What does MTL and DTL vaping mean?

You may have come across the terms mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct-to-lung (DTL) and wondered what they really mean and what is the difference? We’re going to take you through the ins and outs of these different vaping styles to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

What is mouth-to-lung vaping?
Mouth-to-lung, often abbreviated to MTL, is a vaping style where you first take the vapour into your mouth and then breathe it into your lungs, similar to the way in which you would smoke a cigarette.

For this reason, almost all starter vape kits are mouth-to-lung, as starter kits are designed to help make the transition from smoking to vaping as easy as possible. By using a mouth-to-lung device as your first vape kit, you can vape in a way that still feels familiar to what you are used to.

That is not to say that MTL vaping is only for newer vapers, far from it! Many people who have been vaping for years, myself included, prefer a mouth-to-lung vape just out of preference. It is also not uncommon for vapers to have multiple vape kits so they can use both a mouth-to-lung device and a direct-to-lung device depending on what they feel like that day or which type of e-liquid they want to use.

For example, most starter vape kits and pod systems have a low power output but are best used with a 50/50 or high PG e-liquid, giving the user a wider range of nicotine strengths to choose from. So an advanced vaper may choose to use a smaller vape kit with a nic salt e-liquid to help them manage their nicotine cravings, while still using a more advanced vape kit and an e-liquid with a low nicotine strength or even none at all.

What is direct-to-lung vaping?
Direct-to-lung, or DTL vaping, is a vaping style where you breathe the vapour straight into your lungs, more like how you would breathe air into your lungs.

DTL vape kits are more suited to experienced vapers who have comfortably quit smoking and are now more interested in power output and flavour production.

These devices are best used with a high VG e-liquid and will usually run at a much higher wattage than starter vape kits, creating a much denser cloud. However, high VG e-liquids do not offer the same range of nicotine strengths that 50/50 and high PG e-liquids do, and are usually only available in a 3 mg/ml or sometimes 6 mg/ml.

Direct-to-lung vaping is not really recommended for new vapers as it does not feel similar to smoking in the way to mouth-to-lung vaping does.

Is MTL or DTL better?
This really depends on your preferences and how new you are to vaping.
If you have only recently made the switch it is best to keep using a mouth-to-lung vape, as this will help you maintain your quit attempt by offering an experience that closely resembles smoking. It also means that you will have a much wider range of nicotine strengths to choose from.

Nicotine strength is another factor you will need to consider. If you are still using a high nicotine strength and this is what you need to manage your nicotine cravings, direct-to-lung vaping may not be right for you. That being said, you could also consider a hybrid style, as mentioned earlier in the post. Having two vape kits, one MTL and one DTL, may be a good option, allowing you to manage your nicotine cravings with your MTL kit and enjoy high wattage and big clouds from your DTL kit. You might also consider a restricted DTL device, which we’ll get into in a minute!

On the other hand, if you have been vaping for some time and are on a lower nicotine strength but are looking for a more powerful and cloudy device, direct-to-lung vaping may just be exactly what you are looking for. The vapour you can create from a DTL kit is not only flavourful but also extremely dense which some vapers, referred to as ‘cloud chasers’ really enjoy.

As you can probably tell, neither option is necessarily better than the other, it is more a question of which option is best for you.

What is restricted direct-to-lung?
Restricted direct-to-lung devices are a bit less common that MTL and DTL devices, but they are effectively a bridge between the two.

As the name suggests, this vaping style is closest to direct-to-lung vaping, but has a more restricted airflow design. Many intermediate pod kits with adjustable airflow can facilitate this vaping style, and can offer a great in between step if you are interested in giving DTL vaping a try.