Mouth To Lung Vs Direct To Lung Vaping Explained

Explained: MTL (Mouth to Lung), RDL (Restricted Direct Lung) and DTL (Direct to Lung) Vaping Types


Vaping Style: Restricted Direct Lung (RDL)

What is RDL?
Why Vape RDL?

Those of us lucky enough to have been introduced to the world of vaping at its inception over a decade ago will know what I mean when I say it’s currently one of the most dynamic and vibrant industries to be a part of.

That’s in any capacity, whether private or professional. As vaping has metamorphosed from being a simple e-cigarette style tobacco replacement, into a hobby, state of mind and culture with more devices and facets than we can count…our understanding of things has changed.

I, as a female, now know all about Ohms Law, basic electronic engineering and a host of other things that I never quite grasped or thought I would ever grasp until I took a shine to vaping.

Here I am, completely geeking out on something that used to be a bad habit (my insatiable need to inhale things!).

Another thing that’s grown is my vocabulary: with a bunch of new terms and an ever expanding lingo, acronyms especially, which surely need to start making their way into dictionaries ASAP!

Two such acronyms, which may leave newbies asking ‘WTF?’ after reading a standard vaping article nowadays, are:

  • MTL – ’Mouth To Lung’
  • DTL – ‘Direct To Lung’ (Sometimes referred to as ‘Straight to Lung’ or ‘Direct Lung’)
  • RDTL / RDL – ‘Restricted Direct To Lung’ – In between the above two styles

How Do I Vape?
These terms describe your vaping style, the way you inhale or draw on your product and…with tens of new vaping products hitting stores on a daily basis: trust me, a variety of distinct vaping styles exist.

You need to know and understand both these inhalation styles if you want to use your device efficiently and also if you want to know which device you should be using.

Whether you vape disposable e cigs, vape pens, e-hookahs, dry-herb devices, sub-Ohm tanks, squonk/drip, build your own coils and RDAs or cloud chase.

One thing you need to know about if you’re going to be calling yourself a vaper (also, to avoid the scorn of somewhat cliquish pros) is the difference between MTL and DTL vaping.

This should include:

  • How to actually vape MTL or DTL
  • Who does which and why?
  • How your device resistance, wattage, airflow and your e-liquid composition affect your MTL or DTL experience.
  • As well as any tips and tricks which may help to enhance your vaping experience.

So, vent those OMGs, LMAOs, take a nice, solid DTL or MTL toke and sit back. Let’s get to work!

Vaping Style: Mouth To Lung (MTL)

How Do You Vape MTL?

It may sound like such an overly simple question but it’s something that needs asking.

Vaping is different to smoking for many reasons but the actual way you vape is also different. MTL Vaping is ‘kind of like’ cigarette smoking but with a slight difference.

Simple steps on how you vape mouth to lung.

  • Take a smooth draw of vapour into the mouth. (Don’t take short, sharp drags like you would on a cigarette) A slightly longer draw is needed.
  • Once vapour is in the mouth inhale to lungs drawing air in at the same time. Also known as “Taking back” or almost “Swallowing” the vapour.
  • Exhale.How To Vape Mouth To Lung

Who Does It?

Indeed, for some of us, it’s been a while since we saw the sense in a mouth to lung hit…for others, the concept of a direct to lung hit is completely foreign.

Smokers do it, recent tobacco quitters do it, newbies do it, plus-ohm device users do it and to be honest…people who don’t (yet) necessarily see vaping as a freakin’ sport like some of us, they do it too.

Editor (Jonny): I do it too…90% of the time 🙂

Why Vape MTL?

For some it’s a case of having no interest in spewing out huge clouds of vapour. It’s for those that want nicotine delivered by something as similar to the experience of smoking as they can get.

It is pretty natural for a smoker or recently ex-smoker to vape MTL and often they crave the throat hit they would get from a cigarette which is also part of the MTL experience.

It stands to reason, you can only fit so much breath in your mouth and therefore the MTL method won’t have you seeing substantial vapour production at all.

That said, it has its applications: such as when you’re trying out juice flavours and want to get a real sense of the flavour profile and mouth feel.

Also, when you’re trapped in a high strung crowd and in need of a soul-fix…the so called ‘stealth vape’ involves not only the clenched fist (to hide your device) but also the infamous MTL hit.

If you need to go super stealthy keep the inhaled vapour in your lungs for an extra few seconds: exhale the near invisible plumes and savour the angst!

Others just prefer it as it can also be a more economical way of vaping. MTL tanks use less e liquid than a sub ohm tank. The latter of which is predominantly used for direct to lung inhales.

Many simply have no option due to years of smoking and the state of their lungs. They struggle taking a full on direct to lung hit.

Nicotine, PG and VG For MTL Vaping

Mouth to lung Which pg vg and nicotine strength to useBecause you are essentially consuming something, you should be aware of your e-juice composition.

Which Nicotine Strength Is Best For Mouth to Lung Vaping?

MTL differs massively from DTL in that you can afford to use a slightly higher nicotine content without making yourself ill due to the fact you will be using higher resistance coils and lower power outputs.

Personally, I use either 0mg or 3mg. Other reviewers here use 6mg, 12mg or 20mg. It will ultimately depend on your needs.

If you’re a recent quitter you will likely want to opt for a nicotine strength between 12mg and 20mg.

However to some people a standard (freebase) nicotine of a high strength will be a bit harsh. If you find you want strong nicotine but it is burning your throat out consider Nic Salt e-liquids which are slightly smoother at higher nicotine concentrations. More importantly nicotine salts also absorb into the bloodstream quicker and more effectively than standard (freebase) e-liquid giving you a more satisfying nicotine hit.

If you are a new vaper that has moved/or moving from cigarettes then I would recommend nic salt as your first port of call.

You can check out our guide to nicotine salt e-liquids here.

If you try a juice and you don’t feel like it’s controlling your cravings or it feels slightly too much then change your strength up or down accordingly. It can take a little bit of experimenting at first.

TIP: If you have never vaped and your budget allows, buy both a 12mg and 18mg e liquid at the same time. If one isn’t for you then you don’t have to wait days for your new juice to be delivered.

So…if you’re vaping for a nicotine fix, MTL is for you.

Which PG/VG Ratio Is Best For MTL Vapers

This section needs paying attention to. Choosing the wrong PG/VG ratio for first time users can make or break an experience. PG and VG are two of the main ingredients in e liquid.

  • PG – Propylene Glycol
  • VG – Vegetable Glycerin

As far as PG and VG go, the devices which support MTL hits are generally only suited to a higher PG content.

I have seen many a time new vapers buying 80% and 90% VG juices for their new vape pen kits or pod mods and then blaming the devices for continual dry hitting.

It’s generally not the devices fault, as VG is a thicker consistency (PG is thinner) that can have trouble wicking in the smaller MTL coils. PG is also known to be a good flavour carrier.

Also, because this method is considered as a suitable smoking replacement…the throat hit from PG e-liquid will probably seem more satisfactory to this type of vaper.

A higher nicotine strength I’ve found can also be a main contributor to increased throat hit.

Recommended PG/VG Ratios for Mouth To Lung Devices

  • 50PG/50VG – Good throat hit – OK vapour production
  • 60VG/40PG – A smoother vape – Vapour production better
  • 70VG/30PG – Some of the more recent MTL devices vape well with this ratio but double check first!
  • Nicotine Salt e-Liquids are also a superb (and recommended) option for new vapers. These are generally a 50/50 ratio so perfect that mouth to lung vape experience.

Click here For Our Recommended vape juice


Your vape tanks airflow is a deciding factor in whether you’re going to be direct inhaling or mouth-to-lung inhaling.

A tight airflow will mean that on a MTL hit, by the time you inhale…your lungs are in need of oxygen and will welcome any they can get (an easy hit, in other words). A tight airflow also provides a warmer vape.

The main difference you will notice between a MTL tank and a DTL tank is the mouthpiece. On the MTL tank the mouthpiece will be a lot narrower to mimic the act of smoking.

Whereas the mouthpiece on the DTL tank will be a lot wider allowing for more vapour to be inhaled.

Try a MTL hit with open airflow on a sub-Ohm tank and you’ll get a mouthful of heat with almost no vapour, you’ll feel like something’s wrong and when you go to inhale, either a lungful of pure heat or nada.

Your inhale won’t be satisfying any need to breathe in at last…it’ll feel like a lungful of ‘what the hell’.

Check out our top rated mouth to lung vape tanks here.

Coil Resistance For MTL Vaping

  • Higher resistance coil (MTL) = Anything above 1.0 Ohm
  • Lower resistance coil (DTL / Sub Ohm) = Anything below 1.0 Ohm

E Cigarette resistance and ohmsLower resistance coils made for MTL vaping are made with thinner wires that don’t allow as much power/wattage to be fed to the coil than a lower resistance (DTL) coil would.

Low resistance coils are made with Thicker wire.

For this reason MTL vaping is best suited for use on the lower wattage scale on box mods or vape pens. I have vaped anywhere between 11W and 20W with MTL vape tanks with a resistance (ohms) above 1.0 Ohm.

It’s likely, if starting out and buying a vape pen style e cig or pod vape, that the kit you choose will be fixed wattage and will be set to work perfectly with the matching tank/coil in the kit.

Fixed wattage devices provide a very hands off vaping experience and are a great starting point. So don’t stress too much about having to learn that extra step of a variable wattage device 🙂

If it does have variable wattage, no problem. Just start low and work your way up until you find the right wattage for you.

But I’ve Seen MTL Tanks With ‘Sub Ohm Coils?

This is where things can get a bit confusing.

You may see certain MTL tanks have coils rated anything from 0.3-0.9ohm. ‘Well these are sub ohm tanks’ I hear you say!

Well yeah they are ‘sub ohm’ coils.. but the famous Thai phrase “Same same but different” rings true here.

Tanks that are made specifically for mouth to lung vaping will have a lot smaller coils with small juice holes, these holes restrict the amount of vape juice that feeds through to the coil.

True sub ohm tanks may also have the same coil ratings but these tend to have big beefy coils with huge holes on the side to let plenty of vape juice soak into the coils.

What Coil Resistance (Ohms) Should I Use For Mouth To Lung (MTL) Vaping?

  • For MTL, coils range from 0.6Ohm-2.8Ohm.
  • The most common coils for MTL vaping are 0.6Ohm and 1.8Ohm.

Click Here For the Best MTL Vape Pen Kits

RDA’s can also provide a stellar MTL experience, some of the best in fact. But as this is a guide aimed at new vapers we won’t go into that here as it’s an advanced form of vaping that takes a lot more learning and time.

You can learn about rebuildables here if you have an inner ‘DIY’er’ trying to break free.

Click here For Our Recommended MTL RDA’s

Or our top picks from RTA’s

Vaping Style: Restricted Direct Lung (RDL)

What is RDL?

To be honest, RDL is basically classed as the bridge between DTL and MTL vaping. It has more in common with DTL with a slightly more restricted airflow.

A lot of pod kits in particular with adjustable airflow have the option for this style of vaping.

It is particularly suited for kits which are not able to provide the super high outputs for full DTL vaping. Basically a “DTL Lite” kind of experience.

For instance a 40W mod which would be struggling to power a DTL 0.15ohm coil, would instead offer perhaps an 0.4ohm coil with an option for a RDL airflow.

Freemax Starlux Airflow Adjustment

Also if a kit provides an MTL adjustable airflow, allowing slightly more airflow provides the facility for a RDL vape without having to redesign the tank / pod for a full DTL set up.

Of course if you have a tank with an airflow adjustment which covers MTL and DTL you will find the mid setting should be just right for RDL.

SMOANT KNIGHT 40 top airflow
SMOANT KNIGHT 40 airflow

So follow the information for DTL but just remember the airflow will be a bit tighter!

Why Vape RDL?

Well as mentioned above it means that you should be able to use a wider range of kits.

Any kit with adjustable airflow could be suitable for RDL vaping! If you buy an MTL kit – there is a good chance that the wide open airflow setting will offer an RDL sensation. If you buy a DTL device – close off the airflow to get near to a RDL setting.

sceptre 2 airflow
Innokin Sceptre 2 airflow – MTL / RDL

Designing devices which are able to provide a satisfying MTL and DTL vape is pretty difficult. Many manufacturers may claim this to be the case, but often one style suffers.

But adding the RDL option means it is not a huge jump to provide 2 satisfying vaping styles on one device. Even some of the same coils are able to cater to RDL and another style without huge changes to the device other than providing a slightly wider range to the airflow.

This way a pod kit for instance designed for one vaping style can be actually a bit more versatile by adding RDL to perhaps attract more vapers who will enjoy the middle ground.

Vaping Style: Direct To Lung (DTL)

How Do You Vape DTL?

This is the polar opposite to the MTL style of vaping. It can take some getting used to as it will be a completely foreign concept for most.

Simple Steps on How You Vape Direct to Lung Style.

  • Draw slow and steady directly into your lungs.
  • A drag DTL style can be 3-5 seconds or more.
  • The key is not to take sharp drags.. Smooth, steady motion is the key.
  • Once it reaches your lungs exhale those clouds of vapour.How To Vape Direct To Lung

Who does it?

Well, if you fancy a full, creamy and thick clouds and a solid lungful of tasty vapour…then you’re going to need to hit that fog straight into your lungs: that’s the only way to fill your lungs to near capacity.

Only with a Direct To Lung hit can you enjoy the scope of a high wattage mods and sub-Ohm tanks; see any real vapour production;  perform tricks or cloud chase and really experience the flavour profile of a juice on exhale.

Direct to lung vaping is for lovers of vaping who’ve completely overcome their cigarette craving, it’s for vapers, like me, who love the magic of exhaling beautiful, rich clouds and messing around with high powered box mods, vape tanks and gear.

Why Vape DTL?

Your first attempt will be a shock to your lungs but over time, if you start with a low wattage and tight airflow and slowly open up…your lungs will learn to love it.

It’s a different ballgame, my friends, you will feel like a weather controlling, invincible superhero most of the time: young folk will admire you, old folk will look at you strangely and you’ll annoy the crap out of your other half when binge watching your favourite box set.

Either way, the devices that go along with using this method will bring you joy; the opportunities for sampling new and scrumptious flavours will turn you into a kid-in-a-candy-store.

Vape-voice (when you talk with a lungful) and those exhibition-worthy Instagram vapour pics you’re now capable of capturing will keep you forever young at heart and you’ll soon forget the old days of nasty tobacco smoking.

As you may be able to tell, I’m am a fan of the plume producing, cumulonimbus joy that is the DTL vape hit…and I thank you, vape gods!

Click Here For Recommended Sub Ohm Vape Tanks

Nicotine, PG and VG For DTL Vaping

direct to lung Which pg vg and nicotine strength to useHere’s where you need to keep your head screwed on…vaping sub-Ohm with a DTL device, while using a high nicotine count e-juice will make make you feel like you’ve just had 6 straight shots of espresso.

Which Nicotine Strength Is Best For Direct to Lung Vaping?

I recommend 6mg or less for DTL hitters and that’s that. The majority will use 3mg but that is of course for you to choose.

Just remember, the higher your nic strength, especially in a sub ohm device, the harsher the throat hit and bigger nicotine hit.

Which PG/VG Ratio Is Best For DTL Vapers?

As far as PG and VG go…DTL devices are more suited to a higher VG that produces a far more satisfying, smooth and full vapour.

VG will be easier on your lungs, completely easy, in my experience. Vape smart and enjoy vaping for what it is. For me it’s a tastier and far more entertaining experience than smoking will ever be!

Recommended PG/VG Ratios for Direct To Lung Devices

The below is a general guideline. A lot of the experiences you have with flavour and vapour production can also depend on the specific e-liquid brand you choose.

  • 60VG/40PG – Very good flavour, decent cloud production and a hint of throat hit.
  • 70VG/30PG – One of the most popular blends for sub ohm/DTL vapes. Good flavour, plenty of clouds and smooth throat hit.
  • 80VG/20PG – Good flavour, dense clouds and silky smooth throat hit.
  • 90VG/10PG – Good flavour, even denser clouds and smooth on the throat.
  • 100% VG – Pure clouds and super smooth. This is also used by vapers that are sensitive to PG.

Tanks and Wicking High VG Juices

It all sounds so simple so far hey? Well, it is and it isn’t!

If going for a 80%+ VG juice you need to keep in mind the tank you are using.

This will make a huge difference. Not all sub ohm tanks coils are capable of wicking juices in the 80%+ range.

This is down to high VG juices being thicker in viscosity, this in turn takes time to soak through the cotton.

If your tank isn’t very efficient at wicking high VG juices you will likely get dry hits, especially chain vapers out there, as you are vaping faster than the juice takes to soak into the cotton.

Check around and do a google search to see how your tank fares. Try this Google search ‘Does tank name wick high VG juices’, obviously replacing tank name with the tank you have or are looking at. You should get your answer.

If not ask your vendor or send an email to the manufacturer. Or search this site (In the header) to see if we have reviewed the tank you are looking to buy.

To be on the safe side, try and stick to a max 70VG/30PG for your first ‘sub ohm e-juice’. Most sub ohm tanks can handle that ratio just fine.

Click here For Our Recommended Vape Juice


When vaping you will have the chance (in most tanks) to change your ‘airflow’. This is done through a ring on the top or bottom of the tank and be fully opened or closed.

An open airflow means that whilst you inhale your vapour, more air is allowed to flow through the tank and into your lungs unrestricted. You’ll notice that as you open it up, your hits will become longer and easier and your cloud production, magnificent.

Closing up the airflow will result in a more intense, warmer and slightly more restricted vape. This can also help bump up that flavour a touch.

Remember, if you’re inclined to draw in slowly and aren’t a cloud freak like me, you should use a medium airflow so that the vapour doesn’t become too hot for your lungs.

As with anything vape related, it’s all about testing and finding your sweet spot.

Coil Resistance For DTL Vaping

  • Lower resistance coil (DTL / Sub Ohm) = Anything below 1.0 Ohm
  • Higher resistance coil (MTL) = Anything above 1.0 Ohm

E Cigarette resistance and ohmsA lower resistance coil/tank means you’ll be able to operate it at a higher wattage. Lower resistance coils are what we need when sub ohm/Direct to Lung vaping.

Lower resistance coils are made with thicker wires that allow more power/wattage to be fed to the coil than a higher resistance coil would.

High resistance coils are made with thinner wire.

So, maintaining a higher temperature for longer and sustaining your inhale until your lungs are full (that’s what you need for a DTL hit) without damaging your device so kapow! Cloud chasing 101 here we come.

Read more about ohms and coil resistance here

What Coil Resistance (Ohms) Should I Use For Direct To Lung / Sub Ohm Vaping?

  • Sub ohm coils for DTL / sub ohm vaping range from 0.1-0.9Ohm. Stock coils that is.
  • The most commonly used is 0.3Ohm – 0.6Ohm

Click Here For Recommended Sub Ohm Tanks

The MTL vs DTL Vaping Verdict

Now that you have two more acronyms to blab, you can set about exploring new devices, forgetting smoking forever and all-round living life, enjoy and please, vape safe!

Whatever method of vaping you choose will be down to your personal preference. Just remember any type of vaping is good if it helps make the switch. Whether that’s a cig-a-like or building your own coils.

Hopefully you are a little clearer on what the difference between mouth to lung and direct to lung vaping styles are.

Of course, any questions please ask away in the comments below!

layura-ann burgess
Laura-ann Burgess

Greetings Vapers! I’m a 34 year old writer, editor and massive vaping enthusiast (since 2015) based in the beautiful Helderberg region in South Africa. My passion for vaping has steadily grown since I started vaping in earnest (as has my scorn for smoking). See, I tried vaping years before that but returned to cancer sticks after a bad experience (PG sensitivity). When I finally got back on the vaping train I decided to make it my business to educate beginners and vapers in general, so that they don’t jump to the conclusions that I did. I visualise a world without cigarettes…not just for health reasons: I’m tired of picking thousands of cigarette butts up off my lawn every morning, tossed over the wall by passers by. I can’t believe I used to be one of those people!

Greetings Vapers! I’m a 34 year old writer, editor and massive vaping enthusiast (since 2015) based in the beautiful Helderberg region in South Africa. My passion for vaping has steadily grown since I started vaping in earnest (as has my scorn for smoking). See, I tried vaping years before that but returned to cancer sticks after a bad experience (PG sensitivity). When I finally got back on the vaping train I decided to make it my business to educate beginners and vapers in general, so that they don’t jump to the conclusions that I did. I visualise a world without cigarettes…not just for health reasons: I’m tired of picking thousands of cigarette butts up off my lawn every morning, tossed over the wall by passers by. I can’t believe I used to be one of those people!


  1. Can anyone tell me if they have used an e-cig from VaporEmpire in Australia? Mine is called Vibe. What is the difference between a Mod and a Pod? With the “Vibe”, they supply a 1.5ohm coil and tank.

    • A mod is able to use any atomiser with a 510 screw in connection.

      However a pod device can usually only use the pod (or tank) supplied with it.

      There is a kind of hybrid area where you can get a 510 adaptor for some pods to use them as mods.

  2. I’m one of the ones that started vaping to quit the evil cigarettes. I’ve tried mod kits twice, but had a terrible time with the pods and/or coils(?) leaking. Can anyone suggest a good DTL sub ohm kit that won’t leak everywhere (I can’t remember the specific brands I tried anymore). I eventually gave up and started using the pods again, which are fine, but I’d like to find a good mod kit if I can find something that works without making a mess!

    • Smok Scar P3. Fits in your palm and has massive power. Uses 5ml pods with replaceable coils. Comes with two pods one with .4 ohm and one with a .16 ohm. Haven’t had any issues with leaking. The magnets that hold the pods on are extremely strong. Fantastic taste and vapor but I opted to go back to MTL device. These sub ohm DTL kits make way more vapor than i want to inhale! Youtube smok scar p3 or p5.

  3. Great article. So much rings true.

    I’ve been vaping ever since the days od the tiny cigarette type white batteries with replaceable “filter” pods.. they were so basic and probably more dangerous than cigarettes. I’ve witnessed and taken part in a lot of the journey to todays incredible gadgets. I’ve also managed to quit smoking as part of the process.

    I’ve used both MTL and DTL sets, from 0.12ohms with a dual battery mod to make any room look like a recording of stars in their eyes {The number of times I’ve been told “tonight Matthew I’m going to be…” isn’t worth mentioning}, all the way up to the 2 and 2.4 ohm MTL pen style vapes.

    One thing I’ve found that doesn’t seem to be mentioned in your article, is the effect of PG/VG ratio on flavour profiles. There are many different kinds of flavours which react differently depnding on liquid ratios.

    Stronger flavours, like Menthols, and tobacco flavours work well in higher VG as it softens the flavour to prevent it being too harsh and making the throat hit overpowering.

    Softer flavours, like fruity mixes can become muted at 70 or 80% VG so may need to be mixed stronger, or 60/40 to keep the flavours.

    Dessert flavours.. custards, creams, cheesecake flavours etc can be almost lost in high VG mixes. Personally, I use 50/50 on a 0.3ohm DTL coil with 3mg nicotine.. not only does this keep the flavour more, it also produces a little less cloud than a 70/30 mix, which might save you from being compared to Matthew Kelly now and then.

    It’s all down to personal tastes, and a little experimenting is necessary. I must have bought at least 15-20 different vapes over the years (more if you include the cig replacement types at the start).

    If you are looking at trying both types of vaping, a good way to go is to buy an e-cig that uses a pod type system, these often are available (or come with) both MTL and DTL pods, and have coils suitable for both. So you can keep trying both styles without having to mess around swapping coils in a regular fixed tank.

  4. I find the division between MTL and DTL a little bit strange. Personally I started vaping to quit smoking so I am on a Nic salt level of 15mg atm and using an Aspire Zelos 3 with Nautilus tank. Somehow I find vaping at low wattage (9.5) with an 1.8 Ohm coil and the air intake on the tank set to the second largest hole the nicest. Also I use the mouthpiece that has a narrow middle.

    I start by inhaling normal air, then while still inhaling I press the button for just a second or two and let it go again still inhaling air, then blow out the vapour. This for me comes closest to my cigarette smoking experience, and it delivers my nicotine hit the same way. I find MTL as it is often described not nice at all (burning throat sensation which I do not have with cigarettes and a hideous aftertaste, no matter the wattage which has nothing to do with a burnt coil really).

    Basically I am neither an MTL or DTL vaper. I am somewhere in the middle I guess. Also never been in making clouds or do vapor tricks.

    Sadly they will be banning all tastes apart from tobacco here soon (mainland Europe), but the liquid I use now has nic salts that come directly from natural tobacco leaves so the taste and effect are great.

    Great article nevertheless!

  5. Hiya, loved the article!

    I am currently using the Smok Nord X device at around 10-20W, however it can go as high as 60W. It came with a 0.4 coil and a 0.16 coil (both pre installed). I wanted to DTL vape as it seemed like wat i was looking for – good flavour and strong hit. I made the mistake of not researching what type of liquid to use with these coils and ended up buying three nic salts at 20mg from the brand Pod Salt. I have been getting headaches after using it, despite trying to stay as hydrated as possible. I also find that I get a really dry throat occasionally. From reading this I understand I should be using 3-6mg with the device, but I’m not sure about how hard it will hit, as I quite enjoy the lightheaded feeling, just not the headaches. Other than that is there anything else I’m doing wrong?

    • Hi Em,

      I have used nic salts with a SMOK Nord (0.4 and 0.6 coils) at around the 11-15W area. If you are fairly new to vaping then it’s not unusual to get a dry throat. Only experienced headaches a couple of times in the last few years but this passed pretty quick, I actually put this down to lack of water intake but I’m not a medical professional!

      Since writing this a lot of pod systems have been released (Like the Nord) that have sub ohm coils. They are a lot smaller though than what a sub ohm coil would be in ‘true sub ohm tank’, pods also require less power. Pod kits are made to be vaped with say a 50Pg/50VG e-liquid (higher nic strength) whereas the previously mentioned sub ohm tank would be better suited to to a thicker e-liquid around 70VG and a lower nic strength, 3-6mg.

      In short, nic salts are fine in these pod systems, as mentioned I use them as my all day vape. You are right that a 3-6mg juice in these may not provide what you are looking for though.

      What I would suggest is try reducing your Nic Salt strength to 10mg for a while and see how you go and take it easy on how much you vape, take a little time between drags and give the nicotine time to do it’s thing 🙂 You will still get a good hit from the the lower nic strength.

      You can always switch back later down the line if need be.

      Let us know how you go though.

  6. Hey Laura, read your brief autobio. It is an inspirational story. I am inspired to be NOT to be one of that people anymore. Vape On and be safe, get vaccinated if possible. May GOD’s blesses are upon us.

    • Hi Gerald,

      Would really depend on the type of tank/device.

      If it’s on a sub ohm coil type that you would find in a pod system then you should be OK. And if it’s a MTL tank then it should also be OK.

      Only time I personally find high nic juice too much would be to vape in one of the bigger sub ohm tanks that have the bigger coils.

  7. Hey Laura-Ann,
    I just started vaping, eventually got scared sh**less of the cancer sticks. Loved your info appreciate the sharing of your experience. Lived in SA myself for 18 years, loved the country. Anyway thanks again for all the info on what has become my new hobby. Keep well, Stay safe. Cheers Laura-Ann

  8. Hello. I guess I shouldn’t really ask this, but how do you adjust the airholes (open/shut) & should u go MTL or DTL for a good THC hit. Apologies in advance

    • MTL only, and hold it for as long as possible. Most vape cartridges have a ring that turns – closing up, or opening up air holes, or slots.

  9. Hi there.
    I am an ex-smoker and just got a 25W pod which comes with 1.4 MTL and 0.6 DTL mesh coil. I am using a 20mg salt nic liquid. Vaping with the 1.4 MTL coil on 5-10W was very satisfying. Whereas with the 0.6 DTL on 20-25W was harsh and have been caughing a lot. Please advise.

    • Hi Alex,

      Great to see you make the move away from the stinkies and onto vaping.

      I believe the problem you are having with the 0.6 DTL coil is the nic level in your juice. Direct to Lung vaping needs a much lower level of nicotine as it is going straight to your lungs and not sitting in your mouth first. I would recommend a nic level of just 3mg, 6 at a push if it is not helping the cravings.

    • Alex, take in mind the nic salts are made with benzoid acid to modifiy the nicotine Ph. When used at high temperatures, the effect of acid is reversed and it produces some of the salts are turned again to freebase nicotine.
      That’s the reason you never should use nic salts on sub-Ohm coils.

  10. First vape was an Innokin T18, 14W @ 1.6ohm, works best @ 50/50

    Next up was a Coolfire Mini with Zenith tank, takes anything from a sub-ohm (0.4/0.5) Plex3D/Plexus to a 1.6ohm that can still be used on the T18/T22. You definitely get more flavour with the Plex coils though you’ll also burn more juice as well.

    Finally been getting into the Vaporesso mods, Armour Pro, Luxe and Gen, alot of features (still way beyond me) but I find the higher power/sub-ohm gives more flavour, in that I crave less nicotine and vape more for the flavour itself.

  11. Hi
    I have been vaping now for 5 wks, and not one cigarette in that time. I’m using a aspire pocket,
    Which I assume is MTL. I’m not really used to all the phrases you guys use. I want to upgrade to a uwell ironfist. Can I still do MTL on this device? Is there any reason why I can’t.
    I’m not a heavy vapor, and not really interested in filling my lounge with clouds…
    I want to explore the different liquids available and I have been told by my supplier, I can only use Amazonia liquids on my gadget.
    Kind regards

  12. Hi
    Great article
    I seem to have inadvertently ended sub-ohm vaping, ha. Pens were not doing it for me and I was still smoking. When I first saw the kanger sub ohm mod etc I gave it a go ad have not smoked since. I’m now squonking (Pico squeeze 2 plus recurve on 0.36 ohm coil). Unfortunately for the house, my fella and my sanity I’m vaping far too much cloud – the house in full of it! Is it feasible to go above ohm with this set up and will it reduce my clouds, save my relationship and the house – send help

    • Hi Carole,

      I feel you! ha. I have the same problem sometimes.

      It’s kind of the nature of the beast with RDA’s such as this.

      It may be worth trying a higher resistance coil for sure and playing with your airflow. Also, if you are using a high VG (80+) it may be worth trying a 60VG with the higher resistance coils. Along with that maybe try adjusting the way you vape, try slightly shorter draws. Barring that, maybe a new tank for indoor use! 🙂

      Let us know how you get on!

  13. Hi Jonny, I’m brand new to vaping, as I was diagnosed with cancer and have chosen CBD vaping as an additional help in my battle. I also found the CBD Helps a lot with my PTSD. I’m definitely both MTL(which for me is sort of a quick intake, hold in the mouth, take into lungs and then exhale slowly) I use this as a rebellion method when places try to say you can’t vape when there’s no law i.e. Planes/Airports. I use DTL everywhere else and have been practising my “o”‘s. Can you help me with the best set up for CBD and almost no PG (unless it’s non-GMO, corn based like from a Swiss company) as I haven’t latched on to a two tanks yet to satisfy both methods yet and would like to. Thanks Very Much for this article!

    • I really love the Innoken Zenith for the MTL! My partner really enjoys it too and i’m getting her the Zlide for her birthday. I switch between both sometimes as i find the throat hit on the MTL to be better than on my DTL tank which is the Joyetech ProCoreAir. Biggest downside to my DTL is I get maybe 1 week out of my coils no matter what method i use and a friend of mine who uses the Smok Baby, gets 3 months out of his coils and is a heavier vaper than me. I use a 70/30 juice, but also have a 50/50 juice from Malaysia that i love too!

      • Hi Jacob,

        I’ve heard people mention praises about juices from Malaysia, but may I know how is it better?

        If I may ask, what juice did you get and how?

        I’m currently exploring and want to try out new juices!

  14. I have a aspire k3 that I used to quit smoking literally not a single drag using 6mg but I always found myself dtl not mtl it uses a 1.8 coil will what is the issues any of me doing this ??

    • Hey Adam… Whatever you find works for you is all good! There are no set rules, vaping is very much about finding what suits you best.

      Good to hear you’ve managed to stay of the smokes! 🙂

  15. Hi iv been reading your MTL & DTL I do abit of both at the moment I’m using a micro tfv4 and wanting something abit better you keep saying the Aspire Nautilus 2 is the tank to use would it be a better upgrade from what I’m using. .
    I like to use more VG in my vaping like 70 and 80 vg or even add more vg to the mixes I buy the moment I’m using a ikuu I 200 how long would the battery last on the Nautilus. ..

    • Hi Michael,

      I personally find the Aspire Nautilus 2 tank is very good for MTL vaping. I wouldn’t, however, say it’s an upgrade to the SMOK TFV4 Micro as they are really quite different tanks.

      I haven’t personally used the SMOK MTL coils with the TFV4 Micro tank but the mouthpiece is wider and far more ‘airy’ than the Nautilus 2. The latter is more of a true MTL tank with narrow mouthpiece. So just keep that in mind as the vape is likely to be different (more restricted) to what you are currently used to.

      As for battery life using the Nautilus 2 on the Eleaf iKuun i200 it depends. I use the 0.7Ohm coil at 18-20W and the 1.8Ohm coil at around 12-14W.

      So, if you currently vape at a higher wattage than the above then you should see a little more in terms of battery life.

      70VG e-liquid is good with the 0.7Ohm Nautilus coil and while I have vaped 80VG as well you do have to be careful as it can creep towards dry hits. I’d recommend to stick below 70VG. For the 1.8Ohm you will likely need to go max 60VG.

      Hope that helps!



  16. Hi there, I’m more of a MTL person but I do DTL sometimes. I have a nebox mod and I love it but because I don’t DTL often it’s not being used, can you recommend a coil to fit the nebox so I can use it to MTL please 🙏 thanks Angie

  17. Hi
    Reading everywhere that Aspire Nautilus 2 is supposedly fantastic but my experience is different so perhaps am doing something wrong.

    Have tried the 0.7ohm coil with 80PC/20VG and 50/50 (12mg) with different wattages and altering the airflow and cannot get any flavour

    Using as a MTL and am getting really fed up with no flavour, may as well go back to the old ciggies.

    Any suggestions appreciated (or should I just try the 1.8ohm, even though lot of reviews are saying the 0.7ohm is still good for MTL)

    • Hey Sam,

      It’s a tough one as I use 60VG and 70VG e-liquids with the Nautilus 2 (0.7 coil) and the flavour is good for me at around 18-20W.

      Have you tried replacing the coil and seeing if that makes a difference? I know it sounds simple (and you likely have) but could have an issue with the coil itself.

      While I have vaped 80VG with the 0.7ohm coil it did wick a little slower for me as it’s a thicker juice and the holes in the coils are quite small. If I took 3 drags in quick succession I could tell the coil was drying out and there was a hint of a burnt taste coming through. If the cotton burns at all it can affect the flavour.

      Have you also tried the e-liquids you are using in other tanks to see if the e-liquid flavour comes through OK in those?

  18. I’ve just bought a G80 ,what I call a tank ,the battery only last for about 3 hours with constant vaping on 15 watts .Is it safe to vape while its charging ?
    I started with an e pen but wanted to make loads of vape clouds. I do want to eventually go fully VG
    All the instructions I received were in Chinese ,which is why I’m here.

    • Hey Robin, I’ve seen in places that it can be used for pass through (vape whilst charging) so it should be OK.

      Sounds like you may simply need a new 18650 battery though. Check out more about vape batteries and recommendations here.

      What I would suggest though is to buy an external charger such as the Nitecore i2 or D2. Xtar is a good charger brand as well. You can then charge upto two spare batteries and rotate them.



  19. Can you use a MTL technique on a DL coil/tank. I am a exsmoker and cannot get the hang of DL but my MTL tanks don’t give me enough wattage

    • Hey Kim,

      For true sub ohm tanks that are for DTL vaping it will be hard going to get a MTL draw due to the diameter of the mouthpiece/driptips that are used.

      There are sub ohm coils withe the likes of the Aspire Nautilus 2 and Jacvapour S22 tank that use a slightly higher wattage (upto around 20/22W) that do offer a bit more power for a DTL vape.

    • I would recommend the Innoken Zenith with a 0.4 coil running approx 15W. Innoken also make a pen type called the Endura which is quite good and the coils are cheap, but its not adjustable in any way. I quite often find myself sneaking a draw from my partners Endura because i love how tight it is and the flavour is quite good too (nothing compared to my sub ohm DTL though).
      Good throat hit and adjustable for the tight draw.

      • Started vaping in 2015, to end a almost 30 year cigarette habit. I won’t even mention the ridiculous cig prices in the U.S.
        Currently I’m using a Vaporesso Gen S with a Cleito Aspire tank and .2ohm coil , awesome flavor but aren’t available any more. My nic level are 12mg, because I was getting the hit I expected, but after reading your article I will be switching to the DTL method with the nautilus 2.


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