Mouth to Lung (MTL) vs Direct to Lung (DTL) Vaping: Which is Right for You?

Do you have plans to quit smoking for good? Have you identified electronic cigarettes as a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking? 

If so, there are a few things you should understand first.

E-cig users will all tell you the importance of choosing the correct vaping device. However, selecting a suitable vaping technique actually should be done first. 

There are two basic vaping styles: mouth-to-lung vs. direct-to-lung. These inhalation methods both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

One technique isn’t better than the other—it is just a matter of preference, and many vapers try both before settling on one option. 

What is Mouth-to-Lung Vaping?

The mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping technique comes closest to mimicking the experience of smoking cigarettes. MTL vapers were often smokers who moved to lung vaping because they’re used to the feeling and because mouth-to-lung mods have a restricted draw like a cigarette. 

However, there’s a slight difference in how you MTL vape compared to how you smoke. 

To try this vaping method:

  • Step 1: Take a smooth drag into the mouth. Avoid taking short, sharp puffs as you’ve been accustomed to while smoking a cigarette, and instead, ensure you take a long drag. 
  • Step 2: Keep the vapor in your mouth for a few seconds. As you do this, the vapor loses its potency, facilitating a smoother lung experience. 
  • Step 3: Next, inhale the vapor to the lungs while drawing in the air simultaneously. 
  • Step 4: Exhale.

If you want to try this technique, get an e-juice with high-level nicotine strength. Understand that only low-wattage mods with higher-resistance coils are compatible with vape juices using elevated nicotine levels. 

If powerful nicotine level e-juice is too harsh for you, opt for high-strength nicotine salt for a smoother throat hit. 

Also, sub-ohm kits aren’t a great way to start vaping in this style. Instead, look for an MTL device with a mouth-to-lung tank in your e-cigs.

Pros & Cons of MTL Vaping


  • Easier to perform for new vapers
  • MTL feels like smoking a cigarette
  • Allows you to taste more flavor
  • Uses less e-liquid
  • Better throat hit
  • MTL coils can accommodate e-liquid of high nicotine strength
  • Mouth-to-lung mods produce less vapor, so this style is excellent for those who want to smoke discreetly
  • E-cigarettes specifically made for the mouth-to-lung vape style are smaller and more portable


  • Short battery life
  • MTL mods don’t have many features
  • A mouth-to-lung vape has less power
  • Less vapor and you won’t get huge clouds

What is Direct-to-Lung Vaping?

The Direct-to-lung (DTL or DL) vaping technique is also popularly known as the “straight-to-lung” and “direct lung” styles. 

As the name suggests, instead of pulling the air into your mouth, you take a direct lung hit like when you take a normal breath or a deep breath.

Direct-to-lung vaping is usually preferred by cloud chasers and tricksters.

To execute this technique properly, remember your college days when you used to take bong hits like a pro. 

To try DTL style:

  • Step 1: Take a slow and steady drag for around 3 to 5 seconds. No sharp puffs are encouraged here. 
  • Step 2: Since this style doesn’t require you to hold the vapor in your mouth, let the vapor enter your lungs directly.
  • Step 3: Exhale those large amounts of clouds.

For lung vaping, get yourself DTL devices with powerful mods and low resistance coils or sub-ohm coils. 

Avoid vape juices with high nicotine content, as you’d be consuming more vape juice when DL vaping. If you have too much nicotine when you lung vape, you can end up with nicotine poisoning. Opting for a nicotine-free e-liquid is an option and will also get you off of the addictive substance.

Furthermore, most vapers prefer high VG e-liquids when they DTL vape because they work best at producing large clouds. 

Pros & Cons of Direct-to-Lung Vaping


  • Direct-to-lung vape mods have longer battery life.
  • A lung vape gives you outstanding production of clouds.
  • Powerful vape kit mods have more features such as airflow mechanism, accurate wattage control, TC modes, and variable wattage, paving the way for a more flexible lung vaping experience.


  • Vegetable glycerin-based e-liquids don’t hold as much flavor as propylene glycol-based e-liquids
  • The charging time of direct-to-lung vape kits can be a deal-breaker for many
  • These e-cigarettes use a lot of e-juice
  • Bulkier, less portable hardware in these vape kits
  • Direct lung vaping mods need more maintenance work

MTL vs. DTL: What is Better for You? 

Who Uses the Mouth-to-Lung Vaping Style?

If you’ve just made the transition from smoking tobacco cigarettes to vaping, the MTL style will come more naturally to you. As I have mentioned before, mouth-to-lung vaping comes closest to providing a smoking-like experience. 

So, go for this style if you want to relive your smoking days, albeit in a healthier manner. 

The mouth-to-lung vaping technique is also perfect for those who’d rather taste the flavor profile of their vape juices instead of creating clouds. 

The lack of cloud production is because you can only perform the MTL style on low-wattage mods with high-resistance coils instead of sub-ohm coils. Regrettably, low-wattage mods cannot produce serious clouds, so if you want to blow out smoke like your favorite rappers in music videos, the MTL style is not for you. 

On the bright side, the MTL style can allow you to inhale more nicotine and vape in a crowded environment without grabbing any attention. Additionally, since the MTL style uses less e-liquid, adopting it will be easier on your wallet as well. 

Who Uses the Direct-to-Lung Vaping Technique? 

Planning to fill your lungs to max capacity, perform the French Inhale and other vape tricks, and blow out large clouds? If so, go for the DTL vaping method.

Just remember though, as you blow out clouds, you’re blowing out money too. The DTL style requires massive consumption of high VG e-liquid, so you’d need to keep purchasing new bottles of e-juice frequently. 

Finally, if you are a first-timer, getting used to the DTL vaping method will take some time.  

Wrap Up

Overall, there’s no clear winner when it comes to the best vaping strategy. In fact, there isn’t even a competition at all, and experienced vapers use whichever method they prefer.