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How To Inhale Vapour

August 25, 2023

Vapes are deceptively simple little devices. Due to developments in technology, once bulky e-cigarettes have now slimmed down while retaining all the punch. But inside these svelte little machines are hundreds of gears, cogs, coils, and wires that circuit together to bring us the delicious vapour we love.

Like vapes themselves, smoking a vape is a bit more complicated than it appears. If you've ever inhaled incorrectly, this is your shame-free opportunity to learn how to inhale e-cigarettes and vapes properly every time.

What Is Vaping and How Does It Work?

E-cigarettes containing nicotine officially became legal across Canada in 2018. Though the popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping has exploded over the past ten years, these small but mighty devices have a much longer history, stretching back all the way to the 1930s.

Vapes were originally invented to provide smokers with the same opportunity to get a hit of nicotine as cigarettes, but without all the baggage that comes with traditional cigarettes. 

Nowadays, there is a stunning variety of electronic vaporizers on the market. There's a range of nicotine strengths, an assortment of flavours, and different models of vapes themselves. 

One thing has remained true of vaping in Canada since it's become legal: it's becoming an increasingly popular activity. According to a study conducted by the government of Canada in 2021, 5% of Canadians reported vaping from an e-cigarette within the past 30 days. That's up from 4% the previous year, meaning vaping is becoming more popular in the provinces.

To vape, all one must do is load the e-cigarette or vaporizer with an e-liquid cartridge (if you're using a disposable vape, like the kind WAKA Vape makes, the e-liquid is already pre-loaded) and inhale. You'll feel a cloud of vapour enter your mouth, and when you steadily inhale, you'll feel it filling your lungs. 

Those are the basic directions for inhaling vapour, but if you want to vape like a pro, there are some different inhalation styles you should be aware of. 

What's the Difference Between Inhaling Cigarette Smoke vs E-Cigarette Vapour?

Cigarette smoke and e-cig vapour may look alike, but they couldn't be more different. On the most basic level, traditional cigarettes create smoke by incinerating dry tobacco. Burning anything alters its chemical composition and produces particles of carbon.

It's these carbon particles that researchers and public health officials warn could have a detrimental effect on your health. The vapour that comes from an e-cigarette is quite different.

E-cig Vapour

When it comes to e-cigarettes, the process looks very similar to smoking. You bring it to your lips, there's an ignition process, and you inhale. But what's behind that process is radically different from traditional cigarettes.

Rather than setting a bundle of tightly rolled, dry tobacco leaves ablaze, e-cigarettes and vapes heat nicotine-infused e-liquid up to a boiling point, turning it into vapour. Once you inhale, it's that vapour which passes from the device into your mouth. Some e-cigarettes require you to press a button in order to initiate the vaporizing process, while others activate as you inhale.

Because they're complex machines, there's a bit more to know about how to properly use a vapeas opposed to how to light and smoke a cigarette.

Cigarette Smoke

There are three main differences between inhaling cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapour:

  • Method of ignition: cigarettes combust rolled tobacco; e-cigarettes vaporize e-liquid.
  • Temperature difference: Vapour feels much cooler on the palette and throat than cigarette smoke because it takes less heat to vapourize liquid than to combust dry goods. This fact plays a role in some consumers' choice of e-cigarettes over the traditional kind.
  • Nicotine Strength: the nicotine strength in e-cigarettes and vapes is much easier to assess and control. While 18mg of nicotine is a standard amount in many e-cigarettes and vapes, the e-liquid capacity and resulting puff maximum vary widely.

How To Properly Inhale a Vape?

Learning how to properly inhale from a vape may be easier for those already who already smoke traditional cigarettes. Data compiled by the University of Waterloo in 2020 showed that the prevalence of e-cigarette usewas much greater among smokers – 47.5% of current smokers had also vaped at the time of questioning, compared to only 13% of non-smokers.

But if you're new to vaping altogether or want pointers on how to inhale more effectively, you can follow this simple, step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Check your vape: You want to make sure that everything is in place before you vape. If you aren't using a pre-filled disposable vape, check to see that the e-liquid cartridge is properly loaded. See that the coils and wick are clean, the vape is fully charged, and the mouthpiece is unobstructed.
  1. Monitor the nicotine level: As noted by the Cleveland Clinic, nicotine has an immediate effect on your brain and body. Nicotine is a stimulant, meaning it causes your brain to produce dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure, wakefulness, and energy. If you're new to vaping, it's better to start with a vape low in nicotine. If your vape is high in nicotine, regulate how much you inhale.
  1. Inhale: Once you've mentally signed off on the vape and its nicotine level, you're good to inhale. But there are two inhalation methods that are worth discussing in detail.


Mouth-to-lung is the most common form of inhaling. It's the method most smokers of traditional cigarettes use, and because of its intuitive logic, it's the better of these two methods for beginners. Holding the vapour in your mouth a moment before inhaling allows the vapour to mellow out, rounding the edges of the hit and providing you with a smoother experience.


  • Best method for nicotine regulation
  • Better for beginners
  • Good for vapes with high-resistance coils and high nicotine content


  • Not suitable for experienced vapers/smokers
  • Doesn't bring in as much vapour


  1. Slowly draw vapour from the mouthpiece of the vape
  2. Hold the vapour in your mouth for a moment
  3. Slightly open your mouth and inhale the vapour into your lungs
  4. Exhale

Direct Lung

Direct lung inhalation, or taking a DL hit, is the method used by most experienced vapers. It's an intense experience, providing you with a more concentrated hit of nicotine and flavour. Some vapers prefer this sensation to take a drag from a cigarette. 


  • Great for low-nicotine vapes
  • Provides more flavour and nicotine per hit
  • Ideal for vapes with low-resistance coils


  • Restricts the kind of vapes you can use to low-nicotine disposables
  • Too intense for some users


  1. Draw out a good amount of vapour from the mouthpiece of your vape
  2. Rather than holding it in your mouth, inhale the vapour directly into your lungs
  3. Exhale

Final Thoughts

The differences between mouth-to-lung and direct lung inhalation methods are subtle but profound. There's no one right way to smoke an e-cigarette or vape. But understanding different inhalation methods will help you at each stage of your vape journey. Check out the entire line of vapes in the WAKA vapes collection if you want a sense of the different nicotine levels in vapes on the market.

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