Whether you are new to vaping or an old hand, learning how to vape is important. Vaping is about satisfaction, something that can be hit and miss in the early days. In fact, there are probably many experienced vapers who sometimes struggle to get the satisfaction they want. This is because we may have adopted a vaping style that doesn’t suit us or the vaping device we are using doesn’t suit that style.

And this is where mouth-to-lung – also known as MTL – vaping comes in and another style of vaping called direct-to-lung, or DTL. Depending on which style of vaping you choose, you need the right e-liquid and the right piece of kit.

Mouth to lung vaping

Mouth to lung vaping is where you inhale the vapour into your mouth and hold it to savour it for a while (that is, a few seconds). You then inhale it into your lungs and then exhale.

For newbie vapers who have some to vaping as an alternative to smoking, the MTL lung style makes sense because it is similar to how cigarettes are smoked.

But it isn’t just for newbies. Experienced vapers often vape mouth to lung because the early pieces of vaping kit they used were set up for this – and they’ve stuck with it ever since.

Mouth to lung vaping is great if you want a similar sensation to smoking a cigarette. It produces a tingling sensation in your throat, something that is known as a throat hit. Compared to direct to lung, it has a smoother, mellower it, perfect for when you want to experience the taste of your chosen e-juice.

Which vaping devices do you need for mouth to lung vaping?

In a nutshell, choose vaping devices that have a tank that uses high ohms coils of 1.0 and above.

What is an ohm?

An ohm is the standard measurement of electrical resistance. Vaping devices will have small coils made from artificial fibres. These devices are best run on low wattage, around 15 to 20 watts. A coil with 1.2 ohms or higher guarantees a mellow and enjoyable mouth to lung vape.

Vaping devices with high ohms coils are perfect for MTL vaping as they keep the vape at the right temperature. This means that you get great flavour from the e-liquid too.

Many vaping devices for beginners are designed for this style of vaping although some manufacturers are making vaping devices that can satisfy both MTL and direct to lung vapers.

Can sub-ohm devices be used for MTL vaping?

Yes, they can but they will get very hot and the flavour in your vaping juice will be diminished. If you are looking for a mellow throat hit and a pleasant, smoother flavour hit, then a sub-ohm vaping device won’t be the best choice.

Which vaping juices suit the mouth to lung style?

There are literally hundreds of different flavours of vape juices. The choice of flavour is entirely your own when it comes to MTL vaping but what is important is the VG/PG mix. Want to know more on how vape juices are made up and what's in your e liquid? Read our handy What is E Liquid? guide.

PG, or Propylene Glycerol to give it its full name, is the thinner of the two which means vape juice with a higher PG content is best for mouth to lung vaping. This is because it carries and releases the flavour of the juice much better. They are perfect for the mellow, flavoursome throat hit you are seeking.

A 50:50 PG/VG mix in vape juice will work with mouth to lung as will a higher ratio PG.

Mouth to lung vaping and nicotine strength

As well as considering flavour and PG/VG mix of vape juice, you will also have a preference for nicotine content.

For many people who vape, it is the hit of nicotine that makes it such a pleasant past time. You don’t have to choose the highest content of nicotine to get this effect as mouth to lung vaping can enhance the effects nicotine can have.

Nicotine content depends on your needs. Heavy smokers will often find that they need a higher nicotine content. Nicotine salts are a great place for smokers to start their vaping journey. Slowly, if you want to, you can gradually reduce the nicotine content until you find the level that you want.

By gradually reducing nicotine content and concentrating on mouth to lung vaping, you will avoid withdrawal symptoms that make giving up smoking – that is, dumping nicotine for your life – so very hard to do.

Why choose the mouth to lung vaping style?

For many people, MTL is the default style of vaping. It is the one that they are used to because it is how they smoked cigarettes and they have stuck with it ever since. But there are other reasons why mouth to lung vaping makes sense;

  •         Cooler vape – this style of vaping is done with low battery power and so the vapour doesn’t become too hot.
  •         Great when quitting smoking – mouth to lung devices are designed with the ex-smoker in mind, as well as being the preferred choice of those about to quit smoking. They are used in the same way as smoking – the vapour is inhaled into the mouth and then to the lung – giving a gentle yet satisfying effect. MTL is also great for the casual vaper and the newbie.
  •         Improved flavour – for many vapers, it is the flavour of the juice that makes vaping such a delightful and relaxing hobby. If this describes you, then mouth to lung vaping is ideal. Using 50:50 or higher ratio of PG content in your vaping juices means that you’ll get the flavour hit you want too.
  •         Uses less vape juice too – if you ditch the fags to save on the cash, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how economical vaping is. With vaping devices at fantastic prices and e-juices at a fraction of the cost of tobacco and cigarettes, you’ll save even more with MTL vaping. E-liquid is vaporised at a slower rate because you are inhaling more slowly and so your vape juice will last longer.

Are there downsides to MTL vaping?

It seems that mouth to lung vaping is a win-win for everyone but there is a downside to this style.

When modern vaping was first invented, devices were clunky and mouth to lung vaping was the only way that a vaper could get the satisfaction that they wanted.

Technology has moved on and devices have been modified and enhanced. For some die-hard mouth to lung vapers, they can struggle to get modern vaping devices to work well with the traditional method of vaping.

That said, people do make it work. Like everything else to do with vaping, it comes down to your own personal vaping choices.

Direct to lung vaping

Also referred to as DTL or DL, direct to lung effectively misses out the middleman – you inhale, drawing the vapour deeply into your lungs without holding it in your mouth first.

The result is a big throat hit, loved by some but hated by other vapers.

What devices are suitable for direct to lung vaping?

Opposite to MTL vaping, devices that have a sub-ohm tank are best for DL vaping. This means looking for a coil with an ohm rating of 1.00 or below.

There are many tanks available with sub-ohm coils as well as some vaping devices that can satisfy both direct to lung and MTL vapers too.

Direct to lung vaping tends to be favoured by cloud chasers and anyone who enjoys vape tricks.

It’s also a lot more powerful than the MTL style and so expect to cough the first time you try it! In fact, we’d go as far as to say that this style of vaping is most certainly not for the newbie vaper.

The coils used in this kind of vaping tend to be much larger. Sub-ohm tanks also require larger wicking ports so that the coil is saturated more quickly with vape juice.

Which e-juices are suitable for direct to lung vaping?

Sub-ohm tanks heat vape juice to high temperatures, therefore, they work best with a thicker liquid. That means choosing your favourite flavoured e-juice with a higher VG content.

A thicker liquid will also give a stronger, smoother hit and if you enjoy creating clouds from time to time, then a higher VG content is also essential.

What about nicotine levels and DTL vaping?

Direct to lung is far more intense in terms of a throat hit than mouth to lung and so it's no wonder that you may experience a burning sensation in the throat.

It is because of this intensity that you could afford to dial down the nicotine content of your favourite e-juice. Even if you were a heavy smoker, this style of vaping and the intense hit of nicotine it can give means a vape juice with the lowest content of nicotine will be more than enough.

If you are switching from mouth to lung to direct to lung vaping, more experienced vapers suggest halving the normal nicotine content you opt for. You may find that this is too much. Most would agree that start low with nicotine content and DTL vaping and working your way up to find your own sweet spot is the best way to do it.

What are the benefits to direct to lung vaping?

There are two distinct reasons why people opt for DTL vaping;

  •         Satisfaction – the intensity of a direct to lung hit delivers the satisfaction that many vapers crave.
  •         Clouds – using VG based e-liquids mean you can create fantastic clouds as well, perfect if you want to play around with vape tricks

Are there downsides to direct to lung vaping?

There can be, depending on where you stand when it comes to vaping and what you want to achieve from it;

  •         Less flavour – if you are into vaping for different flavour experiences, then the DTL style will not be for you.
  •         Limited nicotine levels – you need to decrease the nicotine level in your favoured vaping juice otherwise the throat hit is too painful.

What is a dry throat hit?

Dry throat hits happen when the cotton or wicking material in your vape is not saturated with vape juice. This can be because of a wicking issue, a coil being used at too high a wattage or there not being enough vape juice in the tank.

  •         Risky – draw too slowly and you’ll be hit with hot vape, a deeply unpleasant experience. You also need to tweak your nicotine content so that you don’t get too big a hit that leaves you nauseous. And if your vape juice runs dry, you could be left with an unpleasant dry throat hit. In other words, starting to vape direct to lung is risky and one that you will need to play around with until you get it right.

In summary

Both styles of vaping afford enjoyment but they use different equipment, different types of e-liquid and nicotine levels. Direct to lung is a more complex style and one that you could experiment with, although for the newbie vaper getting to grips with the basics of mouth to lung vaping is probably the best place to start.