Vapor’s Tongue or Vapor’s Fatigue?

10 Sep, 2013  


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!

73 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).

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

  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 :)

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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

  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!!!

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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

  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…. :-(

    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!

  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.

    1. Tyler

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

  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.

  20. Brandon

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

  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!!!-

    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.”

  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.

  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.

  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.)

    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!

  25. Brad

    prefer to buy my ejuices either premixed as 100%PG and the same flavor in almost pure (as possible) VG and test mix the proportions by small test quantities myself. I find that different flavors carry differnt amounts of aromatic vs tongue effects and the percentages of VG to PG can make a big difference. Higher levels of PG seem to be more likely to result in “soapy” tastes for some flavors and yet accentuate the overall palate response in others. It can be very tricky.

    I like the simplicity of the Nautilus Mini and Kanger Aero tanks. I use Vision Spinner II batteries. I find differences in air settings, battery voltage settings, the draw rate/strength, timing (when you depress the trigger and begin to draw), and where you aim the drip tip at the tongue is different for each flavor and VG/PG ratio.

    Varying any or all of these parameters can make a huge difference in how much taste and aromatic, tongue and palate/sinus response you get. Often just making some seemingly minor changes to the overall formula can be the difference between “tasting” or not.

  26. Sue barker

    My e cig caused me to have burning mouth syndrome it burnt the nerves at the front have not used it for 6 months and still got burning mouth .

    1. Mikaela Burkhart

      This could be a slew of things happening and we are happy to figure this out. If you could be a bit more descriptive as to what is happening, that may help us understand as to what is exactly going on. Also if you would like to have your question answered in real time instead of waiting, you are more than welcome to contact our customer service team via computer or phone and they will be able to resolve this situation a bit faster.

  27. Pedro R.

    Okay idk if it’s placebo or if there is a science behind it or if someone already suggested this. Listerine! The green mouthwash stuff. I haven’t been vaping long (2 months) but when I find I just can’t taste stuff as well, I brush my teeth with a minty toothpaste and then finish with a big cup and long swish of Listerine. Bam! Flavors are back.

    For those vets that have been vaping for years and have a real problem, I suggest stop vaping for a day or two and in that time have some coffee and lemonade, brush with mint, breathe through your nostrils for a minutes while brushing, really get the mint up there and do the same for the Listerine after you empty your mouth, only breathe through your nostrils to really get that sizzling Listerine flavor through there and don’t dilute it! Swish and rinse with it straight for a minute.

    My experience is a quick brush and a quick rinse and Im back to normal all day, but you should be brushing and rinsing 2-3 times a day anyway. Oral health is important. If doing that for two days doesn’t work, try 4 days, if still not.. idk. After a week, your senses should recover, but who wants to go a whole week without vaping? But then again who wants to go a whole month or indefinitely of flavorless vaping?

    Also try that if all else fails, vape pure 50/50 with whatever strength nic, Those flavorless bottles can be bought from here MBV.

    I know the post is getting long but I’d like to add, some people vape at high temps, mostly cloud chasers I think. Consider going back to basics with low volts and cooler vapes, you might be burning things out in your tongue and nostrils. So do the two day recovery and then go back to basics, then you should be able to resume ops as normal.

  28. melody h.

    I have had vapors tongue for about 6 days now. my mouth is so dry while i sleep, sometimes my tongue is sticking to the upper part of my mouth when i wake up. the back of my tongue feels like its raw, like I have burnt it with horribly hot coffee. What can I do to help this. I am now smoking cigs again and thought i would never smoke another one. :(

    1. Michelle Harnden

      Drink lots of water and consider replacing your coil. With that strong of a burning sensation it’s possible it’s time for a new wick. Also, if you are only vaping one flavor, consider trying another for a short time. If you are still having difficulties, please feel free to contact our customer service for additional tips at

  29. Pedro R.

    @ Melody

    Have you read the blog post and the suggestions in the comments? And have you tried any of those? Please tell us what you have tried to do about it so far and maybe we help you better.

    If you’ve tried all those things, try nicotine gum for a few days until your tongue heals. Vape at lower volts with higher nic so that you require less vape (as fun as it is.)

  30. Monk

    My vapor fatigue is in my mouth, not up my nose. I suggest those with nose problems should stop snorting it. Should fix the problem. As for me, Rainbow Sherbet does the job.

  31. Faith

    Its amazing how wonderfully helpful this site and customers are! I have quiet a few vaping shops around me and none of them have ever gave this as a reason for my juice not as strong as usual…I always get “well maybe you need to try this tank but you’re going to need this battery with it…” blah blah blah just trying to sale me things I don’t want or need.

  32. Tony

    I have a question that i hope some one can answer for me. Im relatively new to vaping but have noticed that some flavors make me cough ( like butterscotch) love the flavor, but why is this??

  33. Lynn

    I call it “vape blind” when I can’t smell or taste the vape anymore. When it happens, I usually switch to a completely opposite type flavor. If I’m vaping something sweet or chocolaty, I’ll switch to a citrus flavor and vice versa. I drink a lot of a popular citrusy soda that helps as well :)

  34. Craig

    I was born without a sense of smell. I rely on my tongue for taste in everything. I have been vaping everyday for over 3 years, and now I can no longer taste anything when I vape! I have tried switching flavors, doesn’t help when i drink coffee or citrus… every flavor I try, tastes grey to me. I smoked menthol for over a year and i noticed eventually that there was no taste. I tried swithing flavors, no taste there either. Any suggestions?

    1. Michelle Harnden

      The best thing you could do at that point is to switch to a completely different flavor profile. For instance, if you’re vaping menthol, switch to a coffee flavor or something else in a completely different flavor profile.

  35. Brian Bavington

    great topic as a new be to vapeing in the short time i have learned and tried a lot of different things and some times that is the start of my problem my first bottle of juice was M B V tobacco 20/80 18 with a small tank and battery will went 100 %vape no cigs from first day no more 3 packs a day .one day tried different things was not getting what i thought i should for flavor so go up on pg right now 50/50 nic 24 as much as 12 mi of juice not M B V a day no wonder i could not taste any thing do to batteries going down bought tesla mod and nautilus mini bvc got some moo juice to go with it 50/50 18 well did not care for it my self so back to M B V vanilla tobacco 20/80 18 i found my sweet spot at 11. 5 watts and all sorts of flavor and vaping 6 mi a day i drink water brush teeth and snort coffee eat pickles i also have a kanger evod that i use a few times a day has 50/50 24 peach to give me a nicotine fix i fill it ever 2 or three days i am real funny about putting any thing in my nautilus but 20/80 M B V or it goes to popping and takes a bit to get it working top shelf again just like my kanger dose not like 20/80 and my tongue dose not like vaping 12 mi a day i dont care what you call it but its real and i am glade i found a way around it for me

  36. Adam

    I’ve found that simply rotating flavors, as was mentioned in the OP, does the trick for me. I’m always stocked on at least three juice flavors to help with this.

    I would also like to recommend vaper’s nose as the term to use, since that’s what’s being affected here. :) Although it does tend to lead to an image of runny noses…so maybe not. How about Vaper’s Numb Proboscis.

  37. Adam

    Actually I’m drinking a nice stout beer right now and that seems to do the trick too. Not very useful prior to driving, working, thinking and other more complicated tasks, though.


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