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Mouth-to-Lung vs Direct-to-Lung Vaping: What's the Difference?


When you’re deciding which vape device or type of E-Liquid to choose, you may have come across the terms mouth-to-lung (MTL) or direct-to-lung (DTL).

MTL and DTL refer to two different styles of vaping. We take a look at what these two types of vaping are and which style is best for you!

What is MTL Vaping?

MTL or mouth-to-lung vaping involves vapour being drawn into your mouth first and then into your lungs. The vapour is then exhaled.

MTL vaping is the most similar to smoking a cigarette, as it replicates the action of holding the smoke/vapour in your mouth for a moment before drawing it into your lungs.

What is DTL Vaping?

DTL or direct-to-lung vaping refers to when the vapour is drawn directly to your lungs without holding it in your mouth first. This action is more like breathing the vapour into the lungs like air and then exhaling.

Because none of the vapour dissipates in your mouth before being drawn into the lungs, DTL vaping can allow you to exhale huge plumes of vapour, known as clouds. This can look quite impressive and is one of the biggest draws to DTL vaping.

Which to Choose?

MTL vaping is often considered best for beginners to vaping, especially when you are using it to help you quit smoking. The similarity between smoking a cigarette and the feel of MTL vaping offers a sense of familiarity that can really help someone who is trying to quit.

Similarly, this is why DTL vaping is typically reserved for more advanced vapers. The feeling of the vapour going straight into your lungs can be too intense or uncomfortable for newer vapers, who will be unfamiliar with experiencing this feeling.


What Do You Need For MTL Vaping?

Most vape pens and pod devices will be suited to MTL vaping. If your device requires a coil, then it is best to use one that is 1.0 ohm or more (i.e. not a sub-ohm vape).

When picking an E-Liquid for MTL vaping, you just need to consider the strength and flavour you want! Choose the strength based on the amount of nicotine you need - you can check out our E-Liquid strength guide to make sure you get this right!


While the VG/PG ratios don’t matter too much for MTL vaping, it is best to pick one that is around 50:50 or even a higher PG level.

PG (Propylene Glycol) is responsible for giving you a throat hit when you draw in the vapour, similar to that which you experience when smoking cigarettes. If you’re looking for an experience similar to smoking, then you may want a higher PG ratio in your E-Liquid.

You can find plenty of vape juices perfect for MTL vaping at RED Box Vape with our E-Liquid deals in the UK.

What Do You Need For DTL Vaping?

DTL vaping will often be done using a mod kit. To vape direct-to-lung, your kit will need a sub-ohm coil. This type of kit can create bigger vapour clouds, which is ideal for cloud chasers.

Because the vapour is being drawn directly into the lungs, you need to be careful with your choice of E-Liquid. You need a very low strength E-Liquid (either nicotine-free or 3mg) that has a higher VG level.

As the vapour is hitting your lungs directly, the result is going to be more intense, so if you have too much PG or too much nicotine in your E-Liquid, it’s likely to be very uncomfortable and may cause you to cough.

Nicotine-free, 100% VG E-Liquids exist for the purposes of cloud chasing vapers, as these will be best for creating the biggest clouds with the least discomfort!

We hope that this has given you a better insight into MTL and DTL vaping and which type is best for you! If you have any questions, then please feel free to get in touch with our team or check out our guide to vape devices for more information!


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