Last updated on May 4th, 2019 at 02:00 pm
One of the best characteristics of vaping an electronic cigarette is that it offers so much more variety when it comes to various vaping styles. Whether it be through different types of inhaling methods or the type of e-liquid you vape. The possibilities arve endless. You’re only limited by your imagination and/or your preferences when it comes to achieving that perfect puff.
If you’ve ever found yourself unsatisfied with your current vaping setup and still find yourself craving cigarettes, chances are that your vape isn’t optimally tuned to your preference. We’re here to help you fix that so read on to find why and how your vape might not be up to snuff and what you can do to fix it and finally reach vaping nirvana.
How to Inhale from Your Vape
Mouth to lung
The mouth to lung vaping style is defined by a tight or restricted draw when taking a puff, intense, warm vapor, and more often than not a high resistance tank or atomizer. Mouth to lung setups typically operate on much lower power settings (less than 30 watts) and feature a narrow drip tip designed to channel flavor and vapor more efficiently despite the lower output. The term mouth to lung is derived from the way users first intake the vapor into their mouth before finally inhaling it to their lungs.
Mouth to lung setups are marketed mainly towards newbies or beginners to vaping. Yet that shouldn’t necessarily be the case as even long-time vapers have found themselves gravitating more towards mouth to lung setups. It’s still all up to preference, so here are a few pros and cons to help you decide if this vaping style is right for you.
The high resistance coils used by mouth to lung setups draw a lot less current from your ecigs battery. This effectively extends the life of a battery before recharging. Another benefit of this is that since larger batteries aren’t really a requirement for mouth to lung style devices, the batteries used are usually smaller making them quicker or faster when the time comes where they need to be recharged.
Due to the lower power requirements need for this type of hit, portable vaporizers are easily designed to be both compact and lightweight. This is due to the much smaller batteries being used. Some mouth to lung devices are even small enough to rival the portability of a single tobacco cigarette, giving former smokers a familiar hand feel when it comes to operating their vape mod.
Limited Vapor Production
Mouth to lung vaporizers use higher resistance coils. High resistance coils don’t consume a lot of power. It stands to follow that less e-liquid is vaporized, producing less vapor. This can be counterproductive to what some users are looking for when looking for a new vape pen so make sure to keep this one in mind.
High Nicotine E-Liquid
Given that mouth to lung style setups vaporize e-liquids at lower volumes compared to direct lung style devices, the e-liquid used in mouth to lung devices are of much higher concentrations of nicotine. Not all e-liquids are available in high nicotine options. This makes finding your preferred flavor or brand of e-liquid a bit harder to find or purchase.
Direct Lung Inhale
Direct Lung style vaporizers are mostly comprised of high powered vape mods with battery ratings around 2000mAh. Coupling the large capacities and high voltages of these batteries with tanks or atomizers designed around low resistance coil builds (aka sub-ohm) makes for a powerful combo when it comes to vapor production.
Direct to lung Inhale kits are also characterized by wide-bore drip tips which are more effective for channeling the large amounts of vapor produced into your lungs. As the name implies, all vapor produced by direct lung style electronic cigarette is inhaled directly into the lungs. Mouth to lung is where vapor is first held in the mouth before being inhaled.
Massive Vapor Production
Thanks to the use of sub-ohm coil builds which draw more current from the battery, vapor production is immensely increased. The fact that sub-ohm coil builds also have a larger surface area for e-liquid stored on the cotton also contributes to this. Sub-ohm coil builds for direct lung vaping aren’t limited to single coil setups.
More Vapor, More Flavor
There are many contributing factors when it comes to achieving strong flavor production with your vape. Some include airflow design, proper coil placement, and coil / wicking material. The general rule is that the more e-liquid vaporized equals to more flavor produced.
Larger Battery Capacity
This varies from device to device, but direct lung style vaporizers tend to use much larger batteries. This also extends to battery count as some mods use anywhere from one to a whopping 5 batteries in tandem, with the latter offering a lot more longevity as a daily driver. The chances of having more than two batteries is very low.
Bulky and Heavy
While there are a good number of compact and portable vape pens out there, the majority of direct lung enthusiasts tend to gravitate more towards setups that use one or dual battery setups. The use of multiple batteries in a single mod inevitably makes the device potentially large, heavy, and sometimes bulky to carry around.
Heavy on Batteries
Due to the sub-ohm resistance builds used on all direct lung style mods, the large amounts of current drawn takes a heavy toll on the batteries. Therefore you shouldn’t be surprised if your sub-ohm setup running on a single battery needs recharging quite often. The frequent discharge/recharge rate of direct lung style devices also means that the average battery life will decrease and will require you to purchase new batteries more frequently
Why is my Vapor too Harsh?
The ideal puff should ideally have just the right amount of throat hit or none at all if that’s what you’re going for. Anything that feels too rough or harsh on your throat just means you need to take a step back. See where you went wrong and make the appropriate adjustments to your mod. Here are a few of the more effective tips to achieve that:
Choose the right eliquid
First and foremost, make sure that you’re vaping with an e-liquid that doesn’t have too much or too little nicotine content. Generally, most direct lung style setups vape the best with 3mg or 6mg nicotine solutions. Mouth to lung setups need a lot more to get that desired throat hit, with a range of 6-18mg/ml. If you find yourself coughing too often when taking a hit, that might be a sign that you need an e-liquid with lower nicotine strength.
If tweaking the nicotine doesn’t do the trick, be mindful of your e-liquid’s VG:PG ratio. VG or vegetable glycerin produces a much more voluminous and relaxed sensation for your throat. PG or Propylene Glycol, on the other hand, can feel a lot harsher on the inhale. Most popular blends hover around 70:30 or even 80:20 when it comes to their VG:PG ratios. These tend to produce the best balance of flavor, vapor, as well as a satisfying throat hit.
Prime the Coils
Chances are that the harshness that you’re experiencing is caused by the coil not being primed properly. If building a coil from the ground up, make sure that there are no hot spots and that the coil heats evenly from the inside-out. If you’re working with a fresh pre-built coil, make sure to “wet” the coil/s and the wick before filling the tank. Then fire the mod at a low wattage (6-12 watts). This primes the coil and the wick for maximum e-liquid absorption
Don’t take hits too often without a break
Another possible cause of your lackluster vaping experience is pretty simple: You’re vaping too fast. This could result in two things, vaping too much in a short period of time can cause what most refer to as vapers tongue. This happens when our taste buds eventually grow “numb” to the flavor. This can be easily rectified by vaping a different flavor of e-liquid or drinking some water to revitalize those tired taste buds.
The 2nd possible result is that by vaping too fast you’re not letting the wick/coil keep up in its wicking of the e-liquid in the tank. This gives you what many know as a dry hit. Instead of vaping mostly e-liquid, you’re instead burning the wick or coil which produces an unmistakably horrible flavor. Avoid this at all costs and reduce your chain vaping frequency to give your coils enough time to wick the e-liquid.
What’s a Throat Hit?
To keep it simple, a throat hit is the feeling you get in your throat whenever inhaling vapor or smoke into your lungs. It goes without saying that most vapers who used to smoke tobacco cigarettes are very familiar with the sensation. This is not to mention that the throat hit is a feeling or sensation that many look for or crave after switching over to vaping.
While many vapers are happy enough with their current vaping setup or experience, many newcomers might feel disappointed with the lack of throat hit they get after switching over to vaping. Getting the right amount of throat hit is easily achievable even when vaping. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
How to Get a Better Throat Hit?
Use a higher nicotine juice
Pretty much 90% of the throat hit experienced when inhaling comes from the nicotine mixed into the e-liquid. So if your electronic cigarette is failing to give you the right amount of throat hit, the first and often easiest step is to switch over a to an e-liquid with a higher nicotine concentration.
Most new direct lung vapers often find that 3mg produces too weak of a throat hit and 6mg to be a good starting point. New mouth to lung vapers should start with at least 9mg and adjust accordingly to their preference. If you find your current e-liquid leaves you hacking and coughing after every puff, that’s probably a good sign to dial the nicotine strength down a notch.
Choose a high PG blend
If you feel that upping your e-liquids nicotine concentration wasn’t enough to do the trick, another viable solution is to look into e-liquids with a higher PG:VG ratio. Propylene Glycol is used as a flavor carrier in most popular e-liquids but it also has the unintentional side effect of making each inhale feel rough, itchy, and slightly irritating if used in high enough amounts. Use this to your advantage to achieve that much-desired throat hit!
While most e-liquid blends are clocked in at a 70:30 VG:PG ratio, there are other niche offerings available in 50:50 or even 30:70 where Propylene Glycol is the primary ingredient. Just take it easy on the PG at first, while the odds are unlikely there might be a small chance that you’re allergic to PG and just don’t know it. Test it out first with a low PG or 50:50 blend first before you decide on going high PG for all your e-liquids.
Increase the power of your device
In some cases, the most commonly overlooked cause of a weak throat hit is that your personal vaporizer isn’t producing enough vapor to supply the required amount of nicotine. In such cases, simply up the power setting on your device (if you happen to be using a variable wattage or variable voltage mod). The increased heat, vapor density, and nicotine delivery are sure to make a noticeable difference in the quality of your vape.
Just be careful when increasing the power on high resistance coil builds as the low mass and small surface area of these coils won’t be able to effectively transfer the heat to the wick evenly and will just end up burning your wick or e-liquid. A safe guideline is to increase the power in 5-watt increments, then getting a feel for that setting if it’s to your liking before deciding to increase the power even further.
Menthol Juices can help
If you’re not keen on high nicotine e-liquids, high powered mods, or high PG blends, a simple workaround is to try out mentholated flavors for your e-liquids. While it doesn’t provide the exact same feeling of a proper throat hit, it does come quite close. If you don’t fancy yourself a fan of mentholated e-liquids, it might be worth looking at flavors that don’t use your typical menthol as a cooling element. Koolada or Ice based flavorings are a great alternative at providing a cooling sensation as well as that throat hit without the sometimes distracting flavor of genuine menthol.
Some of the options listed above might not be applicable to you if you you have a fixed wattage device or just don’t feel like buying more vape-related stuff. A quick and simple solution is to try reducing the airflow on your atomizer. Most tanks and RDAs these days feature adjustable airflows which let you dial in the exact amount of air you’re getting per puff.
Keep in mind as you’re reducing the airflow, this decreases the ratio of air to e-liquid that’s going into the vapor produced by your mod. The end result is a much denser, more flavorful vape that has also has more nicotine packed in it, which should all combine together to provide a much better throat hit overall.
Change out the wick or cotton
When you’ve done all the above steps and are still coming up short in where you want to be throat hit-wise, it might be a good idea to check out the quality of your current coil and wick setup. Often times a well-used coil won’t be as efficient in vaporizing e-liquid as most of the gunk and residue (mostly sweeteners) tend to coat the surface of the coil preventing it from vaporizing e-liquid as it normally would.
A quick solution to this is to remove the current wicking material, give the installed coil a good dry burn for a few seconds, long enough so that any gunk sticking to the coil detaches easily as you gently blow on it. You might notice that your previously dark colored coil turn back into its original silvery sheen. After doing that, feel free to wick the coil and give it another shot. If you don’t feel a remarkable improvement after applying this step, or notice that the coil still looks tarnished after removing all the residue then it might be a good idea to just swap out the coil entirely.
Gentle Vape Hit
Now on the other hand, if you feel that your e-cig is producing too strong of a throat hit and would like a smoother and more mellow vaping experience instead, here are a few things you should do:
Decrease Nicotine Strength
Just as increasing nicotine strength increases the throat hit felt whenever taking a puff, it goes to follow that cutting down on the nicotine in your e-liquid of choice should do the opposite. For direct lung style vapes its not a bad idea to switch over to a 3mg/ml of nicotine. Some flavors are also available in 1.5mg/ml nicotine strength and that’s pretty much the last step you can take before vaping nicotine-free juice.
For mouth to lung vapers, vaping anywhere from 3-6mg/ml nicotine strength is a good idea. If you like the relaxed hit that these provide but feel like you aren’t getting enough nicotine and find yourself in a position where its hard to put down your electronic cigarette, nicotine salt solutions are a definite must try as these pack a whole lot of nicotine in a single puff but without much of the unwanted harshness that regular nicotine e-liquids provide.
Use higher VG liquids
High VG blends are popular for a reason as they produce the best balance between flavor and vapor production so far when it comes to 70:30 or even 80:20 blends. You could also give pure VG a try but be prepared for the lack of flavor as PG is still required as an effective method to carry the flavors over into your vapor. If you’re looking for the absolute smoothest vaping experience however, vaping pure VG is a definite must-try. Just dont be surprised if you find yourself increasing the wattage of your device to get the same amount of throat hit you’d normally get with a 70:30 VG:PG blend.
Lower your power
If you feel that the vapor you’re inhaling is getting a bit too intense for a single inhale, it might be worth a shot to decrease the wattage of your device. Not only will this provide a more relaxed and mellow inhale, but you’ll be helping your battery last longer as well. For most vapers, 35-45 watts should be around the sweet spot for casual vaping on a direct lung style setup, while 12-15 watts should do the trick for mouth to lung vapers. Always keep in mind though that personal preferences are in play here so don’t be afraid to play around with your device’s settings to find the right wattage output for you.
Opening up the airflow slots of your atomizer is a simple and straightforward way of reducing the intensity of the vapor you’re inhaling. The increased air to e-liquid ratio produces a cooler and more relaxed vapor. Also, bear in mind that the drip tip you’re using also plays a big part when it comes to overall airflow. Wide bore drip tips naturally let more in while narrower drip tips choke the airflow, slightly restricting and producing a more intense inhale.