Mouth Hits vs. Lung Hits

vaporizer If you’ve been vaping for awhile, you’ve no doubt heard of the terms “mouth hit” and “lung hit” being bandied about by more experienced vapers. But what does it mean really? Does it concern you as a vaper?

There are vast differences between the two, and users can’t do both using the same vaping setups. But in general, those who prefer flavor over vapor density do “mouth hits,” while those who want massive clouds of vapor use “lung hits.”

So what are the differences between the two?

Mouth Hits

Ex-smokers only know of one way to inhale smoke. Sure there are variations, like primer puffs before inhaling, or letting smoke in through the nostrils, etc. But ultimately, these “tricks” are just versions of what we now call “mouth hits” or “mouth-to-lung inhaling.”

Simply put, mouth hits are when users inhale vapor into their mouth, then breathing it into their lungs. This is the same way smokers inhale smoke, and how all vapers inhaled when they first started using e-cigs.

This type of inhaling is due to the filter in cigarettes needing more pressure to push the smoke through. Thus, smokers have to keep the smoke in their mouths first before inhaling. This technique, of course, translated into vaping and is how most vapers today inhale vapor.

Lung Hits

 As vapers matured, so did the equipment they used and their growing need to produce more vapor. Vapers soon found out that a looser airflow resulted in more vapor. Mouth hits are more difficult to do with a looser airflow; thus cloud chasers suddenly preferred lung hits.

In essence, lung hits are made when vapers inhale vapor straight into their lungs, without holding it in their mouths. For those who can’t grasp the concept, imagine how you inhale air through your mouth and how you suck it straight to your lungs. The same is done with lung hits, but with vapor.

This technique results in more vapor being expelled. However, if you don’t have a setup made for lung inhaling, trying it can result in extremely harsh throat hits and a lot of coughing.

The Difference in Setups

 When it comes to setups, batteries and mods can play a role, but not by much. Atomizer and tank setups are more crucial when it comes to mouth or lung hits. Atomizers and tanks without air flow control are best for mouth hits. Those that do have air flow control, are more favorable for lung hits since users can adjust airflow to accommodate their tastes. The looser the air flow, the better for lung inhalers.

E-juice also plays a huge part in the setup. Most vapers that do lung hits use e-juice with zero nicotine content, or one with a very minimal amount. The average is at 3mg, though some prefer 6mg. It depends on the tastes of the user, but 6mg is the max nicotine content generally used by lung inhalers.

If one wants to try lung inhaling, it’s advised to try it with zero nicotine content e-liquid first. Using e-liquid with 8mg or more can result in a very sore throat and violent coughing. Unlike mouth hits, where one can control the amount of vapor coming in through the lungs, lung hitters can’t. So low nicotine e-juices are recommended to avoid extremely harsh throat hits. Also, nicotine is more potent when inhaled via lung hits. What this means is that 3mg e-liquid inhaled via lung hit is similar to the same hit one gets with 12mg e-liquid via mouth hit. Also, doing lung hits with 8mg or more can result in unpleasant head rushes.

Flavor or Clouds?

 Users who do lung hits are those that choose clouds over flavor. This choice doesn’t mean that they prefer it, but the reality is, to get more clouds means sacrificing flavor.

This is due to a number of factors.

First, in PG/VG e-liquids, the more PG in the solution, the more flavor one gets. On the other hand, more VG means less flavor but more vapor. Thus, when users prefer more clouds, VG-based e-liquid is preferred.

Second, a looser air flow also diminishes the flavor in e-juice since it provides more oxygen to the wicks, thus burning it hotter. A tighter air flow doesn’t burn the wick too much, thus pushing more flavor to the mouth.

Thirdly, since lung hits don’t involve vapor staying in the mouth for too long, this means that the taste buds don’t have enough time to process the flavor. What little flavor is left in the VG solution, doesn’t stay in the mouth for long for users to enjoy.

 Thus, when choosing between mouth hits or lung hits, users would have to choose flavor over vapor, or vice versa. Many users try to find the perfect balance for both: using 50/50 PG/VG ratios, adjusting air flow mid-way between tight and loose, etc. But for the hardcore vapers who only want the most clouds, it’s not unusual to see them use unflavored, pure VG, with zero nicotine as their e-liquid.

So Which is Better?

 Mouth hits or lung hits? Which of these two vaping techniques is better? Mouth hit vapers prefer their technique because of the flavor; while lung hitters choose theirs because of the throat hit and the voluminous clouds it produces.

But if one were to say which is the better technique, the answer is: it depends on what users prefer. No one can dictate the tastes of others.

The debate over which technique is better than the other has led to the rise of two camps: the flavor seekers and the cloud chasers. Both camps often deride each other, but in the end, it’s all just healthy competition.

The important thing, whether one is a flavor seeker or a cloud chaser, is that they are off traditional cigarettes and are well on their way to a healthier lifestyle.


  • Donna

    I still don’t get the lung-hit aspect! If you’re using a zero nicotine, you only do a lung-hit, to see who can make the biggest cloud of smoke???!

    • Ryan

      Didn’t you just answered your own question? lung hit aspect is to see who can make the biggest cloud of smoke.

      • Donna

        I know! I thought there had to be more to it! I’m 55 yrs old & just started vaping 1 month ago, after smoking for 40 yrs., so what seems a little silly to me may not be to younger people! Maybe I will go to a competition something to actually see what they do.

    • Gio

      Not quite. I’d been smoking for 25 years. Not heavily though (about 5-8 per day) and not strong cigarettes either. What hooked me up wasn’t much the nicotine effect but rather the feeling of fullness that the smoke gives the lungs when you breethe it down. When I switched to vaping I looked for what gave me a similar sensation and the closest thing for me it’s a 100% VG liquid. It’s not a matter of “who does bigger clouds” (not for me at least) but more that the thickest clouds give more lung-fullness feeling.

    • Maku Angree

      I’m 21, started vaping a couple of weeks ago (to quit smoking), I had been smoking only for 5 years. When smoking I used to do mouth to lung hits. Now i’m using e-cigs (low to mid strength, iJust s with 6mg) I smoke it purely by using lung hits. What I don’t understand is why people start vaping in any form if you don’t feel the need to smoke but then again I guess it’s the same question…Why did I start smoking in the first place. Anyway I started doing lung hits because I didn’t feel like the nicotine got in my system as well if I vaped mouth to lung but it could all just be psychological. Like the other guy said I love the feeling of smoke hitting the back of my throat and filling my lungs.

  • Vincent Parker

    I just started with a direct to lung vaporizer and I get more taste of my flavored liquid then I ever did with mouth to lung inhaling. And it’s flavor every time. I’m in Heaven with this new vaporizer.