Advice piece: Switching from Mouth to Lung (MTL) to Direct Lung (DL) Vaping

Hi there. You’re probably reading this as you’re interested in what sub ohm and Direct Lung vaping is all about and wondering if it’s right for you. I’ve been vaping since 2009 and would love to bend your ear and give my experience of the pros and cons and how best to ease yourself into it and see if it’s right for you.

What is Direct Lung vaping and how does it differ from Mouth-To-Lung? MTL vaping is absolutely ideal for someone switching to vaping from cancer sticks (congratulations btw!). MTL vaping allows you to vape much like smoking — you draw vapor into your mouth and then inhale it. Direct Lung vaping as the name suggest means pulling the vapor straight into your lungs.

What are the pros and cons? Once you’ve been vaping MTL style for a while you’ll likely start craving a deeper, more intense and vapor producing hit — this is where DL vaping comes in. It’s a more satisfying vape (for most). What are the drawbacks you ask? You will go through juice faster as sub ohm coils are far more demanding. Also, some people find vapers blowing large clouds into the atmosphere annoying and it’s certainly less than ideal if you’re trying to be discrete.

How can I try it out without breaking the bank? There are many options to see if DL vaping is right for you. Don’t throw away your current setup just yet, ease into it and see if it’s something you enjoy. Some MTL tanks offer low resistance coils to give you an introductory feel for what it’s like. It won’t hit as hard or burn through your juice as fast, but it will give you a good sense of what it’s all about and what it feels like, and it won’t cost much to get started.

Tanks or rebuildable atomizers? Personally I use both depending on my juice and cravings at any given time but should you find yourself wanting to go further down the rabbit hole after reading this then I strongly suggest you start with a sub ohm tank as RDA’s can be tricky to use at first. Tanks allow for worry-free juice fill ups for on the go. RDA’s require juice dripped into them frequently, unless you opt for a Squonk device (a slightly more advanced topic for another time). On the upside — RDA’s offer better taste and even bigger clouds. RDA’s also offer the chance to easily sample juices as you won’t have to fill up a tank and waste a coil in order to do so.

Nicotine strength: This part is important. During my MTL days I used 18mg nic juice. As drastic as it sounds you will likely need to switch over to 3mg or 6mg nicotine when DL vaping — this is due primarily to the difference in how quickly it enters your lungs and blood stream. No one enjoys headaches from over-doing nicotine — so go easy. Many juice vendors offer order customizations so you can test them out and see what’s right for you.

Premium juices: Another important pointer… Not all juices are created equally. You will find many of the cheaper juices are intended for MTL vaping and they simply don’t translate over to DL vaping requirements — they will lose their taste when heated to sub ohm levels and wattage and generally not feel good in your lungs. Keep that in mind and do some research. As a rule of thumb — premium juices are offered only in 0, 3 and 6 mg’s of nicotine. A higher VG base often works best with DL vaping.

My experience with various devices (your path will likely vary):

The Nautilus Mini tank has coils as low as 0.7 ohms. These provide a great chance to try out DL vaping without overkill. My next device was an iSub Vortex, also an MTL tank in general, which allowed going as low as 0.1 ohm’s (stick to the higher quality KAL BVC coils). Next came my Smok Baby Beast tank which I started with Q2 0.4 ohm coils. Keep the ohm’s high to start with — you’ll thank me later. Prime your coils well before using them, let it sit for 5 minutes before powering it up and slowly increase the wattage until you reach what’s best — you need to break them in to avoid burning the cotton around them so take your time.

Parting notes:

As long as you’re vaping and avoiding those cancer sticks then no one can judge you for whatever style or setup you choose — do what’s enjoyable to you!

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice — I do it all the time. The vaper community is [almost always] a friendly place and there are plenty of experienced vapers out there who are eager to help. Leave a comment, send me a message or check out the folks over at e-cigarette-forum.

The ever important disclaimer: Nothing is more important than the batteries you use. There are knockoffs galore out there and the last thing you want to do is risk something exploding on you or the people around you. Always buy from a reputable dealer such as or and use a regulated mod unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

Thanks for reading — I hope you found this informative. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.