expired e-liquids
E-Juice Shelf Life: Do E-Liquids Expire?
May 24, 2016
How to Avoid E-Cigarette Explosions
June 2, 2016
expired e-liquids
E-Juice Shelf Life: Do E-Liquids Expire?
May 24, 2016
How to Avoid E-Cigarette Explosions
June 2, 2016
Show all
Types of vaping, mouth to lung and direct lung inhales

On the surface, vaping might seem like a completely straightforward alternative to smoking. You simply take your vaping device, do what is required to produce the vapor, and inhale. It surprises many people to learn, therefore, that there are different ways to enjoy the best vaping experience. As a general rule, vapers can choose to either use the mouth to lung method for drawing vapor from their device or the direct lung inhalation. Thought both drawing methods end up with the vapor in the lungs, that is where the similarity ends.

What the terms mean

As you might expect, there is a reason that each of these methods has its own descriptive name. They really are that different in nature. Once you understand how each method is performed –  and why, you will gain some greater insight into exactly why there is such a wide range of different vaping products and setups available to consumers these days.


The Mouth to Lung, or “Mouth Hit”

Mouth to Lung_1Mouth hits are familiar to pretty much anyone who has ever smoked a combustible cigarette. That is, after all, exactly how smokers use their tobacco products. Cigarettes are designed in a way that requires quite a bit of pressure just to draw the smoke through the packed tobacco inside the paper. That necessarily means that any inhalation results in the smoke being drawn into the mouth first, before it can ultimately be inhaled into the lungs.

With vaping devices, high coil resistances used in most common products result in the same effect. When you vape, you take a few short draws, sucking the vapor into your mouth. From there, you inhale to the lungs. In between the initial draw and the final inhalation, mouth hit vapors hold the vapor in their mouths for a few seconds – usually to enjoy the flavor as it washes over their taste buds.

The mouth hit is typically enjoyed most by vapers who are looking for the most flavorful experience possible. For these vaping enthusiasts, huge clouds of vapor are nowhere near as important as savoring every bit of flavor possible.


The Direct Lung, or “Lung Hit”

Direct Lung_1The direct lung method is something else entirely. It was born from a desire on the part of some experienced vaping fans to produce larger clouds of vapor. As they discovered that loosening the airflow controls on a vaping device could enable more vapor to be created, they began to modify their coils and other components to produce the effects they craved. Today, there are many manufacturers who sell these low resistance mod units to their customers who desire that direct lung hit.

With the lung hit, the vaper draws the vapor directly into his lungs from the mouthpiece of the device. In so doing, he avoids allowing the cloud to remain in his mouth for any length of time, in an effort to ensure that he receives the full vapor effect of each draw. It is like breathing air. When you suck air into your lungs, it doesn’t linger in your mouth. Instead it goes directly to the lungs. Lung hit draw techniques use the same process. Naturally, this method of vaping also results in large exhalations of vapor too.


Why Equipment is Different

Make no mistake: these two very different styles of vaping  rely on very different equipment setups to accomplish their objectives. That’s because the setup for one simply will not work for the other. For example, a loose resistance will make it difficult to capture vapor in the mouth, because that short puff becomes more difficult to maintain. In like manner, higher resistances can make it impossible for a lung hit to occur. In fact, if you try it you will more than likely end up experiencing a throat hit that is both harsh and uncomfortable.

different tanks for vaping_1

How the Setups Differ

Contrary to what some might believe, the main difference in equipment setup between that used for direct lung and mouth to lung inhalation has little to do with the types of batteries involved. Instead, much of the difference comes down to which atomizers and tanks are being utilized. If you want a mouth hit, then you want to rely on atomizers and tanks that lack air flow control, since they will tend to limit the amount of vapor produced and prevent that deep draw needed for lung hits. The air flow control on some atomizers and tanks is essential for those who want to have loose flow so that they can produce the huge clouds of vapor needed for direct lung inhalation.

different coils for vaping_1

Coil resistance is key, naturally. Higher resistance coils are limiting when it comes to producing large amounts of vapor. Those lower resistances take you into the realm of what is known as sub-ohm vaping, which tends to involve enormous plumes of vapor.


The E-Juice Factor

e-liquid differences_1Of course, there are differences in e-juice choices as well. While mouth to lung vapers can comfortable use even high concentrations of nicotine, lung hits are best conducted with lower concentrations. In fact, many direct lung advocates choose zero strength e-juice, since all they really care about is the quantity and quality of the vapor clouds they are inhaling.

There is a practical side to this, and it has to do with comfort. With mouth hits, vapers can control how much vapor they ultimately inhale into the lungs. That also means that they maintain some level of control over the amount of nicotine that reaches their lungs at any given time. Once you start getting into the realm of the lung hit, however, you find that such control is sacrificed. Lung hitters cannot prevent any of the nicotine in their vapor clouds from flowing directly into their lungs.

When e-juice contains large amounts of nicotine, that lack of control can result in too much nicotine reaching the lungs at one time. That, in turn, can result in coughing fits, and even a sore throat. With mouth hits, at least some portion of the nicotine is absorbed prior to the inhalation, through the mucous membranes of the mouth.

Just as important is the choice of e-juice bases, PG and VG. While PG-based liquids maintain more flavor, they limit the amount of vapor that is produced. At the same time, VG liquids produce more vapor, but end up sacrificing taste.


Which Option is Best for You?

Here’s where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Do you prefer huge amounts of vapor, or are you more interested in great flavor? You simply cannot have both. To be sure, you can find a middle ground in which you receive a healthy dose of vapor and a moderate amount of flavor, but you cannot have the largest vapor clouds and maintain the full flavor concentration at the same time. At some point, you have to choose between either flavor or vapor – or simply settle on a happy middle ground option that provides you a moderate amount of satisfaction in both areas of concern.

Obviously, there are dramatic differences between these two types of inhalation methods, and each requires its own setup, e-juice type, and inhalation technique. Neither is superior to the other, though, so the choice of which to use ultimately rests with each vaping enthusiast.

Twitter for authorfacebook for authorshare on whatsappshare on buffershare on linkedinpinterest icon
Nicholas King
Nicholas King

Hi! I’m Nicholas King, the founder, and Chief Editor at SmokeTastic. As an ex-smoker and now vaping enthusiast for over 13 years myself, I understand the transition between smoking and vaping. My aim is to share useful information about all the different vape and e-cig products on the market, self-help tips, and detailed reviews.

I hope you find something on SmokeTastic that helps you with your decision process.

More About Nicholas...