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MTL vs DTL Vaping - What Is The Difference?

1st Feb 2023

Mouth to lung and Direct to Lung Vaping Illustration

When you start vaping, you’ll often hear two abbreviations come up in conversation - MTL and DTL. The former refers to Mouth to Lung vaping while the latter relates to direct-to-lung vaping. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages that make the experience different and require an alternative setup. Let’s break down the two concepts and what you’ll need to make the switch to vaping a successful one.

What is MTL Vaping?

MTL or mouth-to-lung vaping is when you inhale from your vape, taking the vapour into your mouth for a moment. Then you inhale it into the lungs. This is the discreet style of vaping at higher nicotine strengths that is most similar to that of smoking, which is why it is popular with ex-smokers and new vapers who aren’t used to the wide, direct inhale that is involved in DTL vaping. MTL vaping provides that distinctive “throat hit” that any ex-smoker will be familiar with.

This is a warm, tingling feeling in the back of the throat that many smokers enjoy, though it can become too intense for some when used with certain types of e-liquid, or when vaped direct-to-lung.

Which E-Liquids are Ideal for MTL Vaping?

When you’re mouth-to-lung vaping, there are certain things that you can make sure your e-liquid has to make sure you get the best possible experience, as well as some things you should probably avoid. The main thing you should be looking for in an e-liquid for mouth-to-lung vaping is a higher-PG formula.

This is important because not only does PG act as an excellent flavour carrier, but it also provides the signature throat-hit sensation you’re looking for when mouth-to-lung vaping. But bear in mind that PG can lead to symptoms such as a cough, dehydration or a dry sore throat due to its properties. One advantage of MTL is that you can also choose a higher concentration of nicotine, as it won’t negatively impact your experience like with direct-to-lung vaping.

Man Vaping Mouth to Lung

It’s not just new vapers who prefer Mouth-to-Lung vaping. Some vapers believe that they get more flavour from their vape when they use a Mouth-to-Lung vaping technique. In addition, it stretches further than VG e-liquids, which burn faster.

What’s the Ideal Type of Vape Kit for Mouth to Lung?

When vaping MTL, you should make sure you have a compatible device. Most beginner vape pens will be optimised for mouth-to-lung vaping, but if you have a more advanced device, you should make sure that you’re running your vape on low wattage, ideally under 20 watts. Check out some of the best mouth to lung vape choices here. 

The majority have a narrow mouthpiece to allow a tighter draw. You should use this in conjunction with a higher resistance coil, generally of around 1.2 ohms or higher. This will ensure you get the best possible experience from your mouth-to-lung vape.

Is Mouth to Lung the Right Style for You?

If you’re a beginner vaper using vaping to quit smoking, we’d highly recommend starting out by mouth-to-lung vaping with one of two options. You have either a starter kit that bears the closest resemblance or a compact pod kit. You’ll get a stronger and more intense nicotine rush for the amount you vape, and you’ll get a more manageable and pleasurable throat-hit sensation, which also emulates the experience of cigarette smoking effectively. These factors, combined with the wide variety of delicious, authentic tobacco flavours available, make mouth-to-lung vaping the best choice for the majority of new vapers and those using vaping as a nicotine replacement therapy to help them quit smoking. For these users, direct lung vaping can be quite intense and can make you cough if you’re not used to it.

However, it’s not just new vapers who prefer mouth-to-lung vaping. Many users find that they get more flavour from their vape when they vape mouth to lung rather than direct to lung. As you hold the vapour in your mouth, rather than sending it straight to the lungs, you have more time to taste and absorb the flavour of the e-liquid when vaping mouth-to-lung. There is also less air added to each inhale when you vape mouth-to-lung, which may intensify the flavour as it isn’t diluted. If the authentic flavour is important to you as part of your vape experience, then mouth-to-lung might be the better vape style.

Mouth-to-lung vaping is also generally considered to be a bit more economical than direct-to-lung vaping, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, almost all devices that have mouth-to-lung capabilities and are optimised for this kind of vaping are more affordable than their direct-to-lung counterparts. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but generally, it is much easier to find an affordable vape device that offers mouth-to-lung vaping, than one that offers direct-to-lung vaping, another reason this style is more popular with beginners.

Best Selling 2023 MTL Vapes So Far:

Uwell Caliburn Tenet

Uwell Caliburn Tenet

Smok Solus 2

Smok Solus 2

Uwell Caliburn A3

Uwell Caliburn A3

Man Vaping Direct to Lung

What is DTL Vaping?

Direct-to-lung is a little bit more complex, which is why it’s more popular with intermediate and advanced vapers. Direct-to-lung vaping involves taking the vapour directly into the lungs, without stopping to hold it in the mouth. DTL vaping is often considered more satisfying, as the vapour is going directly to the lung, so more is consumed. You also get a more intense nicotine rush when vaping DTL, and the throat hit sensation is increased dramatically.

For this reason, high-PG and high-nicotine content e-liquids are generally inadvisable when vaping direct to the lung, as these also increase the throat hit intensity. When combined with direct-to-lung vaping, this can make the throat hit very uncomfortable and, in some cases, unbearable. Most direct-to-lung vapers will use a very low nicotine e-liquid (0.6% or 0.2% strength) or even a nicotine-free liquid for this reason.

Some people describe the sensation of direct-to-lung vaping as simply taking a deep breath in with your lips pursed. Then, simply exhale and watch the classic vapour clouds float away! This style of vaping can be a strange sensation for new vapers, but it’s one you’ll soon get used to.

What’s the Best E-Liquid for DTL Vaping?

Direct-to-lung vaping, on the other hand, requires pretty much the opposite in every aspect of your e-liquid. High and even 100% VG e-liquids are ideal for this style of vaping, as PG will create too much of a burn in the throat as the vapour is directly inhaled. You also want a much lower nicotine concentration when looking for e-liquids to vape directly to the lungs. As you consume more e-liquid when DTL vaping, a lower concentration ensures you can vape more comfortably, and that you don’t inhale dangerously high amounts of nicotine. You should also make sure that you’re using a low PG, low-nicotine e-liquid to make sure you’re getting a smooth vape without any discomfort.

On the other hand, you take in more vapour with DL, which means the flavour is more concentrated. What’s more, e-liquid mixologists are well aware that flavours taste different with high VG e-liquids. In the early days of vaping, they might have used the same recipe for all VG/PG ratios. Now recipes are more adapted so they work well with higher VG ratios.

What’s the Ideal Type of Vape Kit for Direct to Lung?

When you’re DTL vaping, you want to make sure you’re getting as much air into each inhale as you can, to prevent your inhale from becoming too concentrated, to the point of being unpleasant. When DTL vaping, it’s a good idea to open any adjustable airflow mechanisms as far as they go to help increase airflow. Vapers seeking a direct-to-lung kit also look for a high-powered device with adjustable wattage, so you can create bigger clouds of vapour. The mouthpiece in contrast to an MTL device will be wider to allow more airflow.

Another important consideration to take into account when vaping direct-to-lung is your coil. Low-resistance coils, known as Sub-Ohm coils, are perfect for direct-to-lung vaping, as they create the high volumes of vapour you need, though they do require significantly more battery power than high-resistance coils, which is why Sub-Ohming is often restricted to more advanced and high-end vape devices. If you use a high-resistance coil, you need less power from your vape, though less vapour will be produced, making them popular with MTL vapers and beginners.

Is Direct Lung the Right Style for You?

To create the thick vapour clouds characteristic of direct-to-lung vaping, more e-liquid needs to be used, which means it is consumed much more quickly than when vaping mouth-to-lung. This means that direct-to-lung vapers will have to buy more e-liquid, more often than direct-to-lung vapers.

If big, fluffy vapour clouds are important to you, however, there’s no better option than direct-to-lung vaping. This style allows you to create thick, dense clouds with a sweet flavour and intense rush. If the experience of inhaling MTL isn’t intense enough, direct-to-lung vaping can be a way to increase your intake without you needing to vape more. DTL is also a better technique to use when Sub-Ohm vaping. Sub-Ohming is a form of vaping that uses low-resistance coils to create thick, satisfying vapour clouds, and the increased airflow that comes along with direct-to-lung vaping is ideal for this. DTL vaping is also more satisfying for many vapers, as you are physically consuming more e-liquid.

Best Selling DTL Vapes 2023:

Vaporesso Gen 200

Vaporesso Gen 200

Smok RPM 100

Smok RPM 100

Voopoo Argus XT

Voopoo Argus XT

To find out more about MTL and DTL vaping, or to find the perfect vape products for you, get in touch with our experienced team of vape experts who will be happy to point you in the right direction! Or, take a look for yourself at the excellent range of exciting vape products we offer for both mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung vapers at V2 Cigs.