How to vape? Is it similar to smoking cigarettes? What is the inhaling technique used for different vape setups? If you are an experienced vaper, you already know everything about the MTL and DL inhaling techniques, so this article probably won’t teach you anything new. But if you are a beginner in the vaping scene, you have a lot of questions and this article will most likely answer a few of them.

There are two types of inhaling – Mouth To Lung (MTL), and Direct Lung (DL). Both of these techniques require different vape setups (ohm resistance, airflow, etc) and they both give different results. However, the goal of both of them is to essentially get vapor into the lungs.

Mouth to lung technique – MTL

If you are an ex smoker, you are already familiar with this inhaling technique. Mouth to lung (or simply “MTL”) means putting your lips on the drip tip or cigarette filter, and suck the vapor or smoke into your mouth before inhaling it into lungs. This is how traditional cigarettes are smoked and this is the technique used by most most ex smokers when they start vaping.

mtl vaping

Because MTL technique is similar to smoking cigarettes, it’s more appropriate for smokers who are in the process of switching from smoking to vaping.

Another advantage is that the e-juice can last much longer with MTL compared to DL. This means that MTL vaping can be less expensive, especially on the long run.

MTL is also closely related to superior flavor. Because the vapor stays in mouth longer, the flavor of the vapor is more intense with MTL compared to DL technique.

MTL advantages

  • Stronger flavor – Increased ratio of PG in e-juice and the longer hold of vape in mouth result in stronger flavor.
  • Less juice consumption – Because MTL inhales are weaker than DL, it means that e-juice will last longer.
  • Better for quitting smoking – Because smokers are used to MTL technique, it’s better for quitting smoking.
  • Better for vaping in public places because it produces less vapor.

Direct lung inhaling technique – DL

The direct lung inhaling technique is used by most vapers. It’s similar to smoking shisha pipes and it means inhaling vapor straight into the lungs, without holding it in mouth. The benefit of this techique is more vapor production, and more throat hit. Just like the MTL technique, the DL requires a specific vaping setup – low ohm resistance tank, an e-juice with higher VG and lower PG ratio, lower nicotine levels, and more open airflow.

dl vaping

The DL technique provides stronger sensation and most vapers find it more satisfying. That’s why most of them switch from MTL to DL sooner or later.

Another obvious advantage of DL is superior vapor production. Many vapers find huge vapor clouds satisfying and they even have their cloud chasing competitions and tournaments.

DTL advantages

  • Larger clouds – A DL technique produces thicker vapor and larger clouds.
  • Stronger sensation – There’s a reason why most MTL vapers switch to DL. The DL technique provides stronger sensation and better throat hit.

Setup difference

When it comes to setups for different inhaling techniques, the batteries and mods aren’t as important as tanks, coils, and e-juice.

The optimal tanks for MTL vaping have high resistance coils (usually above 1.0 ohm) while optimal tanks for DL vaping have sub-ohm coils.

Another important setup is the airflow control. The looser the airflow, the better for DL vaping, and vice versa. MTL tanks have narrow drip tips allowing a tighter draw, while DL tanks have wider drip tips allowing more vapor to get through. Some setups have adjustable airflow control and many compatible coils, so they are appropriate for both inhaling techniques.

E-juice is another factor that should be looked at before you switch from MTL to DL, especially the PG/VG ratios in e-juice. Direct lung vaping provides more throat hit, so PG in e-juice needs to be reduced. E-juice with higher VG ratio (at least 50/50) is a standard for DL vaping.

Because DL vaping uses more e-liquid than MTL, it also uses more nicotine. If you are new to DL, it’s advised to use e-liquids with lower nicotine levels. In general, DL vapers use about 3mg e-juice on average. I personally don’t know any DL vaper who uses e-juice with more than 6mg of nicotine, while I know plenty of MTL vapers who vape 24mg e-juice.

MTL vs. DL – which one is better?

This is a question that is impossible to answer without knowing what your preferences are. The MTL technique provides stronger flavor while the DL technique produces more vapor and more throat hit.

Whether you prefer more vapor or more flavor is a matter of personal preference and you won’t be able to know it unless you try both of these techniques. MTL is closely associates with vapers who are looking for superior flavor (flavor seekers), while the DL technique is closely associates with vapers who are looking for superior throat hit and vapor production (cloud chasers).

Remember that it doesn’t matter whether you are a cloud chaser or a flavor seeker. The most important thing is to stay away from traditional tobacco cigarettes no matter which inhaling technique you use for vaping.