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Between learning new vaping vocabulary and choosing vape juices, you’ve probably stumbled across the terms “mouth to lung” and “direct lung” vaping. Both are vape inhalation techniques, yet they offer different vaping experiences. Discover the differences between mouth to lung and direct lung vaping in our guide below.

What Is Mouth to Lung Vaping?

Mouth to lung vaping—also called MTL or M2L, for short—is the standard technique to inhale vape juice, as it warms up and turns to vapor. Ex-smokers will probably start with this method because mouth to lung vaping uses the same technique as smoking cigarettes.

How to Mouth to Lung Vape

After taking a puff from your vape device, hold the vapor in your mouth before fully inhaling it into your lungs. This technique is natural for most people, especially if they have any experience smoking. A mouth to lung vape experience is flavorful, smooth, and extremely uncomplicated.

Should You MTL Vape?

Whether you’re a former smoker or a vape beginner, mouth to lung vaping is a great option. The intuitive nature of MTL, the intense flavors from leaving the vapor on your tongue, and a lack of risks like a burnt taste make it great for vapers who want the essential experience without unnecessary frills. A smoother throat hit and lower cloud production are also benefits of mouth to lung vaping.

Best Devices for Mouth to Lung Vaping

Before the industry was bursting with custom rigs and mods specified for sub-ohm vaping, almost all options were expected to be used as mouth to lung devices. Low wattage small devices like vape pens are great for MTL inhalation. Higher nicotine strengths, like those in nicotine salts, are perfect for this method as well. Remember, cloud production is not the goal when vaping mouth to lung.

What Is Direct Lung Vaping?

Direct lung vaping is less intuitive than mouth to lung and is a less widespread method. Sometimes called direct to lung (or DL or DTL), this is a technique used by more experienced vapers aiming for particular results like a harsher throat hit or bigger clouds.

How to Direct Lung Vape

Make sure to do short, fast hits when you direct lung vape to avoid an uncomfortably hot experience. Hold your device to your lips and then breathe normally. Instead of holding the vapor in your mouth, breathe directly into your lungs and then exhale.

Should You DTL Vape?

Direct lung vaping is best for vapers looking for a stronger throat hit or cloud production. There are some added considerations when DTL vaping, such as making sure you don’t run out of ejuice and that the nicotine strength isn’t too high. These factors can create an extremely unpleasant experience when you direct lung inhale. When done correctly, DL vaping is a fantastic technique for anyone looking to get into competitive vaping or who doesn’t want strong flavors (since the vapor won’t be in your mouth long enough to really taste).

Best Devices for Direct to Lung Vaping

Direct lung vaping is the method for anyone wanting to try out a sub-ohm tank. High-wattage box mods and low-nicotine ejuices will allow for a smooth yet intense throat hit. Some vapers even blend their own eliquids to maximize the flavor while keeping that strong DTL sensation.

Other Vaping Techniques

While MTL and DTL are the two main techniques, there are a few other methods to try. Some vapers leave the vapor in their mouth and savor it like a cigar without ever inhaling. Some might do a combination of mouth to lung and direct lung, where they let the vapor sit on their tongue as they take another puff and then inhale into their lungs. As long as it’s an enjoyable sensation, there’s really no wrong way to vape.

Which Vape Technique Is Better for You?

Both are good techniques, but the best technique for you depends on what you want to get out of your experience. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of mouth to lung vape and direct lung vape…

Pros & Cons of Mouth to Lung


  • Mouth to lung vaping is extremely intuitive and simple to do.
  • It’s easy to taste the flavors in the ejuice you’ve chosen.
  • MTL vaping doesn’t need expensive or complicated devices.


  • It’s more difficult to get big billowing clouds of vapor with MTL vaping.
  • Vapers looking for an intense throat hit may find it too smooth.

Pros & Cons of Direct to Lung


  • Direct lung vaping is best for big clouds, especially in competitive circuits.
  • A nice, strong throat hit is much easier to obtain with DL vaping.
  • DTL vaping has a lot of opportunities for DIY vapers to mix their own juices or customize box mods.


  • If you aren’t careful, you may end up with a burnt taste when you direct lung vape.
  • Flavors seem less intense when they don’t sit in the mouth and instead go directly to the lungs.

No matter which technique you feel most comfortable using, just remember it’s all about the experience. If you need help getting started with vaping, check out our other guides on choosing the right device, the right vape juice, and the right nicotine level. Then, find your products from JSD today.