Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) Vaping
Mouth to lung vaping slightly differs from direct-to-lung (DTL) vaping. If MTL is preferable, pod vapes (or all-in-one devices) are most suitable for this method.
When MTL vaping, you suck the vapor into your mouth and let it linger for a moment before finally pulling down into your lungs. This method should be easy for any former smoker to master since it’s the most popular technique used when smoking cigarettes.
Due to its similarity to cigarette smoking, newer vapers prefer to use this method. The burning or tingling in your throat (throat hit) is subtle, creating a smoother impression when compared to the much harsher (and less authentic) direct-to-lung (DTL) method.
MTL vaping is also the best choice for people looking to experience the maximum flavor and minimum cloud creation. Since the vapor sits in your mouth for a moment, it gives your tongue a chance to taste the nuanced undertones of your favorite flavors. Sticking with MTL means you can enjoy the full effect of your favorite blends at a much lower concentration because you’re not inhaling it straight into your lungs (lungs don’t have taste buds). You’ll also use less liquid, making your vaping even more economical compared to smoking. There’s no new technique to learn; fill up, press the button, and inhale the vapor just as if it was a cigarette.
The low cloud production of MTL vaping is also useful when vaping in public places—or any spot that you don’t want others to be annoyed by the massive vapor clouds produced by DTL.
If saving money is important to you (as it is for most of us), MTL vapes—such as “pod vapes” or all-in-one devices are relatively cheap and overqualified when it comes to getting the job done. MTL coils are typically small and made with artificial fibers for wicks; smaller wicking ports allow for discreet vapor which mimics the smoke of a cigarette.
When purchasing your e-juice, you’ll want to find a flavor/blend that has an equal VG to PG ratio (i.e., 50/50 VG/PG). Most MTL vapers prefer 50VG/50PG for two reasons. Generally speaking, an e-liquid flavor that’s mixed with an equal or higher PG content will provide a punchier throat hit, thus simulating sensation similar to smoking cigarettes. Nic salts are the most popular e-juice among low wattage devices since they are usually 50/50 VG/PG ratio and contain higher levels of nicotine than the regular e-liquid. Secondly, PG tends to carry flavor better than high VG e-liquids. Simply put, MTL vapers will enjoy e-liquids that have a higher PG content because of their flavor-enhancing properties and the satisfying throat hit that comes with it.
Mouth to lung vaping is the preferred vaping style for those that need a fair amount of nicotine to get the job done. Low-wattage devices combined with high-nicotine vape juice such as nic salts offer a tremendously smooth and flavor-filled vaping experience.
Direct-to-Lung (DTL) Vaping
Unlike MTL, DTL vaping can get pretty intense; depending on the nicotine content of the vape juice, a throat hit could be the furthest thing from smooth. Think back to the time you smoked your first cigarette and nearly coughed up a lung. After a while, you became less sensitive to it and were able to smoke comfortably. With vaping, it’s the same situation.
In addition to DTL producing a harsher hit (that will get smoother over time), you can also expect limitations in the flavor department; this doesn’t mean the flavor will be muted or unpleasant, but more subtle. The problem with DTL vaping is that all those delicious flavors are sucked over your tongue so fast that you don’t have time to appreciate them. To compensate for muted flavors, many DTL cloud chasers mix their own blends and push the flavor concentration up to insane levels – over 20% in some cases; this increases the price of mixing because the flavors are the most expensive ingredient. They’re also the ingredient you probably don’t want to be inhaling too much of – although flavors are pretty safe, they’re not as safe as VG, PG or nicotine. For the average vaper, there’s nothing to worry about, but if you’re inhaling vast amounts of juice with a 20% flavor concentration that might expose you to unnecessary risk.
DTL vaping can be loads of fun if you’re into “cloud chasing” and mastering tricks; however, it’s far from discreet in public.
With DTL vaping the first thing you’ll need is a sub-ohm tank and a device that can put out some decent wattage. You may have to fork over a pretty penny (upwards of $100 or more) for a solid regulated box mod setup, but there are many unregulated tube-shaped sub-ohm products (tube mods) that’ll run you $50 or less. There will also be a noticeable difference in DTL when it comes to the coils. The sub-ohms tanks used with DTL vaping are full of organic cotton and feature significantly larger wicking ports. In DTL tanks, the wick rapidly saturates with e-juice which creates an almost non-stop flow of e-liquid to your coils and massive clouds of vapor.
With DTL you will want to grab some e-liquid that’s high in vegetable glycerine. E-liquid that is high in VG is thick like molasses and is best suited for the cloud production DTL vapers seek.
Direct to lung vaping is less recommended than mouth to lung for newbies that are making the transition over from the stinky sticks. Due to the sheer amount of vapor inhalation, vapers should avoid e-liquid nicotine levels above 6mg when beginning DTL vaping. One noticeable difference is the harshness induced by higher nicotine levels in regular e-liquid. Regular e-liquid, which is “freebase” nicotine has a higher pH level which affects the alkalinity; higher pH makes e-liquid taste harsher. Anything higher than 6mg with freebase e-liquid for a new vaper will most likely produce a painful burning sensation in the throat and lungs, thanks to the incredible amount of vapor and high nicotine content.
All in all, mouth-to-lung is the most natural form of vaping to master, and for most people, it’s also the most satisfying. There’s nothing wrong with direct-to-lung, and if you decide you’d like to try cloud-chasing that’s the way to go, but for nine out of ten vapers there’s no need; MTL is just fine!