How to Inhale Vapor

Are you wondering how to inhale with your vape? Despite the increasing popularity of vaping, many people new to the vaping scene find their first try a little disappointing. 

Often, that's because they aren't used to using a vaping device and are unsure how to inhale properly.

Knowing how to inhale is the key to finding vaping a satisfying, enjoyable experience. With just a little research, you can find the inhalation method that best suits you and take your vaping to a new level.

vape pen components

Do You Have to Inhale a Vape? 

The main way to use a vape is through inhaling into your lungs (either via the mouth or direct to the lungs — we'll look at this in more detail later). However, while many people believe you have to inhale into your lungs with an e-cig to get any effect from it, that's not entirely true.

You can still get an effect from the nicotine in e-liquid without breathing it right in, as the soft tissue in the mouth absorbs it. So, you can still absorb the same amount of nicotine when vaping without having to take the vapor into your lungs.

Many people enjoy the sensation of breathing the vapor cloud right in, but if it isn't for you, don't feel you can't be part of the vaping community. Vaping without inhaling could be said to give you the same results as when you do, so if it suits you, go with it.

How Do I Inhale Vape Properly?

When you begin using an e-cig, you need to know how to inhale the vapor properly. Why?

How you breathe in the vapor can majorly affect your overall enjoyment of vaping. In fact, incorrect inhalation techniques can leave you with an uncomfortable cough.

One of the main things you need to remember when you start using an e-cigarette is that the length of time you need to breathe in is much longer than you might initially expect.

Puffing harder on a vape won't give you a stronger effect; it's the length of time you puff that will alter the nicotine and throat hit levels. Some studies show that experienced vapers get the effect of nicotine more efficiently.

There are two main ways to inhale vape: direct lung and mouth to lung. The technique best for you depends on the kind of experience you want. Below we’ll learn more about the two types:

Direct Lung

Direct lung vaping (DL) is similar to your normal breathing technique. You inhale the vapor right into your lungs in one breath, rather than having it linger in your mouth. When you inhale, it should have the same sensation as sucking air through a straw. This provides a satisfying and intense vaping experience but can be too harsh for some people. It’s also worth noting that this kind of puff will produce the biggest and most voluminous vapor clouds if you’re interested in cloud-chasing.

In simple terms, here's how to inhale with the DL method:

  • Take a quick, extended in-breath to draw the vapor straight into your lungs.
  • Exhale straight away. There's no need to let it linger. 


Mouth-to-lung (MTL) is the other primary method of puffing from your device. Instead of drawing the vapor directly into your lungs, you hold it in your mouth before opening your mouth and breathing in again to inhale the vapor to the lungs.

Step by step, MTL works as follows:

  • Draw the vapor into your mouth. You'll want to inhale it in slowly for a couple of seconds.
  • With your mouth closed, hold the vapor in your mouth for a few seconds.
  • Open your mouth and draw the vapor down into your lungs. This isn't a swallowing action, but more of a deep breath.
  • Exhale.

Cigar Puff

The cigar puff is less common but still a popular choice for those who don't want to affect the lungs at all. Like the traditional method of using a cigar, you only hold the vapor in your mouth and try not to breathe it in any deeper. 

Vaping MTL Vs. DL Vaping

If you're still trying to decide which inhaling method is right for you, working out what you want from your vaping experience might help.

For example, when you choose MTL, you get a more substantial throat sensation than with DL. MTL will make your e-liquid go further than DL and is also a more natural inhalation method for people new to the world of e-cigarettes. For these reasons, most people new to using a vape start with a device suitable for MTL.

If you're looking for a more intense vaping experience and want to create large, billowing vapor clouds, try DL. 

Is There a Right Way to Inhale Vape?

While MTL and DL methods are both popular and suited to particular devices, there's no right or wrong way to puff on your vaping device! Choose whichever method is best for you. 


Inhaling is one of the main components of the vaping experience, so it's important to make sure you get it right to get the most out of your e-cigarette.

To get the best inhalation from your device, make sure the way you want to use it matches the device's specs. Read the instruction manual before you start - this will ensure that you enjoy vaping, and don't make any simple mistakes that could put you off.

Remember, these tips are meant as a starting point for working out how to inhale. What's most important is that you're vaping in the way that is best for you! Ultimately, what you want from vaping will determine how you vape.

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