Vaping Guide

MTL vs DTL: What’s The Big Deal About How You Vape?


Often when it comes to starting out as a vaper, the emphasis seems to be on the equipment – the inevitable opening gambit being what device you’ll kick-off your vaping journey with. And that means there’s less emphasis on just how – what method you’ll deploy – to vape, at least to start with. Yet, the latter is a crucial thing to consider because the method or style of vaping you fall into at the beginning will, to an extent, determine the e-cig device and sundry other equipment you buy; it’ll determine how your vaping journey begins and progresses.

In simple terms then, there are two vaping styles to get your head around – direct-to-lung (DTL) vaping and mouth-to-lung (MTL). Now, it’s fair to say that many vapers default to one approach or the other. So, what are they and what’s the deal with them both…?


Mouth-to-lung (MTL)

MTL-vaping’s all about sucking the vapour from the drip tip into the mouth, holding it there for a second or two and then drawing it down into your lungs. For would-be former smokers (a large proportion of newbie vapers, obviously), this shouldn’t be too difficult a technique to get to grips with, given it’s basically the same method the vast majority of smokers rely on to get their fix from cigarettes. And, owing to this similarity, it’s usually the vaping style most quickly adopted by those stepping into the vaping world. As with tobacco-smoking, the tingling in the throat (throat hit)’s a subtle sensation – when compared to direct-to-lung-vaping.

MTL’s also extremely popular among those for whom flavour’s all-important; far less so for generating plumes of vapour. Why? Because the fact the vapour rests in the mouth a moment; thus, it gives the tongue’s taste buds ample opportunity to check out all the intricacies of the eliquid UK’s innate flavour. Moreover, thanks to MTL’s restricted cloud generation, it’s also handy for when you’re in public spaces and want to vape discretely.


What to consider with MTL

Because it’s the vaping method of choice for so many vapers new to the game, as you’d imagine MTL’s perfectly possible via simple vaping devices like vape pens and e-cigs but, for those who are on the verge of graduating to more complex devices (i.e. mods), they’ll want to make sure their device is set to a low wattage (no more than 15-20W) and a relatively high resistance (1.2 ohms or higher).

E-liquid-wise, whatever juice and from wherever you buy it (a well-reviewed vape shop Docklands, for instance, or anywhere else), you’ll be wanting to vape something whose propylene glycol (PG) content outstrips that of its vegetable glycerin (VG); 40/ 60 VG/ PG is a pretty standard ratio here. That’s basically because it’ll deliver a cigarette-esque punchy throat hit.

And when it comes to getting your nicotine hit, MTL vaping’s the one for you, on the whole; as, yes, it does deliver a throat hit but a relatively smooth, flavoursome one, along with a decent nicotine level you can seek to reduce in instalments on your vaping journey, as many vapers do.



By contrast, DTL’s where to turn for inhaling the vapour so it passes straight through your mouth and down to your lungs, without a pause. As such, it’s basically vaping as if you’re taking a normal breath, which, yes, means it’s potentially a pretty intense sensation and could result in a heavy, comparatively harsh throat hit. That said, owing to your taste buds getting little to no time to check out the e-liquid’s taste, flavour’s not high on the agenda with DTL. However, where this vaping method scores big is – again, in contrast to MTL – on cloud production on the exhale. As such, DTL’s the favoured vaping method of scores and scores of cloud chasers. Discrete vaping it most certainly is not!


What to consider with DTL

DTL vaping’s not really possible with simple, cheaper e-cig devices; at least, not that satisfyingly. So then, you’ll need a fairly advanced mod that’s fixed up with a sub-ohm tank (enabling ‘sub-ohm’ vaping; that is, very low-resistance-vaping) to achieve best results. The trick is to ensure the wick of the device’s tank saturates quickly and efficiently with vape juice so there’s an ever-flow of the stuff to the device’s coils, resulting in eventual plumes and plumes of vapour.

When it comes to e-liquid then; yes, high-VG, low-PG juice is the right fit here – because it’s thick and great for cloud generation (70/ 30 VG/ PG ratio’s the benchmark in most cases). However, beware that DTL-vaping’s not ideal for focusing on a nicotine hit because vaping any e-liquid with 6mg or more of nicotine’s bound to result in a harsh, burning throat hit, as the vapour’s just too thick in this scenario.


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