Is direct to lung vaping bad for you? Let’s clarify

Is direct to lung vaping bad for you?

Published on: 18/05/2023


Smokers who are about to begin their journey into the world of vaping know that it is an essential step towards reducing health risks and gradually freeing themselves from the addiction to cigarettes. At the same time, taking it means the onus is on them to quickly learn the basics they need to know about the ideal device to start with.

About this, there is a very frequent doubt: is it sensible to consider buying an atomizer for DTL vaping? Or is this way of using an electronic cigarette harmful and should it not be considered?

We will try to answer this question in the following article.

What is DTL?

Direct to Lung vaping (or DTL) is a slightly different way of using an electronic cigarette from the classic one.

Let me explain: most atomizers are designed for Mouth to Lung (or MTL) vaping in such a way that they faithfully reproduce the way traditional cigarettes are smoked. Simply put, you activate the e-cig, inhale the vapor inside your mouth and then inhale it into your lungs. This is also how you do it with cigarettes.

What is DTL?

DTL vaping, on the other hand, is a bit like breathing through a snorkel during a scuba dive. You don’t inhale the vapor in two moments: with one deep inhalation you get it directly into your lungs.

You have probably already observed a DTL vaper. You know those who take a puff from their electronic cigarette and then exhale huge clouds? There, those guys are most likely using a DTL atomizer because these devices are designed to produce large amounts of vapor. In slang they are said to be useful for ‘cloud chasing’.

Read also: Alternatives to the traditional cigarette: which is the best one to successfully overcome nicotine addiction?

Do DTL smokers take more nicotine?

Since lung e-cigarettes produce large amounts of vapor, one might ask: are they therefore potentially more dangerous to health than MTL e-cigarettes?

To answer this question, let us start by considering their nicotine content.

It is well known that this molecule, in addition to being addictive, can strain the cardiovascular system and increase the incidence of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as high blood pressure, if taken over a long period of time. However, DTL vaping does not necessarily mean inhaling more nicotine than one would with a MTL device.

You see, the concentration of this substance is not identical in all e-cigarette liquids. As a rule, e-liquids for MTL vaping contain much more than those used with lung e-cigs. It is difficult to give an exact estimate on this, but analyzing the vapers’ products in circulation one can arrive at the following conclusion: on average, cheek liquids contain 8/9 mg nicotine per ml. DTL ones, on the other hand, around 3 mg per ml.

In short, as far as nicotine is concerned, DTL vaping does not necessarily imply an increased health risk. It all depends on the vaper’s habits with regard to:


  • the preferred nicotine concentration
  • the precise amount of liquid consumed each day.

DTL vs. MTL vaping: let’s try to use common sense

In the previous paragraph, we focused on the effects of nicotine, but what can we say about the other ingredients in e-cigarette liquids? Can they pose such health risks that, since DTL vaping is characterized by the consumption of large quantities of e-liquid, they are more dangerous than MTL vaping?

Unfortunately, scientists have never carried out any major studies comparing the harmfulness of these two modes of e-cigarette use. But we can try to give an answer using common sense.

DTL vs. MTL vaping

On the one hand, we know that numerous studies have shown that e-cigarettes are a significantly less harmful alternative to cigarettes. On the other hand, however, it is also true that the vapor from e-cigs is certainly not pure air. And, although less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, e-cigs can also undermine lung health if used for long periods.

This is the reason why we have repeatedly stated that e-cigs should only be considered as a tool to help smokers quit smoking: those who do not use traditional cigarettes would do well not to consider starting vaping.

Having found that e-cig vapor is not totally harmless to the respiratory system, it would be plausible that by increasing the amount of vapor inhaled (even disregarding liquid nicotine) the health risks would also increase accordingly. For this reason, common sense leads one to think that DTL vaping might be less healthy than MTL vaping.

However, in the future, science may give us a precise answer on this and confirm, or totally disprove, this thesis.

Read also: How long does the liquid of the electronic cigarette last (on average)?

In conclusion

In this article, we examined DTL vaping, explaining what it consists of and comparing it to MTL vaping. As regards the possibility that it is the least healthy way of using e-cigarettes, common sense would suggest that this doubt is well-founded. However, we cannot be certain of this until scientific research is conducted specifically to resolve the question.

In any case, whether you vape MTL or DTL, keep in mind what I explained earlier: e-cigarettes are infinitely less harmful than cigarettes. If you have a smoking habit, you can overcome it thanks to vaping. And in Terpy‘s store you can find everything you need to say “no” to tobacco forever.