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Mouth-to-Lung VS Direct-to-Lung

Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) VS Direct-to-Lung (DTL)

There are many debates in the vaping world. Nicotine salts or traditional nicotine? Pod systems or box mods? Flavored vape juices or classic tobacco? One of these debates, which often does not get too talked about, is vaping inhaling techniques. Mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung?

In today’s blog, we talk about mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung techniques, what they are, how to do them, and which one is better than the other one. So if you are ready, let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is Mouth-to-Lung?
  2. What is Direct-to-Lung?
  3. Which Should You Use?
  4. How Do You Vape Mouth-to-Lung?
  5. How Do You Vape Direct-to-Lung?
  6. Mouth-to-Lung VS Direct-to-Lung?
  7. Conclusion

What is Mouth-to-Lung?

Mouth-To-Lung is an inhaling technique used when vaping. In essence, when you inhale vapor first into your mouth, hold it there, and then inhale it to your lungs. It is a two-step process that is ideal for ex-smokers since it closely replicates how people smoke. 

What is Direct-to-Lung?

Direct-to-lung is another inhaling vaping technique that, as its name suggests it is a direct pull. Unlike mouth-to-lung, direct-to-lung is a technique that has the user direct the vapor directly to the lungs. It’s similar to taking a deep inhale. Only you do it with your lips halfway closed. With this technique, the amount of vapor increases, and so does the amount of nicotine.

Which Should You Use?

You’ll come to realize that often the technique you use will depend mainly on the type of device you own and on the kind of e-liquid you use. However, there are circumstances when using a different method or technique can create unique experiences. 

For beginners who might not be accustomed to vaping, no matter what kind of vape device they use or what type of vape juice they choose, they will most likely start doing a mouth-to-lung inhaling technique. This is a familiar way for them to vape and the most similar to cigarette smoking. Mouth-to-lung is preferable to direct-to-lung since it can cause new vapers to cough uncontrollably. 

Another example of when vapers might want to try a mouth-to-lung technique is flavor chasing. Flavor chasing is when a vaper equips their device to generate the most flavor possible. This not only involves choosing an e-liquid with a high percentage of propylene glycol but also vaping using the mouth-to-lung technique. The reasons for using the mouth-to-lung method over the direct-to-lung is because:

  1. The draw is tighter, meaning less air can be inhaled when trying to inhale directly into the lungs. 
  2. And lastly, and the most crucial part is that the vapor spends more time in your mouth with the MTL technique, where the taste buds are, so you have a better chance of truly appreciating the flavor of the vape.

However, if you’re looking to create big clouds and have a more intense nicotine experience, then you might want to opt for the direct-to-lung technique. Since you are pulling for a more extended period and with a bit more force, you’ll more quickly fill your lungs with nicotine and with more giant clouds than you would if you were doing the mouth-to-lung technique. 

How Do You Vape Mouth-to-Lung?

Vaping mouth to lungs is extremely easy. First, you have to make sure the device you use is made for mouth-to-lung or has airflow control set up, so the air is partially restricted. You’ll want to pull or inhale into your mouth until full. Wait a few seconds, then inhale into your lungs. Wait a few more seconds, then exhale. 

How Do You Vape Direct-to-Lung?

If you're going to vape direct-to-lung, you need a device that will let a lot of air flow through. Direct-to-lung is easy; you'll want to inhale as if you were breathing, making sure to let in as much vapor as possible into your lungs. Once you feel your chest full of air, wait a few seconds and then exhale slowly.  

Mouth-to-Lung VS Direct-to-Lung?

When it comes down to choosing what type of technique you want to use, it will come down to your vape device setup, in our humble opinion. We said earlier that beginners tend to gravitate toward mouth-to-lung because it’s similar to smoking. Still, we also left out that they use mouth-to-lung because they will most likely start vaping using pod systems or disposable vapes. 

These devices have a tighter draw, are low-powered, and use nicotine salts, which have more nicotine, but a smoother throat hit. All these factors make them perfect for mouth-to-lung. 

On the other hand, for direct-to-lung, you need a high-powered device that allows for an airy draw (or at least has airflow control, which most pod systems do not), and regular vape juices do not contain as much nicotine as nicotine salts. Typically, devices like these are more advanced and perfect for experienced vapers who are not merely switching from smoking but want to do tricks, create plumes of smoke, and do all the things mentioned they would need to learn how to inhale using the direct-to-lung technique.

While it is true that specific devices allow for both types of techniques to be used (typically does that have different coils with different resistances), the vital thing to remember is that most of the time, direct to the lung is used to create more enormous clouds. Mouth-to-lung is used to experience more flavor. However, as with all things in the vaping world, nothing is written in stone, and depending on the vape juice, coils, or device you find yourself using, you might find out that the opposite is true. 


As you begin your journey as a vaper, you’ll realize that both these techniques are essential if you want to learn the ins and outs of this hobby. There is no right or wrong approach, and you’ll find yourself trying both of them when buying a new device to see which one fits you better. So relax, learn both techniques, and vape on. 


EjuiceDB articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them. Furthermore, Vaping products and nicotine use are only meant for persons over the age of 21.

Children, breastfeeding and pregnant women, persons with risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or that take medications especially for depression or asthma should not use nicotine or vaping products. Always consult a licensed physician prior to use.

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Andres Roman

Andres Roman is a content writer with 3+ years of experience, a former 3 pack a week smoker who used vaping to kick the habit, he now wants to educate the world about vaping. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter.