Posted March 21, 2018 by Daniel Archibald-Jones in Information & Articles

Mouth To Lung And Direct To Lung – The Different Vaping Styles Explained

It may come as a surprise to those new to the vaping scene, but there are two very distinct ways that people tend to enjoy their vape.

Unlike smoking, whereby you either do it right or wrong, with vaping there are two ways of enjoying your e-liquid – and both require different set-ups to enjoy properly.

What Are The Differences?

These are referred to as ‘Mouth to Lung’ (MTL) and Direct to Lung (DTL). In the most basic sense, MTL involves mimicking the way you would take a draw of a cigarette. You draw the vapour into your mouth, then inhale it down to enjoy that refreshing throat hit. DTL, on the other hand, involves literally inhaling the vapour straight down as you draw on the mouthpiece, leading to enormous clouds upon exhaling.

Before anyone starts panicking be assured right away that there is no right or wrong way to enjoy your vape. Some elitists may claim that DTL (kind of emulating a traditional shisha pipe) is the ‘pure’ way to vape, but often these folks don’t vape for nicotine – they do so just to show off! Truth is, the majority of vapers will automatically use the MTL method as it is what they have become used to after years of exposure to nasty old tobacco.

As ever, there’s also plenty of people who enjoy both styles, perhaps using the MTL technique as their standard ‘daily’ vaping style, yet partial to a luxurious DTL chill out once in a while. Either way, you’re going to be well advised to make certain that you have a suitable set up for either DTL or MTL vaping. Finding the right combination of coils and power output is crucial! Here’s all you need to know to get started with both.

Choosing & Using Appropriate Coils

It is amazing how little attention so many people pay to make sure they are using suitable coils for their style of vaping. Something so simple can really make or break a vape.

People looking for a sharp, tight, throat hitting MTL vape ought to be looking towards coils that areabove 1.0ohms and with a recommended voltage between 10-15 Watts (all coils have resistance and suggested wattage stamped on the side). As you may have guessed, DTL vaping requires fatter, breezier coils that allow for a much greater airflow to help produce those heady, flavoursome clouds – for example 0.7ohm with a far higher wattage.

Naturally, you are going to need a considerably more powerful device that ‘standard’ to properly enjoy DTL sub-ohm vaping. On the other hand, even the most basic off the shelf vape pen can handle MTL vaping. With both methods, it is always worth taking the time to prime those coils before use. Just leaving the coils to soak up a couple of drops of the e-liquid for twenty minutes will make a huge difference to the quality of your vape, lengthen the coil life, and help to avoid those horrid dry hits.

Choose Your E-liquid Wisely

For reference: PG is Propylene Glycol, VG is Vegetable Glycerin.

A typical e-liquid designed for general MTL vaping will be around 80/20 PG/VG mix and have a pretty runny consistency. Those intended for cloud chasing DTL vaping will have a far higher ration of VG and be correspondingly far denser and requiring much more power to heat. Unfortunately, this means that cloud heavy vaping tends to tear through e-liquid at a far higher speed than compared to taking quick DTL draws.

As high VG e-liquids are designed for flavour and clouds they almost always have a very low nicotine content (0-0.3mg is standard) because of the huge amount of vapour that the individual is going to be inhaling. This isn’t a problem for standard e-liquids which can be anywhere up to 1.8mg (2.4mg is now banned from sale in the UK) because the amount of vapour being inhaled is far less.

Final Thoughts

Not everyone is going to enjoy DTL vaping – it really can feel pretty overwhelming to the first few times, even when using low/zero nicotine juice. As mentioned above the majority of people will use the MTL method most of the time, but it can be handy to have a powerful device still capable of being able to perform both. Just switch over tank, coils, and juice depending on whatever mood happens to take you.

In a nutshell…

MTL Vaping:

  • Similar technique to smoking.
  • Flavoursome with thinner e-liquids capable of higher nicotine levels.
  • Lower wattage, higher ohm resistance (1ohm+).

DTL Vaping:

  • Deep draws inhaled straight from the tank.
  • Very intense, low/zero nicotine heavy clouds.
  • Sub ohm coils, high wattages required.