To Ohm, or to Sub-Ohm: That is the Question

Bill Brink

11th Apr 2023

Aspire Cleito Sub Ohm Tank at

To Ohm, or to Sub Ohm: That is the Question

…that many new vapers are confronted with when selecting the tank and mod to get started with. Let's explore.

Plus-Ohm Vaping

You'll rarely see such a practice discussed these days, with most of the focus on sub ohm tanks with power ratings somewhere between 'high' and 'higher.' But there exists a large, largely quiet community of vapers who prefer the 'mouth-to-lung,' or MTL, style of vaping, where vapor is drawn first into the mouth, then inhaled. This is similar to the draw ex-smokers are familiar with when smoking cigarettes, and was the predominant style of vaping for years.

Why would you want to vape like this, and use coils with a resistance of 1.0 ohm or higher? There are plenty of benefits. The first, and most obvious, is that if you're transitioning away from cigarette smoking, you'll want a style of vaping that's as similar as possible to the way you smoked – if so, MTL may be for you.

Other incentives include the ability to run at lower power settings, conserving battery life. You'll also use less e-liquid, which can be a way to save money if your favorite vapes are primarily found in the super-premium lines. By using less power, you'll also generally create less visible vapor, making 'stealth' vaping possible by holding a mouthful of vapor in until it dissipates, allowing you to vape in places you wouldn't regularly do so (though we can't recommend vaping in places it's explicitly prohibited).

A major drawback is that by creating less vapor and consuming less e-juice, your body is not going to absorb the amount of nicotine that a sub ohm vape would provide – for this reason, MTL vapers usually use a liquid that's one or two levels higher in nicotine strength while quitting in order to keep the cravings for cigarettes at bay.

Sub Ohm Vaping

You've probably heard much more about this realm of the vaping world, with sub ohm tanks increasingly marketed toward 'direct-to-lung,' or DL vapers who inhale off their mods as if they're drawing in straight air.

Why sub ohm? The simple, albeit somewhat juvenile answer is 'Sick clouds, bro!' By delivering more power (read: heat) to your coil, you're able to vaporize more e-liquid at once. More juice burned equals more clouds and, incidentally, more flavor. For this reason, even though cloud production is the dominant reason vapers get into sub ohm use, many end up being just as attracted to the flavor.

While there's no scientific evidence to support the theory, many vapers have reported satisfaction from being able to produce large clouds of vapor as a reason they're able to abandon cigarettes in the long term. Whatever your reason, plenty of devices exist today to make sub ohm vaping both easily accessible and safe if you follow your device manufacturer's recommendations.

There are, of course, consequences to choosing the sub ohm route – the biggest is easily juice consumption. While MTL vapers may use 3-6 ml of liquid in a given day, sub ohming for all but the lightest vapers involves a use rate of 5 ml per day, often more. There's also the risk of nicotine over-consumption, which is why most e-liquid manufacturers have introduced 3 mg and even 1.5 mg offerings to supplement their 6 mg (generally the most nicotine per mililiter sub ohm users will use) and higher offerings.

Once again, we've got to sign off on this tutorial with the standard 'everyone's different, find what works for you' words of caution. Luckily, many manufacturers of modern sub ohm tank include adjustable airflow that can be constricted for MTL use, along with higher-resistance coils that make modern hardware accessible to MTL vapers. If you're on the fence as to what your style might be, we'd recommend looking for a device that offers a wide variety of coil resistances and airflow settings, and picking up packs of both high-and-low resistance coils.