In The Beginning
Today, I’m going to try and clear up some of the confusion or mystery surrounding styles of vaping. For the majority of novice vapers, it can be too easy to lose yourself in a whole new exciting culture of equipment, e-liquid, and language.
Therefore, I’ll try to explain one particular part of this new vaping vocabulary. Everything you need to know about Mouth To Lung and Direct To Lung vaping.
Vaping is an exciting world and it is ever changing as manufacturers adapt and innovate to their products to accommodate the changing needs of millions of smokers around the world who are switching to vaping for the chance to improve their health.
Vaping has been part of our common parlance in a relatively short span of time, the catalogue of available and popular products has changed nearly beyond recognition.
Speaking from my own experience with vaping, I have went from using a V2 cigarette replacer to a SMOK M17 pen kit in 2018. In just four short years, I have tried nearly everything. This journey took me through several choices, and lots of experimentation, however, I know that now I have the perfect vape kit for my needs.
I hear you asking, how can I be so sure? It may sound strange when there’s so much choice available, so you wonder how can I settle on one particular kit? Simple! the answer lies with my preferred vaping style.
A growing vaping vocab
For instance, I’m a Mouth To Lung person. I have always been one, and suspect that I always will be. While I sometimes have tried using kits better suited to Direct To Lung, I was uncomfortable and it was not as pleasant as I had hoped. Therefore, I came back to equipment suited for MTL vaping.
While there’s been an ongoing evolution of vaping equipment, there has also been an evolution of vaping vocabulary. The additions of MTL and DTL to our language may leave new vapers confused. When, actually, it’s one of the basic areas of vaping to understand if your quit smoking attempt is going to be successful. And we want it to be successful!
Nearly everyone asks “which kit should I buy?” When they’re just starting their journey into vaping, it can seem overwhelming due to the extensive options available. So, it is no surprise that help may be required. These choices can be intimidating, and making a bad decision might lead you to believe that vaping isn’t right for you. This is why the staff here at Medusa Juice work so hard to always be well informed and up to date on all things vape related. They can help you and while you might be attracted to the bells and whistles of a fat mod, or maybe you’re tempted to get the same kit as a friend who’s successfully quit smoking, work with a professional to get just what you need. And this will help if cost is the driving factor as well.
The best possible way to find which device best suits you and to help you effectively narrow down your options, is by understanding the two main vaping styles. This, and to know which is your preferred option.
Having a common jargon makes it easier within the vaping community to exchange information and ideas.
A Common Tongue
Mouth To Lung
The commonly used acronyms MTL and DTL refer to the method of inhalation and are the terms used by the vaping community to describe the two most common vaping styles.
While both of these methods have their own advantages, which we will go over, it comes down to personal preference. It is your personal preference which will determine the vaping kit and e-liquid that you choose, so I think that it’s important to familiarise yourself with the differences.
Mouth To Lung Vaping
Mouth to Lung (aka MTL or M2L) is the vaping style which is most like smoking. I find that most newcomers to vaping who are switching from smoking will start by using this method provided they’re aware of the differences. This is probably because when vaping, this method feels like the most natural way for smokers to inhale. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
If I had to say what the key difference between mouth to lung vaping and cigarette smoking is, I’d say it’s the length of the draw, or pull, if you prever.
Generally, when we are smoking a cigarette, we tend to take short, sharp drags into our mouth. However, with vaping, it’s recommended to take longer, smooth and steady draws to get maximum flavour delivery and satisfaction.
Just like when you smoke, the vapour in the mouth should then be inhaled into the lungs which allows air to be drawn in at the same time. You simply then exhale.
If timing is important, then the length of time between drawing the vapour from the mouth to the lungs and exhaling the vapour is entirely up to you. Obviously, the longer you let the vapour remain in your mouth, the more satisfaction you will receive from the hit and the flavour.
If you’re not a cloud junkie, then the longer you leave it before you exhale, the less vapour there will be. This can be useful if you’re trying to sneak some vaping in. However, MTL vaping produces far less vapour than DTL anyway, so it makes it a great option if you’re conscientious about vaping in public.
One bit of happy news is that MTL can be achieved with some fairly inexpensive kits. For instance, most of the starter vape pens, compacts, and PODs are no only a great little value, but they’re also more than capable of providing you with an excellent hit.
I tried using a big tank mod early on, and If you still really covet the features and feel of a chunky box mod, that’s okay. Because MTL vapers can still use the advanced equipment. You just have to run the your particular mod on a lower wattage. Generally, it should be around 15W, but some MTL coils can handle more, so check. MTL coils will be packed with more cotton which enables a tighter draw, so be sure to keep this in mind.
Any particular vape tank that is designed for MTL vaping will typically have a narrower mouthpiece available, which feels closer to a cigarette in the mouth. If your chosen tank has an adjustable airflow, you should keep this to a minimum. If you try to take an MTL hit with an open airflow, you’ll get a mouthful of heat and not much else. Which isn’t fun, I can assure you.
Now we come to the liquids. When it comes to choosing an e-liquid, MTL vapers should opt for a vape juice that has a high PG ratio. I find that a 50/50 mix or 40PG/60VG works best. The higher PG content will deliver a sharper throat hit that feels more like what you get when cigarette smoking. This also means that PG carries flavour better than VG which is important as the action of drawing the vapour into the mouth and letting it linger stimulates the taste buds which allows you to take note all of the nuances of your flavours.
Lastly, keep in mind that one of the fundamental parts of successfully switching from smoking to vaping is being able to control your cravings for nicotine. Some good news for MTL vapers is that it’s the preferred vaping style for e-liquids that contain a high nicotine content. This includes nic salt vape juice which, at 20mg of nicotine, is better suited to MTL devices. What that means is that you can use it often and worry less, because you can get your groove on with delicious Medusa Juice e-liquids without fiending.
Some benefits of MTL
It is designed for transitional smokers
It’s the vaping style for newbies
Discreet and clean as there is less vapour and smell
Cost effective because as it can be achieved with some of the less costly devices
Provides the user to vape higher nicotine content or nic salts
MTL tanks use less e-liquid
Direct To Lung
Direct to Lung or DTL, is the style that is most commonly used by experienced vapers. These vapers have been vaping for awhile and so they have managed to become proficient in this style. To transitioning smokers, this will feel like a totally alien way to inhale at first. Which seems odd, when you consider that it is essentially the same thing we do when we are breathing normally.
In order to achieve direct to lung vaping, you need to slowly and steadily draw the vapour directly into your lungs, which effectively bypasses the mouth. I know, weird, right?
This doesn’t involve sucking or puffing on the mouthpiece, but rather, using the vape device to breathe through. Sort of like a filter, if you will. Imagine being asked to take a deep breath, and that’s what you’re trying to achieve. Then, as soon as the vapour reaches your lungs, you exhale naturally, just as you would with your own breath.
The first time you attempt, DTL will most likely be a shock to your lungs and you will feel the need to exhale immediately. This is especially true if you’re a transitioning smoker and your lungs are still full of sticky tar that smoking leaves behind. I won’t lie, the first DTL hit you take is quite likely to hurt and send you into a coughing fit! I know it sure did in my case.
However, as you become more accustomed to the style, you should be able to achieve a steady 6-10 second inhale to your full lung capacity before the urge to exhale kicks in. And when you do exhale, be sure do it fast! That way you’ll achieve the full billowy clouds that are nirvana for DTL vapers.
Equipment needed for DTL vaping
Logically, the advice on equipment for DTL vaping is the exact opposite to the recommendation I gave for MTL vaping. So be sure to pay attention here, folks.
First, you are going to need a kit or box mod with a variable wattage, but that can be cranked up too high. I’ve found that most DTL vapers typically run their devices above 40W, with some going as high as 300W! Going that high is generally rare and tends to be reserved for tricks and competitions.
Vape tanks best suited for DTL vaping will have a wide mouthpiece which allows for a much fuller inhale. Coils should be sub-ohm or low resistance, to allow for the higher wattage required and enables a high output for the longer inhale that is needed to fill the lungs.
A must for Direct To Lung vaping is an adjustable airflow. By being able to open up the airflow, you allow more air to flow through the tank and into the lungs. Therefore, the more open the airflow, the bigger the clouds you’ll produce as you’ll be able to take longer hits. Playing around with the airflow will help you to find your best combination of producing both clouds and flavour.
Guidelines for DTL suitable vape juice are as follows:
60VG/40PG Gives you good flavour and a bit of a throat hit with decent clouds.
70VG/30PG This is the most popular ratio, and it provides the optimum balance between flavour and clouds production but with a smoother throat hit.
80VG/20PG This blend is becoming more common and certainly more popular. You can expect steam train levels of cloud production with this one.
90VG + We don’t see this ratio very often and we are yet to find many brands that can still deliver decent flavour alongside the dense clouds, but this can change anytime.
Not all sub-ohm tanks are created equally. If you’re vaping an 80VG + e-liquid, you should be sure that your tank of choice can handle wicking juice that viscous. As a guide, the wicking holes on the side of the coil are usually the giveaway. If they’re too small, they won’t allow for the thicker juices to pull through quickly enough which could result in a nasty dry hit. So, be careful out there!
Nicotine content is another important thing to consider when selecting a suitable DTL e-liquid. If you are planning on taking some huge inhales directly into your lungs, a high nicotine content is going to deliver a really harsh throat hit and a you can count on whopping great hit of nicotine. Since this is too much to handle for most vapers, we here at Medusa Juice always recommend 6mg of nicotine or less for your sub-ohm devices.
Sadly, at the moment, this also means that nic salts are not a viable DTL option as they only come in 20mg strengths. Don’t despair, as we’ve seen evidence that the options might be about to change and will include different strengths in the sub-ohm market. Rest assured, we’ll keep you informed! You can also use the option to add a nic salt ‘shot’ to your favourite zero nicotine short fill e-liquid. Medusa Juice makes it easier to get what you want when you want it.
As you might have considered, if you’re planning on switching from MTL to DTL vaping, prepare for your e-liquid expenditure to increase! This is because Direct To Lung vaping uses far more e-liquid per hit than its Mouth To Lung counterpart.
Designed for the more advanced vapers out there.
It doesn’t feel the same as smoking a cigarette does.
There is HUGE cloud production.
You will need more advanced kits.
Many e-liquids are blended to emphasise their best flavours for DTL vaping.
DTL vaping uses a great deal more e-liquid.
For anyone who wants to enter the world of rebuildables, DTL is ideal.
Ultimately, your own preferences will your determine your vaping style. Being informed will help you to make an informed choice about the equipment you need, which, ultimately, will ensure you get the best possible experience from vaping.
Another thing to remember when you assess your particular vaping style is that your choice today doesn’t have to be your choice tomorrow or next week. Many vapers have evolved their style of vaping over time and others find that they enjoy both styles, so they switch between the two, depending on their particular mood.
We here at Medusa Juice believe that either style of vaping is the right one if it helps you stop smoking for good!