Vape Inhalation Techniques: mouth to lung (MTL) vs direct to lung (DTL)

Vape Dinner MTL vs DTL Vaping

Although vaping aims to replicate the experience of smoking, there are inevitable differences between the two. The biggest difference between smoking and vaping is the inhalation technique, with two inhalation options for vapers to choose from.

The differences between smoke and vapour

Since cigarette smoke is produced when tobacco is burnt, smoke contains visible particles of carbon. E-cig vapour, on the other hand, is not burnt but heated to a high temperature. Unlike the solid composition of smoke, vapour is a liquid, making the inhalation process a little different to inhaling cigarette smoke.

Vape inhalation techniques

Though there is just one way to smoke a cigarette, there are two different ways to inhale e-cigarette vapour: mouth to lung (MTL) and direct to lung (DTL).

Mouth-to-lung vaping

Most closely resembling the experience of smoking, mouth-to-lung is the most popular option for those new to vaping. As its name suggests, an MTL draw means slowly inhaling the vapour into your mouth, holding it there for a second or two and breathing the vapour into your lungs as you open your mouth before exhaling.

Device consumables for MTL inhalation methods

E-liquids: mouth-to-lung vaping is best paired with 50:50 e-liquids like Nicotine Salts which produce a stronger throat hit that’s similar to that of smoking a cigarette.

Devices and coils: e-cigarettes with low wattage are ideal for mouth-to-lung vaping styles. These include pen and pod-style vape kits and Disposable Vape Pens. Higher resistance coils of 1.0ohm and above are designed with thinner wires that are especially effective for MTL inhaling. The thinner wires allow a smaller amount of wattage to pass through, making resistance high to minimize vapour production.

Tank and airflow: regardless of your chosen vape kit, mouth-to-lung vaping styles are most easily achieved with a tight airflow. Visually, an MTL tank will have a narrow mouthpiece that allows vapers to inhale similarly as they would when smoking.

Direct-to-lung vaping

DTL vaping, on the other hand, contrasts significantly with both MTL vaping and smoking. Instead of holding the vapour in their mouth, direct-to-lung vapers inhale the vapour directly into the lungs as though they are taking a breath of air. In doing so, vapers maximize the density of vapour to produce thick clouds.

Device consumables for DTL inhalation methods

E-liquids: direct-to-lung vaping should be paired with High VG e-liquids like 30:70s and Shortfills for maximum vapour production.

Devices and coils: the high density of vapour requires a more powerful e-cig like a pod or box mod with a higher wattage output. These vape kits are best when paired with low-resistance coils of 1.0ohm and below which have thicker coils that produce maximum vapour.

Tank and airflow: unlike MTL inhaling, DTL vaping styles are well-suited to a less restricted airflow that allows vapers to inhale more vapour. Visually, a direct-to-lung tank is likely to have a wider mouthpiece to account for more vapour intake.

Choosing the best technique

The best technique varies from person to person since it depends on various factors including experience, e-cig type, e-liquid preference, nicotine strength, coil resistance and more.

As a general rule of thumb, mouth-to-lung vaping is the best option for those new to vaping, whilst direct-to-lung inhaling is well-suited to existing vapers who wish to fine-tune their experience. That said, some beginners do have success with DTL inhalation methods, so don’t be afraid to do your research and choose the style that is most likely to suit you and your habits.

Making the switch

Whatever method you choose is all down to personal preference, and either is good if it’s succeeding in helping you to make the switch to a less harmful alternative.