How To Vape – The Complete Vaping Guide

Vaping was invented less than a decade ago, which means its long-term effects on the body are yet to be determined. Vaping involves pumping nicotine into the bloodstream, which is known to be highly addictive. Even if you don’t vape very frequently, addiction will follow up anyway.

People often tend to ignore this to sate their cravings and feel better. However, newer vapers might find themselves unimpressed after the first experience because of the lack of resemblance to traditional cigarettes as widely expected. That is one of the major things to recall and keep in mind- vaping isn’t intended to replace cigarette smoking and is entirely different.

Nevertheless, it does deliver that ‘lung hit’ craved by smokers when used properly with some patience and a little adaptation. To enjoy vaping, it is essential to understand how to vape properly, starting from the correct method of making the e-liquid to inhaling the vape juice to selecting the best e-juice according to your needs. All you need is a little research to assist and boost your vaping escapade.

Vaping might seem to be overwhelming or even intimidating to people who are just starting. However, you can master it in no time with proper help. If vaping is new to you and you are just starting to learn how to smoke a vape, follow the phrase “first things first”. Begin with simpler devices. If a device is easy to use, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is inferior. They are widely available in the market and the features in them are ready to use.

Some people may find themselves confused or disappointed in the process of choosing an e-juice, maintaining the vapes, learning how to inhale the vape properly, and most importantly, including it in your life. Fortunately, a lot of guides are available online that can help you understand all these things easily. Now you can greet e-juices and bid adieu to cigarettes.

How To Inhale Vape

1. The Length Of Your Inhale

The paramount difference between smoking a cigarette and vaping is the length of the inhale. Usually, smokers inhale for a shorter time than vapers. The reason behind this is pretty straightforward- a harder puff on a cigarette will burn it down faster, giving you more smoke. In the case of an e-cigarette, a harder puff accomplishes very little. The only way you can get more vapor is by holding the button down for longer and inhaling for longer.

In the beginning, it might take some time to get used to it. According to research, vapers who are more experienced puff for longer as compared to e-cigarette smokers. This way, they get more nicotine more efficiently.

2. The Length Of Holding The Vapour In

After inhaling, the time for which smokers and vapers hold the smoke or vapor before exhaling isn’t very different. The longer inhaling by vapers implies that they hold the vapor in for a longer duration than smokers. Overall, this time is not as crucial a factor that would draw your attention to it when you switch from smoking to vaping. The noticeable thing is that the entire vaping process is slower. However, there isn’t much difference after the inhaling is finished, that is the part where you exhale, except for the size of clouds.

3. Are “Priming Puffs” Required While Vaping?

When vaping was initially gaining popularity, a lot of devices were “automatic”. This meant that the coil would get activated on inhaling rather than press a button, which was the case in manual devices. These were the ones that required “priming puffs”.

There might be some catching up you need to do on the vape lingo because there is a separate concept of “priming” a coil. This is where the wicks on the coil need to be soaked manually before filling up. Though coil priming is important in any kind of device, it is particularly crucial for direct-to-lung devices as they usually operate at higher wattages.

Coming back to priming puffs, they were small draws- similar to what you would do before taking a draw on a cigar. This would give some time for the coil to heat up before the proper puff.

The majority of e-cigarettes today on the market are manual, which means priming puffs are not required, especially in more powerful devices. However, the same effect is replicated if you press the fire button a second or two before actually starting to inhale. This is because the coil needs a second to reach the temperature at which you can start vaping. Though the wait is not compulsory, it does help you get a stronger hit when you start your puff.

The only problem here is that this can form condensation drops around the drip tip. These drops can then either risk flooding by dripping back down to the coil or get sucked up with the vapor into your mouth during the puff. If you want to follow the switch on and wait for a formula without these risks, you can continue drawing for a second after releasing the fire button.

Different Devices Demand Different Inhaling Styles

Another major difference between inhaling on an e-cig and smoking a cigarette is that the device you are using can also make a difference in how you vape. In the case of smoking, whichever brand of cigarettes you choose, the method of inhaling remains the same. However, in vaping devices, it differs according to the device. The specific type of tank being used or the amount of airflow it has is the primary factor.

Tanks, like the Aspire K2, which have a restricted airflow have a draw, which is very similar to that on a cigarette. They allow you to perform “mouth to lung” inhales, which is what happens in traditional cigarettes. These tanks work best with a lower power setting and have more resistance. Therefore, mouth to lung inhales is more popular if a basic vape pen is what you have.

Tanks that have more open airflows allow vapers to inhale directly into their lungs. This is a common sight in slightly more experienced vapers. Sub-ohm tanks have way more open airflows with more liberty with you to control it too. They are generally paired with mods with higher power instead of simple vape pens. This kind of advanced setup gives you the direct to lung style inhale along with a better performance.

1. What Is Mouth To Lung Vaping?

MTL or Mouth-to-Lung vaping comes naturally to almost every smoker, but some specific types of devices work quite well in the MTL method. But how exactly is it done? Why is it done? And what type of device does it work best on?

How To Do It?

A mouth-to-lung inhale is a double-stage process. First, the vapor is taken into the mouth and held inside for a second. Secondly, the vapor is brought into the lungs by inhaling again. Basically, the fire button is pressed, the vapor is inhaled, the fire button is released, and then the vapor is inhaled down into the lungs, finally followed by an exhale.

Why Is It Done?

The MTL inhale is perfect for long-term vapers who like to continue inhaling in a similar method to smoking or smokers who are just switching to vaping. MTL inhaling with higher nicotine liquids and higher resistance coils is the best way to achieve a vaping experience that is more smoking-like.


  • Similar to smoking
  • Doesn’t use much power
  • Works with simpler vaping equipment
  • Consumes less e-liquid
  • Better flavor
  • Better throat hit


  • Needs higher nicotine liquids
  • Doesn’t work well with a lot of modern tanks
  • Doesn’t work for “cloud-chasing” because of less vapor production

Recommended Equipment

Pod style vapes: Pod devices are perfect for MTL vaping and are extremely easy to use. So they are ideal for beginners. E.g.: Aspire Breeze NXT.

Mods or Vape Pens with Specific Tanks: Some tanks are designed specifically for MTL vaping, like the Endura T1811 and the Innokin Zenith D22. MTL vaping also works well with mods with a tank with restricted airflow or simpler, vape-pen-compatible clearomizers.

Recommended E-liquid

Higher PG e-liquids: e-liquid becomes thinner with the use of PG whereas thicker with VG. Though high-VG e-liquids work with a few MTL tanks, most of them work better with more PG. The best performance can be achieved with a 50/50 PG/VG blend.

Higher nicotine liquids: These are the best for MTL vaping. This is not mandatory, but higher nicotine levels make vaping more satisfying because MTL devices give you less vapor with each puff. E-liquids that are 12 mg/ml or even 18mg/ml are suitable for you if you smoke regularly and have frequent nicotine consumption.

Nicotine salt e-liquids: These nicotine salt juices are particularly suitable for MTL vaping and have higher nicotine levels, especially with pod devices.

2. What Is Direct To Lung Vaping?

Direct to lung vaping is an entirely separate practice. Unlike the two-stage mouth to lung method, DL or DTL involves inhaling right into your lungs in a single step. This is very different from smoking but can get you the best performance out of several tanks available in the market.

How To Do It?

DTL inhales are quite easy to perform but can cause first-timers to cough at initial attempts. All you need to do is take in a big inhale from the device and pull the vapor straight down to your lungs in the same breath. It is also a good idea to continue your draw a second after releasing the bottom to make sure that all the vapor goes into your lungs. This works better on higher power wattage settings and more open airflow.

Why Is It Done?

Direct to lung vaping is better for making bigger clouds. It also helps to get enough nicotine without the vapor getting too harsh on your throat. This, too, works better with higher-VG e-liquids. This is why several premium e-liquids are best enjoyed with a direct to lung device. Unfortunately for MTL vapers, a lot of modern tanks have a better performance but are usually better for DTL vaping.


  • Larger clouds
  • Performs well with modern vape tanks
  • Works with a wider range of e-liquids
  • Smoother throat hit
  • Still good for flavor


  • Doesn’t work with more basic equipment
  • Uses a lot more e-liquid
  • Batteries drain quicker as it uses more power

Recommended Equipment

Sub-ohm tanks and mods: This variety of tanks like the Plex tank, the Smok TFV12, and the Cleito 120 Pro are all set up perfectly for direct to lung vaping. They have increased airflow, which is adjustable at the same time, enabling you to vape DTL without coughing. However, you will need a mod to use these because the coil resistances are low and require higher wattage settings to perform well.

Recommended E-liquid

Higher VG: 50/50 or higher-PG e-liquids can still be vaped on a sub-ohm tank. However, the ideal e-liquids are 70% VG or higher for this inhale style. They are usually smoother and produce a lot more vapor.

Lower nicotine: Though this is not compulsory again, the more vapor produced with DTL devices makes lower nicotine e-liquids better suited for this vaping method. Broadly speaking, 6 mg/ml is the maximum nicotine strength recommended for usage with DTL vaping and sub-ohm tanks.

Other Inhaling Techniques: The Cigar Inhale

DTL and MTL are the two most common styles of inhaling. Though they are popular ways, they aren’t the only ones. There is not really a concrete distinction between the two methods, and you might naturally practice something in between both of these.

Nevertheless, there also exists an entirely different approach called “cigar inhale” worth considering. Like a cigar, this method involves inhaling the vapor into your mouth without pulling it down to your lungs. Though not many vapers follow this technique, the Royal College of Physicians points out that most of the nicotine gets absorbed through the upper throat instead of the lungs. Theoretically, it means that you could still get a satisfying nicotine hit without having to inhale the vapors fully.

Inhaling And Flavour

You might have noticed that MTL inhales boast of an improved flavor in the “pros” list. You might be wondering how the method of inhaling affects the flavor of your e-juice. When you vape mouth to lung, the airflow is generally less than direct to lung vaping. So the air mixed with your vapor is less, resulting in lesser dilution of the juice flavor by air. This is the reason why less vapor is produced with MTL vaping while getting a more pronounced flavor.

Therefore, the MTL method of vaping isn’t necessarily good for flavor in itself but is less diluted for better flavor relatively. However, in DTL vaping, the amount of vaporized e-liquid is more, which automatically means a good sense of flavor in any case.

Inhaling And Coughing

There are several possible explanations for a cough after vaping, one of them can be your inhaling style.

The basic theory says if your way of inhaling is different from the intended setup, it can make you cough. For instance, you will cough from throat irritation if you try to inhale directly to the lung from a restricted airflow device. Or if you try to inhale mouth to the lung using a huge device that produces undulating clouds, the sheer volume of vapor traveling down your throat together will make you cough.

From a survey about the impact of inhaling style, 40 percent of the participants weren’t sure if it made a difference, 30 percent felt the correct way prevented them from coughing. So this clearly isn’t a factor for every vaper but if you do cough while vaping, it might be worth a shot to change your inhaling style.

Vaping Inhale Tricks

In the satisfactory and entertaining world of vape tricks, inhaling plays a major role. For many of the vape tricks, the volume of vapor inhaled is the key to make thick clouds. Therefore, most trick vapers tend to inhale direct-to-lung on high-power, low-resistance setups.

Some vape tricks revolve particularly around your inhale style, the ghost inhales and the French inhale, to be specific. Both of these are fancy MTL inhaling ways that allow you to perform tricks even with basic hardware.

The French inhale looks like a reverse waterfall as the vapor is pulled up into your nostrils from your mouth. To do this, you take a draw on the device and suck the vapor with your mouth open into your nose. It is quite easy to perform. The trick is to inhale the vapor and hold it in your mouth and then inhale through your nose slowly by opening your lips.

This might take some practice but can look really cool when you get it right. The effect can be enhanced by opening your lips wide open while pushing your lower jaw out and releasing the vapor.

The ghost inhale involves pushing a ball or vapor out and then sucking it back quickly into your mouth. It is a bit more difficult to execute. To do this, you inhale and hold some vapor in your mouth, form an “O” shape with your lips like you do while blowing a ring. Push some of the vapor out while relaxing the shape of your lips. Pros advise pushing a thick ball of vapor out with your tongue as you release your mouth. Once you have nailed this bit, you just inhale the vapor ball back in to complete the trick.

Inhaling And Health

It is interesting to note that the method of inhaling can possibly affect your health. Scientists estimate that vaping is safer than smoking by a margin of 95%. However, the danger is not completely eliminated. It still comes from the flavors involved when they are heated up. Though many suppliers are working towards erasing any compounds of flavor that can cause harm, the best way to cut back on the harm is by inhaling less vapor.

From this perspective, inhaling via the DTL methods can be worse than inhaling via MTL. Simply put, inhaling more nicotine with less vapor is better than more vapor with less nicotine. The safest possibility is the cigar inhale method which removes your lungs from the equation completely. Though it is highly speculative, on paper you would still get your nicotine intake with drastically reduced effects of vaping on the lungs.

Finding Your Inhale Style

In conclusion, there is no correct answer to “how to inhale vape”. It is your personalized style that evolved from the correct techniques in mind. Tank manufacturers have neglected MTL vaping in the past few years which is progressing to slowly change with newer dedicated MTL tanks. A lot of smokers and vapers prefer this method. If you are someone who enjoys MTL, go for it. The same goes for DTL and cigar-style inhale. You can forget about the trends and vape in whatever way works for you.

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