Vape coils have a limited lifespan. The coil lifespan varies depending on the coil but usually after one to three weeks you will need to change it for a new coil. A burnt coil will be easily noticeable as you will notice a stale taste.

Vaping is a controversial topic and you will mainly find biased information about vaping and its health consequences. Vaping has been promoted as a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking. As for now, there are not relevant scientific studies that prove that vaping has negative health consequences.

What about vaping on a burnt coil? Some vapers are concerned about heavy metals and vaping dangerous particles that supposedly are inhaled if you vape a burnt coil. Let’s explain what a burnt coil is, a dry hit, burnt hit and how you can avoid it.

Burnt Hit and Dry Hit: Vape on a Burnt Coil

A dry hit happens when you vape a dry coil. In other words, when the wick gets dry you will notice an unpleasant vapor that taste like burnt cotton. In addition, you will notice less flavor and vapor as well. This is easily solved if you prime the coil and you add some e-liquid in your vape tank.

What is a Burnt Hit?

A burnt hit happens when you press the fire button and there is no e-liquid in the tank and the wick is completely dry.

This can happen for many reasons. Perhaps you are not priming your coils. Priming your coils means saturating your coil by dripping some e-liquid on the wicking holes. After priming your coils, you should let the wick material stand for 5 to 10 minutes so the wick material can properly absorb the vape juice. This process is fundamental to avoid dry hits or burnt hits.

Above all, vaping a burnt coil is unpleasant and you will notice immediately that it is time to replace the coil for a new one.

When this happens, then it means it is time to replace the burnt coil for a new one. How often do you need to change your coil? It depends on how often you vape, the type of e-liquid you vape and your vape settings. For example, a coil will last from just several days to more than a few weeks.  In other words, it depends on your vaping habits.

Furthermore, some e-liquids tend to clog coils. For instance, sweet e-liquids with high VG ratio tend to clog coils faster than other kind of e-liquids.

In addition, if you vape on higher wattages it will reduce the lifespan of your coils. However, you have probably noticed that if you vape at a low wattage it will cause accumulation of residual matter on your vape chimney and coils. To sum up, you should vape on the recommended wattage and this depends on the coil resistance.

Is it Dangerous to Vape a Burnt Coil?

Heating your coil without e-liquid means it reaches higher temperatures. In other words, higher temperatures could lead to changes in the structure of the coil wire and hence increase oxidation and the eventual release of particles. Nonetheless, you would have to vape a burnt coil for a very long time to cause a negative impact on your health. Due to its stale taste and how unpleasant it is, this is very unlikely to happen. In short, it will be so unpleasant that you will not vape a burnt coil. When this happens, you will probably inhale a couple of times and then you will realize it is time to replace the burnt coil for a new one.

A burnt coil and its health consequences will depend on the coil material. For instance, a Kanthal coil contains chromium, which in high quantities is toxic to humans. Kanthal is an iron-chromium-aluminum alloy but you will need to inhale huge amounts of chromium to get any negative health effects. Other metals such as nichrome contain up to 30% of chromium. The most dangerous form of chromium is chromium VI, and workers exposed to high levels of chromium VI are in a higher risk to develop lung cancer and nasal and sinuses cancer. However, we are talking about very high levels of chromium VI. For instance, chromium VI is even present in drinking water and public water systems. Moreover, no studies have proved the presence of chromium VI in vape coils.

The major concern about a burnt coil is the oxidation of coil wires that contain nickel. This, however, only applies for vapers who have nickel allergy.

How Safe is it?

According to one study about metals emitted by electronic cigarettes, daily exposure from electronic cigarettes use are significantly lower compared to acceptable exposure from inhalational medications and lower than the regulatory limits for daily occupational exposure. In short, it is completely safe to vape electronic cigarettes.

Burnt Coils: Conclusion

A coil last for a limited period that could be a few days to more than two weeks. The coil lifespan depends on the coil material, your vape settings and the frequency you vape it.

It is easy to notice when your coil has burnt because you will notice an unpleasant taste in the vapor. The taste is so unpleasant that it is very unlikely that you will puff it more than just a couple of times.

A burnt coil is not dangerous but there are perhaps more chances that you will inhale metal particles if the coil is oxidized. However, as previously mentioned, it is very unlikely that you puff if more than one or two times.


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