Mouth-to-Lung vs. Direct-to-Lung Vaping: What’s the Difference?

Girl vaping
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You may have heard the terms “mouth-to-lung” or “direct-to-lung” at some point in your research on the topic of vaping and e-cigarette. But what does these mean? Is there a way to get off of cigarettes without buying some overpowered fog machine? Why is it recommended that a beginner to vaping and a current smoker use a “mouth-to-lung” device? Can I ever switch from one to the other? The short answer… Yes.

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Aspire Breeze Vape
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Mouth-to-lung vaping

Simplistically speaking, a mouth-to-lung device is one that runs at an ohmage (Ω) above 1.0 and has relatively restricted airflow. These devices are specifically designed to emulate their combustible counterparts through the sensation and process of the inhale. In other words, when somebody consumes a traditional cigarette, smoke initially enters the mouth and is then secondarily inhaled into the lungs. This process typically creates a much more potent “throat hit”, which is what combustible tobacco users are familiar with.

SMOK Alien Baby AL85 Vape
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Direct-to-lung vaping

On the other side of the spectrum exists the “direct-to-lung” inhale, which is typically not recommended for beginner vapers due to the foreign feeling it creates. This process involves a device that has very open airflow with a low ohmage (Ω), typically below 1.0. The airflow and ohmage combination of direct-to-lung devices creates much larger clouds of vapour and eliminates the need for a secondary inhale. This form of vaping is typically popular in the intermediate to advanced vaping crowd because of its ability to allow for neat tricks as well as more sizable clouds.

Where do I fit in?

So what do non-nicotine vapers use? Somebody who has no concern about simulating the feel of cigarettes and simply likes the crazy long list of flavours or cool tricks? They might find themselves interested in the direct-to-lung devices for a few reasons. This is not to say that nicotine users should stray away from the more advanced devices; in fact, as a typical reformed smoker decreases their nicotine level, they may want to explore the recreational side of vaping. From the more customizable aesthetics of advanced devices to the versatility and flavour appeal that sub-ohm vaping offers, there are a multitude of reasons to step up your vaping game.

A key thing to keep in mind is that advanced vapers and beginners alike can find themselves switching between both styles for numerous reasons. An advanced vaper who builds their own coils requiring 100+ watts on a dual-battery or stronger device might find themselves wanting to go back to a more simple device like a mouth-to-lung Aspire Breeze for a few reasons. Maybe they want a device more suitable for on-the-go than a hefty mod and dripper. Perhaps they’re looking to quit nicotine altogether and have simply grown tired of both smoking and vaping. There’s even a chance that they’re trying to find a simplistic device with more dense vapour to use for sampling flavours without affecting their more expensive and valuable coils/builds.

Alternatively, there are reasons to keep it simple. Perhaps you’re smoking less than five cigarettes a day and it was just something to take the edge off after a stressful day at work. In this case, it’s unlikely that you’d want to explore much more than an Eleaf iCare or Aspire X30 Rover Kit. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, that’s the beauty of vaping. Choices. I’d say it’s much better than the “red, blue, or go away” options that you’d get from a corner store, wouldn’t you?

Mouth-to-lung vs. direct-to-lung infographic
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