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MTL Versus DTL: What’s the Difference?

MTL Versus DTL: What’s the Difference?

New to the wide world of vaping? It’s possible that some of the terminology around vaping, vape devices, and vape techniques might seem a little confusing. One common source of confusion for beginners? The difference between MTL vs DTL.

MTL and DTL are respective terms that refer to the two fundamental vaping styles of inhalation. By gaining a better understanding of both of these styles and the advantages of each one, you can make a more educated decision about which one is right for you. It can also help you choose the most appropriate vape device and accessories. 

In this post, you’ll learn all about the MTL vs DTL styles of vaping, including what they are, important considerations, and how to get started with each technique. 

What is MTL? 

MTL stands for “mouth-to-lung.” It’s a style of vaping where you start by sucking the vapor into your mouth, but hold the vapor in your mouth for a moment before then pulling it into the lungs. 

This method of inhalation generally comes pretty naturally to former smokers, because it’s the most common inhalation for smoking cigarettes. 

MTL Considerations 

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of MTL is that it is familiar and intuitive to former smokers. 

Many people who begin vaping are trying to wean themselves off of cigarettes. In giving up the habit of smoking, the sense of familiarity that MTL offers may help ease the transition from cigarettes. Plus, since this inhalation style features a fairly gentle throat hit, it may be preferable to new vapers. 

MTL enthusiasts also find that it’s a great method if you really want to savor the flavor of the vape juice you’ve chosen. There are tons of interesting and creative vape juice flavors on the market right now, and many of them are well worth savoring! 

One of MTL’s limitations? Cloud production. It’s a lower cloud-production method of inhalation, so there’s significantly less vapor generated. 

Of course, this could be a benefit. If you’re in a public place or in a setting where huge clouds could be disruptive or annoying to others, it may be a preferable technique. 

What Supplies Do You Need for MTL? 

If MTL sounds like the approach for you, here are some tips on choosing the right gear:

MTL Devices 

If MTL interests you but you want a device that is sturdier, choose a mod that runs on a lower wattage (15-20 watts will work well). This will help ensure that you enjoy a positive MTL experience! 

Note: MTL is easy to do even with inexpensive vape pens or disposable pens. So if you’re on a strict budget, MTL will probably work for you! 

Vape Juice

For the MTL inhalation method, your ideal vape juice will contain a higher amount of PG (propylene glycol) than VG (vegetable glycerin). Confused about the difference between the two? Check out our post about vape juice to learn more!

For MTL inhalation, a 60/40 or higher ratio (PG to VG) might work well. Why? The higher PG content will give a little more “oomph” to the throat hit, helping mimic the experience that smokers expect and remember from smoking cigarettes. 

Additionally, PG is a more neutral carrier for flavors, so you’ll be able to taste the flavor of the vape juice more. Since you’re holding the vapor in your mouth a little longer with the MTL method, this may help you extract the most flavor from your vape juice. 

Nicotine Content

Since many of the people who prefer MTL are former smokers, they tend to crave a higher amount of nicotine, especially in the early stages of making the switch. 

One of the nice things about MTL is that since you get the powerful throat hit and are retaining the vapor a little longer, many vapers find that they really feel the impact of the nicotine immediately. Sometimes, this makes transitioning to a lower amount of nicotine easier. 

mouth to long vs direct to lung

What is DTL? 

DTL stands for “direct to lung.” With this inhalation technique, you inhale the vapor right into the lungs. 

With this method, it’s as if you’re taking a deep breath, but you breathe in the vapor. This may seem unusual at first to former smokers, because this method would typically result in a coughing fit with a cigarette. However, vapor is not smoke, and it can be inhaled in this way with practice. 

For many former smokers, this method requires a bit of a learning curve, but many vapers find it a rewarding way to enjoy a different sort of vape experience.

DTL Considerations 

DTL lacks the pause of holding the vapor in your mouth before inhaling it directly to the lungs. As you might imagine, this means that it makes for a pretty powerful inhalation. 

To the uninitiated, this can be an unusual sensation––and at first, it could be pretty uncomfortable and feel a little harsh. However, for practiced vapers, it’s a sensation that many people find quite pleasant. 

Since you’re not holding the vapor, you also won’t get the same flavor sensation that you might with MTL. You’ll still get the flavor, but since it’s hanging out in your mouth for less time, you may not pick up as many subtle nuances. 

One of the biggest draws of MTL is that it’s an extremely effective method for generating clouds. So if you’re a cloud chaser and want to create massive plumes of vapor, this is the method you’ll probably be drawn to! 

Remember, it’s always best to be polite, so DTL is better practiced in places where you’re not in super close proximity to other people. 

What Supplies Do You Need for DTL? 

To make sure that DTL is a comfortable and positive experience, it’s important to have the right vape gear. 

DTL Devices

In terms of vape equipment, for DTL you’ll need a more power than you might for MTL. Ideally, a higher wattage device with a sub-ohm tank is ideal for DTL. 

You’ll also want to consider the type of coil you use. Usually, DTL works better with a larger coil because it needs more power. 

Consider the wick, too. A sub-ohm tank usually has a bigger wick port, which allows the wick to get thoroughly saturated with vape juice. This makes for a steady stream of vape juice, which helps you create those big clouds. 

Vape Juice

In contrast to MTL, which is better suited to a higher PG liquid, DTL is better suited to higher VG liquids. These juices are thicker, but they yield much bigger, fluffier clouds. Look for vape juices that are 60/40 VG to PG or higher. 


Since you’re bringing the vapor right into your lungs, it’s important to be very cautious with the amount of nicotine you’re inhaling. 

Higher nicotine contents are likely to feel extremely harsh on the throat, and can create a burning sensation. No fun! To make sure that you don’t cause yourself discomfort, start small. 

Many people suggest using half the nicotine content you’d use for MTL when starting DTL. When in doubt, start small and work your way up.  

MTL Versus DTL: Is there a Winner? 

In reading about MTL versus DTL, is there one method that’s better than the other? 

Nope. It’s really just a matter of personal preference. 

In general, MTL is often more accessible for new vapers who are familiar with smoking cigarettes and who might not yet have an advanced setup. For this reason, it’s often the technique that new vapers use when they’re just getting started.

DTL, on the other hand, is often a method used by more experienced vapers. 

However, that doesn’t mean that if you’re new to vaping you need to stick with MTL or that if you’re experienced, you have to try DTL. Different styles will suit different individuals. 

In reading the advantages and considerations associated with each style, hopefully you have a better idea of which one is better suited to your unique style! 

The Final Word on MTL Versus DTL

No matter what style of vaping you prefer, it’s important to be educated on the different styles of vaping to ensure that you have the best possible experience. 

Now that you know the differences between the MTL and DTL styles of vaping, you can make a better decision about which one is right for you. 

For best results, be sure to stock up on all the proper vape gear from a reputable source. Blazed Vapes has all sorts of products including vape devices, vape juice, and more so that you can personalize your experience to suit your needs. 

How do you vape: MTL or DTL? 

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  • Blazed Vapes Staff