Tyler

      I totally understand. We even go back and forth between Vapor’s tongue and fatigue. I think tongue is a better name.

      Reply
  19. Dedra

    I keep a large water bottle next to me and refill it multiple times during the day, as well as multiple cartos with a variety of juices that I switch up on throughout the day and I still get vapor desensitization. It’s an inevitable thing, I think.

    Reply
  20. Brandon

    Someone else posted coffee grounds, that works really well. I do this, and it works fairly fast. Couple hours tops.

    Reply
  21. damien

    It shouldn’t be called vapors fatigue, fatigue is a medical condition! And when that is connected to vaping, that will be misinterpreted, and the media will pounce on any negative side effects and say that it causes medical side effects. Just call it FLAVOR LOCKED! DON’ T attach medical condition such as fatigue to vaping!!!! Use your heads!!!! FLAVOR LOCKED!!!-

    Reply
    1. Tyler

      Interesting idea, “Flavor Locked.” One of the problems with that idea is that the consumers and producers in the industry itself already use either “Vaper’s Tongue,” or “Vaper’s Fatigue.”

      Reply
  22. ravia

    I know it usually olfactory, but I do think a couple of things are worth considering: some builds give “hot drops” which do burn the tongue, and anyone who’s burnt their tongue on hot food will testify that that does affect taste. If you vape all day with a sputtery build, you’re going to get tiny burn spots that over time add up to some white noise on your tongue.

    Secondly, the tank makes a big difference. I get a lot more flavor with my Russin 91, plus more with a chimney build.

    Reply
  23. Cecil

    The Italians have had this down pat for many many years. They serve a small scoop of lemon crushed ice (sometimes lemon/lime ice) before a meal, to reset the pallatte.

    Reply
  24. CK Calmer

    I suffered vaper’s fatigue several weeks back. It only lasted a few hours, though, because I discovered something that worked almost immediately to cure the dreaded condition. First, let me provide some background.

    It was the Halo G6 kit that put me on the permanent path of vaping. When I ordered the G6 kit, I also ordered their “Menthol Sampler” pack. It included six flavors of e-juice, most of which were very good. Then there was “HX3″. At first, this flavor wasn’t bad. It wasn’t “menthol-y” enough for my taste, but it seemed OK. I tried it again about a month later, and BLECH!!! It tasted utterly horrible to me.

    Thankfully, though, I kept the remainder of the 7mL bottle containing HX3. When my bout of vaper’s fatigue hit, I thought that maybe something that tastes significantly different than my regular flavors (Halo Mystic and MBV Black Ice) might shock my “taste system” back to life.

    And I WAS RIGHT! I filled a blank G6 carto with HX3 and took a few draws from it. It was a “shock”, alright. As if I was telling my sense of taste, “You better straighten out, or this is what you’ll have to taste from now on!”

    After a few minutes, I switched back to my Mystic and Black Ice, and they were as wonderful and rich as sweet as the first time I tried them!

    I’ve only had vaper’s fatigue that one time so far, so I’m not yet able to confirm with 100% certainty that “flavor shocking” actually worked, or if it was just a coincidence that my sense of flavor might have returned when it did on its own. I keep that HX3-filled carto nearby all the time, though, in case vaper’s fatigue ever rears its ugly head again.

    I don’t know if this method would work for everyone. To try it yourself, just find a flavor that you’ve tried and hate, and keep it around so you can try “flavor shocking” the next time you get vaper’s fatigue.

    (Notice that my “shock flavor” isn’t from MBV. I’ve tried over 20 of their flavors so far, and I honestly doubt they make a flavor that I would hate.)

    Reply
    1. Mikaela Burkhart

      I am sorry to hear about your vapors tongue! If you ever have issues with juices from Mt Baker Vapor let us know either here on the blog, and we can try to resolve the issue, or you can contact our customer service tea and they will be able to help you to the best of their ability! Vape on!

      Reply

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