When you start using an electronic cigarette, you gradually discover new terms. This is particularly the case with vaping, vaping, drip tips or the famous DL and MTL. Direct inhalation or indirect inhalation: these two abbreviations are still unknown, even to regulars. Knowing the different types of vapes allows you to choose your electronic cigarette well, so let’s take stock of it.

What do DL and MTL mean?

These two words refer to the method of inhaling the vapour produced by the e-cigarette: 

  • DL  or “Direct Lung” indicates direct inhalation
  • MTL  or “Mouth to Lung” indicates indirect inhalation

In general, smokers are only familiar with the indirect inhaling type of vaping. So even for them, the DL is a novelty. Conversely, hookah or shisha smokers only know the type of vape in direct inhaling. So in their case, it’s MTL that you have to learn. And for beginners, everything is to be discovered. After reading this tutorial, choosing your type of vape has never been easier!     

What is indirect inhalation?

This is the same technique used by smokers. This consists of sucking in the vapour and holding it in the mouth before sending it into the lungs. This is why we have the expression “Mouth to Lung”, which means “mouth to the lungs”. In theory, it sounds simple, but in reality, this mode of aspiration is a little more complex. However, it is the rather restricted airflow offered by the cigarette and certain models of e-cigarettes that impose it.  

With a cigarette, the air first passes through the tobacco and then through the filter. The smoker must therefore hollow out the cheeks to inhale it. This causes him to create an air depression in his mouth to accommodate the smoke. Only then will some of the smoke being drawn into the lungs. Keeping it in the mouth will cause a hook in the throat giving rise to the hit.

It is this same scenario that will be reproduced in the vaper. And it is this mode of inhalation that will give the hit, so much sought after by vapers. However, you need a specific model of electronic cigarette to indirectly inhale the flavoured vapour.  

What is direct inhalation? 

Direct inhalation involves drawing in the vapour and delivering it directly to the lungs. This technique is rarely used by smokers but is the one adopted by hookah smokers. Again, it is a bit imposed, because a large amount of vapour produced does not allow the vaper to keep it in the mouth or to dig in the cheeks to suck it. Result: it is sent directly to the lungs.   

Which mode of inhalation to choose to start vaping?

Ideally, we will start with indirect inhalation, unless, in addition to being a smoker, you are also a fan of shisha. Otherwise, choose an electronic cigarette whose tank has only a small air inlet. 

Thanks to this model, the flavour will be more pronounced and the consumption of e-liquid remains under control. The autonomy of this style of electronic cigarette will not need to be gigantic! Indeed, the vape in indirect inhaling on small equipment is very energy efficient, both in battery and in e-liquid. Also, avoid using a model that is too powerful to start well. Once you have mastered this mode of inhalation, you can switch, gently, to the direct mode. 

To do this, you must replace your device with a more powerful model with a larger tank, but also a more substantial airflow. The latter must be even more autonomous, so always remember to recharge it well. With high power and a larger air inlet, the vapour will be denser. It will then be necessary to make a short, but direct aspiration so that it lands directly in the lungs. This inhalation is possible due to the amount of steam. 

If you are a fan of nicotine e-liquids, it is advisable to reduce the nicotine level with direct inhalation. You can keep a higher level with indirect inhalation, but in both cases, you have to stick to your nicotine needs. 

When you have tasted these two modes, all you have to do is find the one that suits you best. You can even switch between the two, especially since some e-cigarette models offer both modes.  

How to choose your electronic cigarette according to the desired mode of inhalation?

If you are looking for a specific type of inhalation, you must choose the electronic cigarette accordingly. To do this, it is necessary to review each element of the device. 

Resistance : 

To get a precise idea of ​​the resistance to choose, start from the reference value of 1 ohm. Coils that display a value above this threshold are ideal for indirect inhalation. And when the value is less than 1 ohm, the draw will be done in direct inhalation. 

To understand, know that the higher this value in ohms, the lower the power delivered will have to be. This means that the vapour will be cold with a more pronounced flavour. Its quantity will also be quite discreet, therefore ideal for the indirect mode, mouth-lungs.

Conversely, the lower the value in ohms, the higher the power delivered. The vapour will then be denser, and hotter, but with a lighter flavour. Due to the heat released, the effect of nicotine will be more intense. Hence the interest in reducing its dosage during direct inhalation. 

Battery :

For indirect inhalation, a box or a low-power battery will be perfect. Nevertheless, the more powerful models offer the advantage of having better autonomy.

For direct inhalation, it is necessary to privilege an electronic box mod with a battery. The device will thus offer better autonomy and more power. The majority of direct draw enthusiasts choose models that can hold up to three or four batteries. 

The clearomizer: 

For an indirect draw, the clearomiser must be equipped with a discreet air inlet. For a direct draft, it must be large enough to provide good airflow. In both cases, the resistance proposed by the manufacturer will generally be adapted to the clearomiser chosen: Greater than 1.0 ohm for an indirect inhalation, and less than 1.0 ohm for a sub-ohm vape in direct inhalation. 

You should also know that clearomisers are allowing both modes of inhalation. These are equipped with an airflow adjustment ring, and different models of resistances. You will only need to loosen this ring a little for a more airy draw and tighten it more for a tighter draw. 

The mouthpiece or drip tip:

Narrow, the drip tip is ideal for indirect inhalation. Wide, a drip tip will then be suitable for direct inhalation. Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that with a direct draw, you are choosing a larger vapour production, with a less pronounced flavour. The indirect draw, meanwhile, offers a hit and a more sustained flavour.  

The e-liquid:

And yes! The choice of e-liquid is also important when choosing your electronic cigarette. A direct inhale vape kit will not need the same type of liquid as an indirect inhale vape kit.