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Mouth to lung or direct lung inhaling

3 October 2021

If you've heard the terms mouth to lung and direct lung inhaling, and if you've wondered quite what that means and what the differences are, here's an overview of the two different styles of vaping.

What is mouth to lung inhaling?

Mouth to lung inhaling, or mouth hits, or MTL is the way traditional smokers have always smoked.

The concept is simple, a smoker, using the mouth to lung technique is inhaling vapour into their mouth, and then breathing it into their lungs.

This MTL method of inhaling traditional cigarettes is because the filter needs more of a draw to pull the smoke through, and while the smoker keeps the pressure on drawing, they have to keep the smoke in their mouths before inhaling it into their lungs.

The degree of pressure when drawing on an electronic cigarette can be altered by adjusting the airflow, and although not as much pressure is required to vape, airflows can be adjusted to increase the pressure and the method when used in vaping remains the same.

What is direct lung inhaling?

The direct lung technique is part of the evolution of vaping with regard to user preferences and new equipment, most particularly, sub-Ohm devices capable of producing more vapour.

Users wanting to create massive vapour clouds need to allow for more airflow to create more vapour, and mouth inhaling is more difficult to do with a looser airflow because you can't hold all that vapour in your mouth, and therefore those users, known as cloud chasers, began to prefer direct lung inhaling to get their hit.

The difference in devices and setups

The most fundamental aspect of creating vapour is the tank and the heating coil inside it, and the liquid, which we will come to.

Tanks without an airflow control are best for mouth to lung inhaling.

Tanks with airflow can be used for either method. Keep the airflow fairly closed and use it for MTL, or open it up and let the air in and around the coil, and you're setting-up for direct lung inhaling.

Liquid for mouth to lung inhaling

The traditional mouth to lung technique requires a standard e-liquid in the user's preferred nicotine strength. By standard, we mean a liquid with, say, no more than 50% VG because otherwise is can often be too thick and clog the heating coil faster than one would like. 50% VG gives an average amount of flavour and vapour.

If flavour is more important to you thanks clouds, we also have an article about our top tips on how to get the best flavour from your device and e-liquid.

Liquid for direct lung inhaling

Direct lung inhaling requires more vapour to be produced and therefore requires a greater amount of VG. Say, anything from 60% VG content in the liquid as a minimum, but often anything up to 80-85% VG.

Direct lung vapers are usually using sub-Ohm heating coils (with a resistance of less than 1Ω), which means it's getting hotter faster, and because of this, the nicotine hits far harder. The average nicotine for sub-Ohm (cloud chasing) vaping is 3mg although 6mg is still viable for some.

You may find our article about VG and PG in e-liquid helpful.

Vapour or flavour

Direct lung inhaling is for those who choose vapour production over flavour, because to make more vapour clouds you do have to forego some flavour.

Which one is for me

If the flavour of vaping is more important to you than making lots of clouds, then mouth to lung vaping is the right choice for you. Consider yourself a flavour seeker instead of a cloud chaser.

If producing masses of vapour along with the resulting hit is your preference, then direct lung inhaling is the right choice for you.

Our Guide to Vaping

We have lots of useful information, guidance and helpful tips regarding vaping, plus you'll be able to read about common problems (and solutions) ...

Learn More