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MTL vs. DTL Vaping: What Are the Differences?

Ethan Parker

Written by: Ethan Parker

Updated on December 19, 2023

MTL vs DTL Vaping What Are the Differences

Vaping has rapidly gained popularity as a versatile and customizable alternative to traditional smoking. At the heart of this trend are two main styles: MTL and DTL vaping. Each offers a unique experience, appealing to different preferences. This article aims to clearly outline the differences between MTL and DTL vaping, guiding both new and experienced vapers in choosing the style that best suits their needs.

What Does MTL & DTL Vaping Mean?

In the realm of vaping, two essential terms you’ll often encounter are ‘MTL’ and ‘DTL.’ These abbreviations stand for ‘Mouth-To-Lung’ and ‘Direct-To-Lung,’ respectively. They refer to the distinct inhalation techniques used in vaping, significantly influencing how you experience the vapor from your vape.

MTL involves drawing vapor into your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs, mirroring the traditional cigarette smoking method. In contrast, DTL is about inhaling vapor straight into the lungs, akin to taking a deep breath. Each style offers a unique experience and plays a crucial role in determining the most suitable vape or vape kit for you.

What is Mouth-To-Lung (MTL) Vaping?

Mouth-To-Lung vaping is a technique that closely resembles the way one smokes a traditional cigarette. In MTL vaping, you draw the vapor into your mouth and hold it momentarily before inhaling it into your lungs. This familiar method is often preferred by those transitioning from smoking to vaping.

Key Characteristics:

  • Tighter Draw: MTL vaping typically involves a tighter draw, similar to the resistance felt when pulling on a cigarette.
  • Higher Resistance Coils: Devices suitable for MTL vaping generally use coils with higher resistance, contributing to the tighter draw and mimicking the smoking experience.
  • Cooler Vapor: The vapor in MTL is usually cooler compared to DTL, as the slower inhalation process doesn’t heat the vapor as much.

Suitable Devices and E-Liquids:

MTL vaping devices often have smaller, more compact designs and require less power. They are compatible with e-liquids that have a higher PG (Propylene Glycol) ratio, offering a stronger flavor and more pronounced throat hit.

Nicotine salts are also popular in MTL devices due to their smoothness and higher nicotine concentration, making them ideal for former smokers or those looking to curb nicotine cravings.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: MTL vaping is great for beginners due to its simplicity and similarity to smoking. It’s also more discreet, producing less vapor, and tends to use less e-liquid.
  • Cons: The flavor intensity and vapor production are less pronounced compared to DTL vaping. Additionally, those looking for large clouds or a more intense vaping experience might find MTL less satisfying.

MTL vaping stands out for its ease of use and familiar sensation, making it an excellent starting point for those new to vaping or looking for a discreet, cigarette-like experience.

What is Direct-To-Lung (DTL) Vaping?

Direct-To-Lung vaping is markedly different from MTL, resembling the act of taking a deep breath. In DTL vaping, the vapor is inhaled directly into the lungs, bypassing the mouth. This style is preferred by many for its intensity and the fullness of the vaping experience.

Key Characteristics:

  • Airier Draw: DTL vaping is characterized by a more open, airier draw. This allows a larger volume of vapor to be inhaled directly into the lungs.
  • Lower Resistance Coils: DTL devices typically use sub-ohm coils (coils with resistance lower than one ohm). These lower resistance coils contribute to greater vapor production and a warmer vape.
  • Warmer Vapor: Due to the rapid and direct inhalation, the vapor in DTL vaping tends to be warmer, enhancing the intensity of the flavor.

Suitable Devices and E-Liquids

DTL vaping requires more powerful devices capable of handling sub-ohm coils. These devices are often larger and have more features compared to MTL devices.

E-liquids with a higher VG (Vegetable Glycerin) ratio are preferred for DTL vaping, as they produce more vapor and are smoother on the throat. These e-liquids often have lower nicotine content due to the larger volume of vapor inhaled.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: DTL vaping is favored for its rich flavor and substantial vapor production. It’s ideal for those who enjoy the physical sensation of vaping and creating large clouds.
  • Cons: DTL vaping can be more complex for beginners, and the devices may require more maintenance. It also tends to consume more e-liquid and battery power.

DTL vaping offers a more intense and immersive experience, ideal for those who prioritize flavor and vapor production. It’s a style that appeals to enthusiasts and those who seek a more robust vaping journey.

What are the Differences Between MTL Vaping and DTL Vaping?

When deciding between MTL and DTL vaping, various factors such as Flavor Experience, Vapor Thickness, and Nicotine Strength play a crucial role. Understanding these differences can help you choose the style that aligns best with your preferences.

Flavor Experience and Throat Hit

  • MTL: Known for a concentrated flavor profile, MTL vaping allows you to savor the e-liquid’s taste as the vapor momentarily stays in your mouth. It offers a pronounced throat hit, closely resembling the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette. This style is particularly appealing to those who have recently transitioned from smoking.
  • DTL: Offers a broader and more immersive flavor experience. Since the vapor is inhaled directly into the lungs, it’s less about the throat hit and more about the fullness of flavor. DTL is preferred by those who enjoy experimenting with different flavors and desire a less intense throat sensation.

Vapor Production

  • MTL: Produces a moderate amount of vapor, leading to a more discreet vaping experience. It’s ideal for those who prefer vaping without drawing much attention.
  • DTL: Known for its significant vapor production, creating large, dense clouds. This style is favored by cloud chasers and those who enjoy the visual aspect of vaping.

Nicotine Strength and Consumption

  • MTL: Compatible with higher nicotine strengths and nicotine salts, MTL is well-suited for users who require a substantial nicotine hit to satisfy their cravings. It’s efficient in nicotine delivery, making it a favorite among those looking to replicate the nicotine intake of smoking.
  • DTL: Generally involves lower nicotine levels due to the larger volume of vapor. It’s ideal for vapers who prefer a smoother experience with less nicotine or are in the process of reducing their nicotine dependency.

User Profile

  • MTL: Recommended for beginners due to its simplicity and for former smokers because of the similar inhalation method. It’s also less demanding in terms of device maintenance and e-liquid consumption.
  • DTL: Best suited for experienced vapers who are comfortable with more complex devices and are looking for an intense vaping experience. It’s also preferred by those who are less concerned about nicotine consumption and more focused on flavor and cloud production.

MTL vs. DTL Vaping in Comparison Table

This detailed comparison sheds light on the nuances of MTL and DTL vaping, guiding you in choosing a style that matches your preferences and needs:

Feature MTL Vaping DTL Vaping
Inhalation Method Mouth then Lungs Direct to Lungs
Draw Type Tighter Airier
Vapor Temperature Cooler Warmer
Flavor Intensity Concentrated Intense
Throat Hit Stronger Smoother
Vapor Production Moderate High
Nicotine Strength Higher Lower
Ideal User Profile Beginners, Ex-Smokers Experienced Vapers


In essence, the choice between Mouth-To-Lung (MTL) and Direct-To-Lung (DTL) vaping boils down to personal preference and experience. MTL is ideal for beginners or those who prefer a sensation similar to traditional smoking, offering a tighter draw and a more pronounced throat hit. DTL, favored by experienced vapers, provides a more intense experience with larger vapor clouds and a richer flavor.

Ethan Parker
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