Welcome back to another instalment in our Vaping 101 series, which is designed to arm new vapers with all the information they need to learn the basics of vaping and set themselves up with the right equipment and methods to enjoy their vaping journey without feeling overwhelmed.
This month we’re looking at inhalation. You might think it’s a funny topic to focus on but inhalation can revolutionise the way you vape and it’s something that we don’t think is discussed enough. When it comes to vaping, what you vape and why you vape are hugely important factors but we also believe that how you vape is just as crucial.
You might already know that there are a few different inhalation techniques at your disposal, including mouth hits, lung hits, hybrid hits and French inhalation. Today we’re going to be focusing on the two most common types of inhalation: mouth hits and lung hits.
The important thing to know is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to your inhalation method. Whether you favour mouth hits, lung hits or one of the less common techniques, whatever works best for you is the correct choice. Different techniques offer different results so flavour connoisseurs will likely favour an alternative technique to cloud chasers.
As we always say, vaping is deeply personal and everybody has a unique set of preferences so we recommend reading through the information below to get to grips with the benefits and drawbacks of the most common types of inhalation. After that it’s onto the fun part! Time to play around with the different techniques and see which works best for you.
To kick things off, let’s take a look at the differences between the two most common inhalation techniques: mouth hits vs lung hits.
Mouth Hits: Mouth to Lung (MTL)
The most traditional method of inhalation around, the mouth hit is the method most ex-smokers are familiar with. To explain it as simply as possible, you draw the vapour into your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs.
It’s a favourite amongst those who have recently switched to vaping or are in the process of switching, as it closely mimics the way cigarettes and cigars are traditionally smoked.
So how does taking a mouth hit impact your vaping experience? Flavour is the key here, which is why those who prefer flavour above all else tend to favour mouth hits over other inhalation methods. As the vapour is held in your mouth for a longer time, the flavour your enjoy is more pronounced and long-lasting.
Aside from enhanced flavour, what other benefits are there? This method features a slow inhalation, so it tends to use less e-liquid than some of the other methods out there. It’s worth noting that you’ll get the best flavour results by using an e-liquid that has a higher volume of PG (propylene glycol) rather than VG (vegetable glycerin).
However, if you require a hefty lung hit to feel satisfied, this might not be the best method for you. Don’t worry, though, as we have an alternative coming up that will probably be more akin to your taste.
Lung Hits: Direct to Lung (DTL)
A relative newcomer when you compare it to the method we just discussed, lung hits are pretty self-explanatory: you inhale the vapour directly into your lungs and skip the step where it’s held in the mouth.
This method has soared in popularity in recent years and much of its appeal is down to the huge clouds of vapour it can produce. Predictably, this has made it a favourite inhalation method amongst cloud chasers but it’s considered a bit of a Marmite technique as vapers tend to love it or loathe it.
Something to bear in mind is that equipment is key when it comes to lung hits (as e-liquid is key for mouth hits). A device with a looser airflow is what you’ll be after if you want to give lung hits a try, as lung inhalations without the correct equipment can lead to the dreaded coughing fits.
Setting the large vapour clouds to one side for a moment, there are also a couple of other benefits to lung hits. It’s known as being the most satisfying method of inhalation as it produces a more powerful ‘hit’, which can be important to some who are in the process of switching to vaping. However, some beginners aren’t a fan of the method as it requires specific equipment, technique and e-liquid to avoid an overwhelming throat hit.
Cost of vaping methods
An important point to make here relates to cost. Large vapour clouds (DTL) means you are using a lot more e-liquid per puff. This e liquid needs to be 0.3% or 0.6% nicotine strength so that you don't feel ill by overdosing.
Both methods produce significantly more "smoke" that you would get from a traditional cigarette.
With the mouth hits method, MTL you are using a smaller simpler device and up to 2.0% strength. Less vapour but higher nicotine content. 2.0% strength compared with 0.6%; more than 3 times the strength. Both methods result in you getting a sufficient nicotine hit as smoking does, but you pay a big price for big clouds of vapour!
So if you are not an avid vaper and you are just looking to move away from smoking then there is not much point in using sub ohm vape devices for the lung method (DTL Direct to lung). A simple high quality vape pen or electronic cigarette will feel familiar, give you your nicotine and save you a lot of money.
What Role Does E-Liquid Play?
We touched on this earlier but e-liquid plays an important role when it comes to your enjoyment of each technique - the wrong liquid with the wrong technique can produce a bland taste or a harsh hit that can ruin your vaping experience.
While we always recommend that you play around with different options to see which combination suits your personal preference, the general rule of thumb is that you should opt for a high quality, PG-rich e-liquid if you favour a mouth hit, and a low nicotine (0.6% or less) VG-rich e-liquid if you favour a lung hit.
We hope we’ve managed to break down the two main inhalation methods for you to make them simple and easy to understand. It can be a confusing topic and it’s a lot to get your head around when you’re new to vaping, so if you have any other questions or have anything you’d like to add then please get in touch via Twitter or check out the Vaping 101 section for more information on the basics of vaping.