The Definitive Vaping Terminology for 2018

The Definitive Vaping Terminology was put together by our staff because it  is one of the things every Vaper must pick up pretty quickly to understand the words, or terms, used in our reviews, commentaries, and even external forum posts.

Below is our list of words or abbreviations, or acronyms that you’ll find invaluable as you move through the stages of being a Vaper. Oh, and by the way, Vaper, with a capital V, is a noun that refers to a person who vapes.

First we present both an abbreviated version, and below that the complete glossary of vaping terminology in use today.


 Analog – Refers to a Tobacco Cigarette, which are deadly, smelly, and poisonous. So horrendous we can’t say cigarette anymore without retching.

Atomizer or Atty – (ˈætəˌmaɪzə) or atomiser n

1. (Tools) a device for reducing a liquid to a fine spray, such as the nozzle used to feed oil into a furnace or an enclosed bottle with a fine outlet used to spray perfumes or medicines
2. (General Engineering) a device for reducing a liquid to a fine spray, such as the nozzle used to feed oil into a furnace or an enclosed bottle with a fine outlet used to spray perfumes or medicines… Used today in our community to represent the act of vaporizing eliquid into inhalable vapor.

Electronic Cigarette, also e cigarette, or e-cigarette, or eCigarette, or eCig, and even e-cig. – These words all refer to the devices that we now use instead of ‘analogs’. They can range from everything from the ‘smaller than an analog’ device like an NJOY, or as big as Doctor Who’s ‘Sonic Screwdriver’, the iTaste 134.

ELiquid or eJuice, or e Liquid, or e Juice, or E-Liquid, and E-Juice – The liquid part of the whole vaping thing. ELiquid comes in an infinite number of flavors and PG/VG ratios, it can contain nicotine or not, and it ranges from “junk juice” to “Spinfuel Choice Award Greatness”. Before buying eLiquid see if Spinfuel has written a review for it.

Mod – This is a casual term, used in a variety of ways, to describe a ‘homemade device’ otheriwise known as the stupid way to vape, or a modified Person Vaporizer, also stupid, to an electronic cigarette that is completely mechanical, no electronic involved, and even as a way to describe ANY eCigarette. Every time you hear the Mod just think eCigarette and you’ll do fine.

Mechanical Mod – A mechanical mod, or mech-mod, is an electronic cigarette that lacks electronics, it’s basically a flashlight with an 510 or 801, or eGo (see eGo), or even a 901 thread connector. They can be a very afford sub-$50 device all the way to the absurd amount of $3000+. They output 3.7v or 4.2v, depending on the brand and the model.

  • Pull, or Drag, or Puff – This refers to the act of sucking on the mouthpiece (drip tip) to ‘pull’ the vapor into your mouth. If you have ever smoked this one should be easy, it’s the same thing as puffing or dragging on the end of… what is it? Analog, that’s right!
  • TH or Throat Hit – That tingling, thump sensation in the back of your throat that a long drag on an analog would produce. The throat hit, believe it or not, is part of the overall satisfaction of the vaping experience. It’s not mandatory, but most Vapers want some kind of a Throat Hit. It is created by the presence of PG (Propylene Glycol) and/or the amount of nicotine in the eLiquid.
  • Vapor – the “smoke” emitted from an e-cigarette
  • Vape, Vaping – The use of an e-cigarette (similar to the term “smoking” when referring to an analog)
  • Topping off – Adding drops of e-liquid to your current cartomizer.
  • Dripping – Vaping by adding a few drops of e-liquid directly on the atomizer instead of using a cartomizer.


E-cig or E-cigarette – Electronic Cigarette

PV – Personal Vaporizer (think e-cigarette that has been beefed up)

APV – Advanced Personal Vaporizer

Atty – Atomizer

Cart – Cartridge

Carto – Cartomizer

Bat – Battery

Filler – The fiber found inside your cartomizer that holds your e-liquid

Tank – Sub-ohm or otherwise – usually made with glass and stainless steel)

  • PCC – Personal Charging Case
  • PT – Passthrough or passthrough battery
  • 2-piece/Disposable – 2 part e-cigarette. The Battery and a “cartomizer”.
  • Cartomizer – An atomizer built into the cartridge, marketed as disposable (you throw it away when the e-liquid is used up).
  • Cutoff – Refers to how long the battery will activate the atomizer before shutting down (safety measure to protect the atomizer).


  • E-juice, e-liquid, juice – the liquid that you fill your cartomizers/clearomizers/tanks with.
  • DIY – Do it yourself (homemade e-liquid mixture)
  • PG – Propylene Glycol
  • VG – Vegetable Glycerin(Glycerine = glycerin = vegetable glycerin(e) = glycerol)
  • PEG – Polylethylene Glycol
  • Noob – Beginner
  • FDA – Food and Drug Administration
ECA – Electronic Cigarette Association
NRT – Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patch, gum, e-cig)
PH – Public Health
BP – Big Pharmaceutical Companies
BT – Big Tobacco Companies
ALF – American Legacy Foundation
‘Anti’s – Anti-smoking people who do not acknowledge that vaping is a viable alternative to smoking analogs.
RYO – Roll your own (tobacco)

The Complete Glossary of Vaping Terminology




American Wire Gauge (AWG) –  The standard used in the United States to determine the resistance and diameter of the electric wire used to create the coils in atomizers.

Analog: What Vapers call a traditional tobacco (or real) cigarette where the electronic cigarette is “digital”.

Anodizing–  A coat (a metal, especially aluminum) with a protective oxide layer by an electrolytic process in which the metal forms the anode.

Aqueous Glycerine (AG) – Another term for glycerol. The process in which a VG e-liquid is thinned with deionized water, making it less viscous, or thinner and easier to use in an atomizer.

APV: Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) a more advanced version of a personal vaporizer. It may consist of a larger battery and advanced technical features such as variable voltage or variable wattage.

Adapter: Adapters allow a specific style of cartomizer or atomizer to fit onto a different style battery. Some users may prefer the vapor production of one style of atty but prefer the battery life of another style battery. It all has to do with thread compatibility and mating them together.

All Day Vape: The e-liquid you most rely on or favor. That e- liquid you constantly vape because it never gets old, it doesn’t cause “Vapers Tongue”, and an eliquid in which the inherent flavor doesn’t cloud over after extended vaping.

Atomizer: (Atty): The heating unit of the electronic cigarette. Metal wire wrapped around a core and is contained in a metal housing that screw into the battery. When electricity from the battery is applied it vaporizes the e-liquid. This generates the vapor.

Automatic: (Auto) A battery that when taking a draw activates the heating element. No button is used to activate the heating element. An internal sensor activates automatically when air is allowed to follow through the battery.

Automatic Shutoff –  A ubiquitous safety feature found on practically every personal vaporizer that only allows the discharge of a battery for a set period of time. The average shutoff time today is 10 seconds, however it is usually a smaller amount of time in cig-alikes and disposables.


Battery: (Batt) The battery provides power to the atomizer/cartomizer or preferred topper when the user draws on the mouthpiece. It is in general lithium-ion, ranges in many sizes. Some of the smaller “mini” batts have an LED on the end to simulate the heat glow from what an analog cigarette creates when a draw or puff is taken.

BCC– stands for bottom coil clearomizer. The atomizer coil sits at the bottom of the clearomizer or tank.

BDC– Another term sometimes used for “Bottom dual coil clearomizer

Blanks – Cartridges and cartomizers with dry poly-fill or cotton material that is used to absorb e-liquid.

Boost – The circuitry of a regulated mod that will allow it to fire above the applied voltage.

Box Mod – A box mod is any Personal Vaporizer or Advanced Personal Vaporizer that is designed and constructed in the shape of a myriad number of box. A Box Mod comes in several different maximum wattage output . Modern wattage ratings for box mods are: 30-60 watts; 80-100, watts; 100-300 watts.

Bridge: A U or V shaped covering on top of the heating coil of some atomizers. An absorbent material designed to wick e- liquid from cartridge filler to the heating element usually covers it.

Blank (Cartomizer): Often referred to as an empty cartridge. Comes in various threads, 510, 808, and 901.

Brick and Mortar  (B&M) – A physical store where electronic cigarettes or other vaping related products are sold.

Buck – The circuitry for a regulated mod that allows it to fire below the voltage applied by the user.

BVC – Abbreviation for Bottom Vertical Coils.

Burner – Slang for a  traditional cigarette/cigar or other combustable tobacco product.


Carcinogen – Any chemical, compound, or other substances believed to cause cancer. E-liquid, despite being  heated to extremely high temperatures may produce some carcinogens, though the amount has never reached unsafe levels according to most respectable scientists and medical professionals. Controversial topic that leans toward the benefits of vaping over smoking.

Cartridge (Cart) –  A plastic or metal mouthpiece that is usually the second part of a 3-piece setup, the other pieces being the outer part of the atomizer, and the drip tip (mouthpiece).

Cartomizer: (Carto) The cartomizer combines a heating element and a juice delivery system into a single unit. It is disposable and not considered to be refillable, although many users manage to do so. Cartomizers can come in a single coil, dual coil, or even a triple coil configuration. Single coils use one coil and our standard in cartomizers. Dual coils have two coils and our commonly used in tanks. Having more than one coil has the ability to produce twice as much vapor or the same amount twice as fast from the standard.

Cartomizer – Dual Coil –  A dual-coil cartomizer in which utilizes 2 coils.

Cartomizer Tank: A cartomizer tank is a tube to hold e- liquid. The cartomizer sits in the middle of the tube and will have a hole punched in the bottom so that the e-liquid can feed itself into the cartomizer.

Cartridge: (Cart) The cartridge is typically a mouthpiece that is made of plastic and houses the filler material with your e-liquid. Charger: A battery charger is used to recharge your e-cig battery once it has been depleted.

Cartomizer Punch (Carto-Punch) – A device used for punching holes in cartomizers that do not have them for the purpose of allowing more air to mix with the e-liquid and coils, producing more vapor production.

CASAAConsumer Advocacy for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association. A non-profit organization that campaigns for the rights of vapers.

Ceramic Coils – Porous ceramic material, food grade or medical grade, used in the construction of an atomizer heating element. Some ceramic coils use cotton, some are cotton-free. Ceramic Coils are making a big comeback for their remarkable flavor fidelity and durability.

Cig-A-Like– Any personal vaporizer that has the similar appearance of a traditional cigarette. Mini-batteries with a cartomizer. Common brands include Blu Cigs, South Beach Smoke, VUSE, and various disposables with a similar design. Disposable Cig-a-likes are usually larger than rechargeable Cig-A-Likes.

Coil: A coil is generally a piece of Kanthal A1, Ni200 (Pure Nickel), Ti (Titanium) SS (Stainless Steel) and NiChrome wire that has been wrapped into a coil shape and then attached to posts on “Decks” in an RDA, RBA, RTA, as well as clearomizers, tanks, and cartomizers. The current then flows through the coil when electricity is sent to the wire from a battery. The coil gets extremely hot thereby vaporizing e-liquid to form clouds of vapor.

Clearomizer: (Clearo) A clearomizer is the transparent version of a cartomizer. Designed to allow users to see how much e- liquid they have left. Many have ml graduations for the capacity of e-liquid left. Made of very easily breakable plastic in order to remain transparent. A wick or wicks are generally used for the juice delivery to the coil. There are top coil and bottom coil configurations. Many versions are constantly evolving in order to improve the performance the user desires. `

Charger – A battery charger used to recharge your electronic cigarette batteries once it drains below the needed power level to vaporize e-liquid. Spinfuel recommends NiteCore Charges only.

Clapton Coil – An effective coil build made with a one-size gauge of wire with a tightly wrapped smaller gauge of wire. The word Clapton comes from the famous guitarist Eric Clapton because a Clapton Coils looks a lot like a guitar string.

Clouds (of vapor)– Due to the high density of water content in vapor.  It is the vapor that is exhaled when vaping electronic cigarettes.

Coil Jig – A popular device that is used by many coil builders use when building coils. Using a Coil Jig makes the job of wrapping a coil much simpler than using anything else, including a drill bit or screwdriver.

Coil Winder – A tool that is used to wrap excellent coils consistently.

Connection (Connector)– A connection, or connector, is the threaded piece that allows the user to screw an atomizer/cartomizer/clearomizer or tank into the battery/mod.

Custom Mods– Any vaping instrument that was hand-made from various parts that were not designed for mods. A custom mod can made with wood, glass, and various metals. Steampunk mods are often custom mods that appeal to vapers that enjoy steampunk art.

Cut-Off: Cut-Off or stopping point. Automatic shutdown is a feature which happens if you take to long a draw from an e- cigarette. This shutdown feature generally happens after a 5- 10 second draw. This feature aids in preventing the atomizer/cartomizer from overheating. Following a cut-off, some e-cigarettes will flash the LED indicating a cut-off is in effect from a long draw from the user.


DCA / 306DCA– Abbreviation for the 306 Drip Cup Adapter, (306DCA).

DCT: Dual Coil Tank. A tank with a dual coil cartomizer inserted in the middle with pre-slots punched into the bottom to so that e-liquid can feed itself into the cartomizer.

De-wick: Removing the wick from an atomizer.

Debridge: Removing the bridge (and wick) from an atomizer- common practice for people who direct drip.

Diacetyl – Diacetyl is a chemical in flavoring used in some e-liquids. Mainly for it’s buttery flavor. Has been blamed to cause Bronchiolitis obliteran (Popcorn Lung) if inhaled in large concentrations, such as factory workers in a popcorn factory. Most e-liquid vendors claim to have stopped using flavorings with Diacetyl in it.

Digital Cigarette– An uncommon, alternative name for an Electronic Cigarette.

Disposable E-Cig: The disposable e-cigarette usually comes with no charger or way to charge it. It is designed to be used once and to last long enough for you to vape through 1 prefilled cartomizer. It is a 1-piece design. It is said to last up to 24 hours.

DNA– The DNA 30, 40 and DNA 200 chipset are a circuit boards made by Evolv. Since the DNA 40 Evolv has added Temperature Sensing, the ability to shut down the power to a coil once it has reached a certain temperature set by the user. All DNA boards have a maximum temperature setting of 600F. Until early 2016 a DNA board could only use Ni200 (Pure Nickel) in Temperature Sensing mode. In early 2016 Evolv issued a Firmware upgrade that allowed the user to use Titanium and Stainless Steel coils in Temperature mode. (See TCR Values)

Doubler– A double-strength flavour, intended to be used in 50/50 PG/VG blends but can be used in any PG/VG ratio blend.

Dragon Coil – A Dragon Coil can be a macro or micro sized coil. They are wrapped normally but the wick is wrapped outside of the coil so that air can flow through the inner diameter. A Dragon Coil may increase vapor production with enough air flow.

Draw–  When Vapers inhale on the electronic cigarette mouthpiece it is referred to as a draw, or pull, or drag. The draw can be tight for mouth-to-lung inhales or Lung Hit inhales, in which the vapor goes directly from the drip tip to the lungs.

DIY: Do It Yourself: Anything that involves doing it yourself. Often involved in mixing e-liquid with its components.

Drip Tip: A drip tip is essentially a mouthpiece to be used on an atomizer for dripping. The tip has an enlarged opening allowing you to drip e-liquid directly into it. Drip tips are also used on cartomizers, replacing the existing rubber mouthpiece that comes with them to provide a more comfortable experience. Drip tips come in many different colors, styles, and materials.

Dripping: Dripping is the act of allowing e-liquid to manually getting to the heating element by “dripping” e-liquid onto the heating element directly. Some consider “dripping” to provide the best vapor, throat hit and flavor. No e-liquid delivery system is involved from a typical electronic cigarette system.

Drip Kit– A Drip Kit is a collection that includes a battery, an atomizer chamber, and drip tip, designed specifically for vapers that enjoy dripping.

Drip On-Demand (DOD)– An add-on piece that is used to feed e liquid into the atomizer by squeezing the bottle. It makes dripping easier. Also known as using a Squonk bottle.

Drip Shield– The drip shield is a round, metal or plastic tube that slips over an atomizer. If leaking ever occurs on an atomizer, the liquid will leak into the drip shield instead of leaking onto the device. The Drip Shiled then returns the excess e-liquid to the atomizer to be used again.

Dry Scratchy Hits: This can occur when not enough e-liquid is supplied to an atomizer or cartomizer, resulting in poor vapor and flavor.

Dry Burn/Hit–  Firing an atomizer on a battery without e-liquid to saturate the wick, which then results in the coil/cotton heating up. Dry Burning is sometimes used to clean off the coil by burning off impurities. Ceramic Coils are now popular and Dry Burns are used almost exclusively to clean the ceramic material.

Drip Well: The drip well is typically a bowl shape on a mod where the atomizer female connector resides. The well is designed to catch any excess e-liquid that may have leaked from the atomizer.


Electronic Cigarette: (E-Cig) – (E-Cigarette) – (Personal Vaporizer) (PV) The electronic cigarette is a revolutionary new device that acts much the same way an ordinary tobacco cigarette would, however rather than producing smoke from combustion, it produces vapor from vaporization of the e- liquid. Some e-cigarette systems our 2-piece or 3-piece design. Battery plus attached cartomizer, or battery, an atomizer and a cartridge. Many Vapers refer to their electronic cigarettes as “Personal Vaporizers”(PV)

E-Cigar: Short for electronic cigar.

E-Pipe: The E-pipe acts and use’s the same components of an electronic cigarette, but is designed to resemble a tobacco pipe.

E-Liquid: (E Juice) The liquid that is used to vaporize. E-liquid is vaporized by the heating element and this vapor is inhaled to create the sensation of smoking. Typically contains Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Nicotine and Flavoring. Nicotine is optional.

eGo Style: A style of electronic cigarette, which utilizes the 510 threads and allows one to use 510 components but with a much larger battery and charge capacity. The eGo is a very popular e-cig amongst Vapers.

eGo Threading – The Standard Threading, based on the Ego battery.  The battery has male threading and the base of the cartomizer has female threading.

E Juice (AKA e-Liquid)– The solution that is vaporized from within an atomizer tank, comprised of, Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and/or Nicotine and Flavoring. Also referred to as E-liquid, Juice, or Smoke Juice.

Electronic Cigar– An electronic vaping device shaped to look like a traditional tobacco cigar.

Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA)– An industry group formed in early 2009. It is made up of suppliers and manufacturers who combined resources to help keep the e-cigarette as a legal option for smokers in the USA.


Filler Material: The material used for filling the inside a blank cartridge or cartomizer. It is designed to soak in the e-liquid and direct it toward the heating element (coils).

Flooding: Flooding occurs when too much e-liquid has flooded an atomizer or cartomizer. Flooding results in poor vapor and can cause “gurgling” and spit-back.

Flavor Cartridge– Another term for a cartridge, containing nicotine and flavors.

Flavors – Refers to the particular flavor used for e-liquid.

Flavorings – A liquid made by food manufacturers used to enhance the flavor of practically anything. Food grade Flavorings are most commonly used in e-liquids, though more and more flavorings are being created for inhalation purposes.

Fluvial – A Fluvial is a type of foam filter used in aquariums, but it has been used to replace the old fiber filling found in most electronic cigarette cartridges. This is not an accepted practice anymore, and it never really was.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – An administrative branch of the United States Government that oversees the rules and regulations pertaining to the safety of food and drug products sold in the USA.

Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde as it pertains to vaping can be produced much like acrolein; when e-liquid is heated to insanely high temperatures,  it is also known as a human carcinogen.

Fuse– A specially designed fuse for use in mechanical mods to prevent several types of battery failure.

Fused Clapton – A Clapton coil that has two or more wires in the core  as opposed to one in a regular clapton coil.


Genesis Atomizer–  An RBA that uses stainless steel mesh as a wick instead of the typical silica and sits on the top of a tank (usually made with glass) with one or more holes in the deck leading into the tank. Many atomizers are designed using a variant of the Genesis Atomizer.

Glassomizer– A clearomizer that uses glass rather than plastic for the tank. Glassomizer’s are being replaced by glass and stainless steel tanks.

Goose Neck– A flexible extension for vaping instruments. Goose necks come in assorted colors and sizes.

GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe)– This acronym was created by the FDA to ensure people that the product that they are using is considered generally safe.

Grub Screw – A type of screw used in atomizer posts. The tip is pointed to better secure wires, and they are very small. Most RBA’s RDA’s and RTA’s come with ‘extra’ grub screws because they are so small.

Gurgling: Usually occurs when too much e-liquid is supplied to a given device resulting in flooding. Another cause is condensation built up in the air passage.


Heatsink – Heatsinks are fins or protrusions on a mod, atomizer, or drip tip designed to dissipate heat by allowing more airflow over more surface area.

Heat Steeping – Heat steeping is the process of speeding up steeping by placing one’s e-liquid container in a hot water bath or in a hot environment for any length of time.

High Resistance (HR): An atomizer or cartomizer with a higher Ohm rating than the standard equipment. This will allow the user to apply higher voltage to the coil.

Hit– The inhalation of vapor, also known as a drag, a puff, and a draw.

Hot Spot– An area of excess heat on the atomizer coil. Hot Spots are a known cause of Dry Hits because of the uneven heating of the coils.

HVHigh Voltage – A device that operates above the standard 3.7 volts.

HH – High Wattage – A device that operates above 75W.

HV Atty– Any atomizer designed for higher voltage vaping, not for use with standard batteries due to its low power.

HV Mod– A dual battery or boosted supply mod (modification) that allow high-power vaping.

Hybrid, Hybrid PV, Hybrid Mod– A vaping instrument designed to fit together as one seamless unit. The eGo One, eGo AIO, Endura M18, M22, etc.


IMR: Lithium Ion Manganese Rechargeable Battery.

ICR: Lithium Ion Cobalt Rechargeable Battery.

Inception Coil – A nano coil inside a macro coil made from one continuous piece of wire.

Inhale -The act of breathing in the vapor from an electronic cigarette.


Joules – A unit of power used in temperature controlled mods. It is equal to the energy transferred  when applying a force of one newton through a distance of one metre (1 newton metre or N. m), or in passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second.

Juice: Also know as e-liquid, smoke juice, et al.


Kanthal A1: One  type of resistance wire used for a heating coil in either an atomizer or cartomizer. The others include Nickel or Ni200, Titanium or Ti, Stainless Steel or SS, and Nichrome or NC.

Knuckle Head: This is a type of adjustable drip tip. It can be adjusted to almost any angle the user desires. With the advent of wider drip tips the Knuckle Head drip tip is fading away fast.

Kick/Kicked – Another way to describe throat hit –  The Personal Vaporizer add-on that allows the user to  convert a standard Tube Mod into a Variable Wattage device. The huge popularity of Box Mods have caused Kick devices to virtually disappear off the market.


Leaking – E liquid can leak out of the bottom of the clearomizer/atomizer/cartomizer and onto the battery, which in some cases can cause damage to the device and causing a shortage.

LED– The end of most electronic cigarettes contains a light for a realistic effect and to alert the user when the battery needs recharging.

Liquid – Also referred to as e liquid, e juice, smoke juice, or just juice. This is the liquid that is vaporized when using an electronic cigarette.

Li-Po– The Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery; made of different material than the Li-Ion batteries.

Lithium Ion Batteries (Li-Ion)– Considered the strongest and most powerful batteries in the electronic cigarette market, coming in many different sizes and shapes.

Low Resistance: (LR) An atomizer or cartomizer with a lower Ohm rating than the standard equipment. It generally causes the heating element to get hotter faster and produces vapor more quickly. Lower resistance produces more vapor than an atty or carto that has a standard resistance rating.

Lung Hit – An alternative to mouth to lung hits, lung hits are inhales of vapor straight to the lungs.


mAh: The term “mAh” references to Milliamp Hour.

Manual: A style of electronic cigarette that has a button (mounted usually on the top side of the battery) that when pushed, activates the heating element. The button must be pushed in order to produce vapor from the atomizer/cartomizer. It is considered by some to be less like a traditional cigarette than the automatic electronic cigarette. Many prefer this style due to it being sealed and cannot be adversely affected by e-liquid.

Mini: A smaller than average sized e-cigarette.

Milliliters: (mL) The amount or portions measured in a given container.

MG: Milligrams (MG) –  The amount, or levels, of nicotine found in an e-liquid. Typical levels are 0mg, 1.5mg 3mg, 6mg, 8mg, 12mg, 16mg, 24mg.

Mod: A custom built vaping instrument device. The word ‘Mod’ has begun to be used for any vaping instrument.

Modder: A person who designs and builds custom vaping instruments, or can modify an electronic cigarette to his/or preference. Often to improve the mod device.

Mouthpiece: A mouthpiece sits on and is inserted into an atomizer or cartomizer. A drip tip is often referred to as the mouthpiece.

mA– 1/1000th of an amp. This number is most often used in reference to the output of chargers.

Macro Coil -The opposite of micro coils, in size, with macro coils being much larger wraps that touch each other. The increase in surface area will increase vapor production when used with the proper setup.

Manual Shut-off– A safety feature found on most manual devices that allows the user to turn off, or on, the battery with 5 clicks of the button in rapid succession. It’s a good habit to turn off the mod when not using it. It will increase the time between battery charges.

Mechanical Mod (Mech Mod, Mech PV, Mech) – An electronic cigarette that lacks  electronics or wiring, it’s just a metal tube with a mechanical switch that holds a battery and a connector for a topper of some sort.

Microcomputer– The smart chip that signals the battery to send a charge of power directly to the atomizer. Combined with the right atomizer wires and/or ceramics, a microcomputer may affect the ramp up time.

Microprocessor– The part of the e-cigarette battery that is responsible for controlling the heater and the indicator LED light.

MG strength -(Milligram strength per millilitre-(ml) -This  relates to the percentage of nicotine contained within the e-liquid. For example, 8mg is 8mg of nicotine per ml = 0.8% nicotine

Micro coil– A type of wire coil where the coil is wrapped so that the loops of the coil are all touching, requiring more wraps than a traditional coil.

Miligrams (Abbreviated as mg) – The unit of measure for how much nicotine is in a cartridge.Typical levels include 0mg, 6mg, 8mg, 12mg, 16mg, 18mg, 24mg, 30mg, 36mg and 48mg.

Milliliters (mL)– The amount of liquid in a given container.

Mini– Smaller than the average e-cigarette, the mini-cigarette is actually the same size as the average e-cigarette.

Mod– Short for modification. This originally referred to modifying a flashlight or a battery to be used in vaping, but is now commonly used to refer to any vaping device that is not a cigalike.

Mouthpiece– The end of the e-cigarette the user puffs on, and places to their mouth. Some mouthpieces come as a drip tip or cartridge.

Mouth-to-Lung Hit – Vapor is pulled into the mouth first and then inhaled into the lungs. Most cigarette smokers use this technique. Some vapers use it with smaller atomizers, higher ohms, and tighter Draws from the drip tip.

MV (Multi-Voltage)– These are rare vaping instruments that offer several different voltage settings predetermined by the manufacturer.


NiMH: Ni-MH stands for Nickel-Metal Hydride. Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries have no Cadmium added. Cadmium is hazardous to the environment. When using Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries, charging should be monitored to avoid overcharging. Nickel Metal Hydride has no memory effect and can be charged or topped off at any time without affecting battery life.

Nicotine: An alkaloid found in tobacco and other plants of the nightshade family.

Nichrome Wire– The resistance wire used in atomizer coils. Patented in 1905, it is made from nickel, chromium, and (often) iron. A common ratio is 80% nickel to 20% chromium. Generally considered the inferior of the two commonly used atomizer coil materials in cartomizers/clearomizers/atomizers.

Nic Juice– Nicotine liquid; and it’s also short for nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco

Ni200/Nickel Wire – Wire that is pure nickel, it has very low resistance and is used with temperature controlled mods. Never use Ni200 with regular VW.

Nicotine (Nic)– The substance found within traditional and electronic cigarettes that creates a pleasant sensation. An alkaloid found in tobacco and other plans of the nightshade family. It is available in various strengths, but also optional as some e liquids have the option of no nicotine.

Nicotine Level– The designated amount of nicotine per cartridge. The nicotine level is the amount of nicotine present in a cartridge or bottle of e-liquid. It is usually measured in mg/ml.

Nicotine Liquid– The nicotine solution that is vaporized in the e-cigarette. The liquid is contained in the cartridge.

NiMH– Ni-MH stands for Nickel-Metal Hydride. Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries have no Cadmium added. and no memory effect so it can be charged or topped-off at any time without affecting battery life.

No Resistance Wire– Conductive wire that is used in RBAs to complete a circuit to the atomizer coil. This wire does NOT heat up.

NRT – Common acronym for Nicotine Replacement Therapy


Ohm: A measure of electrical resistance. A lower number indicates lower resistance and therefore creates faster heating.

Organic Cotton Coils– A coil setup originated by Kangertech with the launch of the Subtank line. It features a larger heating section, with the addition of the Japanese organic cotton that lasts longer than the majority of other, cheaper cotton coils.

OLED – A light-emitting diode containing thin flexible sheets of an organic electroluminescent material, used for visual displays, including many of the “better” vaping instruments.


Parallel – Batteries are wired into a mod parallel to each other, increasing battery life at the cost of voltage

Passthrough – A device that plugs directly into the USB port of a computer or charger and allows the user to vape without having to worry about battery life.

PCC -Common acronym for Personal (or portable) Charging Case. This allows an electronic cigarette battery to be stored in and charged from the PCC battery while away from other power sources.

PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) – Polyethylene Glycol, a less common ingredient found in e liquid. It is a  newer alternative to the main ingredients in used in making e liquid (PG and VG) that has been used in the last few years.

Pen Style – One of many styles of electronic cigarettes available, resembles a ball point pen.

Personal Charging Case (PCC)– A slim and compact case that is designed to hold and charge e-cigarettes.

Personal Vaporizer (Abbreviated as PV) – Another name for an Electronic Cigarette, usually in reference to the more untraditional style e-cigs.

Propylene Glycol (PG)– One of two main substances used in the making of e-cigarette liquids.

PGA– Pure Grain Alcohol. This is recommended to be the highest proof vodka you can get your hands on legally. 151 proof is the minimum needed for use in thinning of VG in 100% VG e liquid. It can also be used as a base in a tincture in order to create your own flavorings for DIY applications.

Pipe Style– The Pipe style electronic cigarette is also known as an E-Pipe.

Poly-fill–  Another term used for filler.

Primer– Some companies use a VG based primer for preservation and shipping. The primer is used inside the atomizer and on the coil.

Propanediol – An alternative to PG discovered by Five Pawns and produced by Dupont. Dupont will not sell to anyone using it for e-liquid.

Protected (batteries) -The battery has a computer chip that protects the battery and breaks the circuit in the battery from completing if the voltage goes too high or too low, the current goes too high or the cell temperature rises too high.

Priming/Prime – The act of preparing a wick to vape, usually done by adding a few drops and soaking the wick in e-juice or taking a few pulls without heating the coil. This is not relevant for drippers/drip-style atomizers.

PTB (Pyramid Tea Bags)– Some vapers find this material works better than the polyester fiber filling found in most electronic cigarette cartridges and cartomizers.

Puff– The motion the smoker uses on the e-cig to get a hit.

Pull– Also known as the draw, or hit. What the smoker does to get the vapor hit from the e-cig.

Pass-through: A Pass-through can be either a device itself or part of an electronic cigarette or mod. It is the device itself, you can connect your atty or carto to it and then plug it into the USB port of a computer or USB wall adapter. It receives power through either. Pass-through is built into many electronic cigarettes and mods allowing you to use them while they are charging.

PCC: Personal Charging Case. A device that is charged first and then is used to charge you’re electronic cigarette while on the go and away from an electrical outlet. Many PCC provide extra storage room for an additional battery and cartomizer or carts.

Pen Style: A style of electronic cigarette, known for its resemblance to a ball point pen.

PG: Propylene Glycol (PG) Propylene Glycol is used as a base carrier for the nicotine and flavoring. Propylene Glycol has been deemed generally safe to be used in medical products as well as in food products for general consumption. Some people have reported having an allergic reaction to PG.

Primer: Many companies use a VG based primer for preservation and shipping. The primer is used inside the atomizer and on the coils. Many Vapers prefer to blow out the primer out of the atty, as the taste is less than desirable.

PV: Personal Vaporizer. Another term for electronic cigarette and more commonly used in the vaping community. It uses an atomizer / cartomizer to vaporize the e-liquid needed to create a vapor for inhalation and exhalation.

Pull: The draw you take from your electronic cigarette.


RBA: Rebuildable Atomizer: Rebuildable Atomizers vary in design. Some have a fabric wick, while some stay more pure from burning elements and use SS mesh and kanthal wire. Rebuildable atomizers are meant to save on cost and be readily fix-able. Some incorporate a tank for holding e-liquid.

Rayon-An alternative to cotton, stainless steel, ceramic and other types of wicks. Used for (subjectively) cleaner flavor than cotton.

RDA: Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. – 

Resistance– The measurement of ohms that allows you to calculate the right amount of voltage to apply to get the best wattage necessary.It comes in two common different variations; low and standard.

Resistance Wire– The wire that is used in an atomizer coil and heats up when an electrical current is applied. It is typically made from Nichrome or Kanthal.

Ribbon Kanthal, Ribbon Wire, Ribbon– A type of resistance “wire” used for building coils. Ribbon wire has a flat cross section rather than round, as with traditional wire.


RTA/RDTA – Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer –


Spit-Back – 

Smokeless Cigarette: This term is used to refer to an electronic cigarette. It is used commonly due to the fact that no actual smoke is inhaled or exhaled while using an e-cig.

Stick Style: Another term used to describe electronic cigarettes that are of or close to the size of a tobacco cigarette.

Stacking: Stacking is the act of using two batteries in series instead of one battery. You should always use matched battery pairs, and devices that have vent holes, and batteries that have protection built in.

Steeping: The act of letting your e-liquid sit for a length of time. The purpose is to allow the components of the e-liquid to merry or intermingle and mature. Some users will try an e-liquid immediately after receiving it and find it unfavorable. By letting it sit for an allotted amount of time and retrying it later can improve the flavor. Sometimes a couple of days or as much as a week or two of letting the juice steep will make a e-liquid taste great. Opening the cap and letting air into the bottle is sometimes also a preferred method of steeping, along with shaking the bottle to mix the components.

SB (Silver Bullet)– The Silver Bullet PV sold by Smokeless Image.

Sensor– The part of the e-cigarette battery that detects when the user has taken a drag.

Series – Batteries are wired into a mod in series, increasing voltage at the cost of battery life.

Silica– Material used for building wicks. This is generally used to refer to braided silica cord. Silica has a very high melting point, so it can be cleaned with an open flame like a butane torch.

Smart Chip– A computer chip located within the e-cigarette battery that allows it to function.

Smoke Juice – Also referred to as E-Liquid, Liquid, Juice, or E-Juice. This is the liquid that is vaporized when using an electronic cigarette.

SmokTech – A chinese company most known for its cartomizers, cartomizer tanks and PV’s.

Smokeless Cigarette – A term used to refer to an electronic cigarette. This term is used due to the fact that no actual smoke is inhaled while using an e-cig.

Squonk – Squonk box mods are mods that have a modified 510 connection where a bottle of juice is in the mod and can be squeezed (squonked) to push liquid into the cartomizer, rda, or tank from below.

Stacking– A risky practice of stacking batteries to create more power than one battery alone can achieve.

Standard Resistance– A standard resistance cartomizer is typically 3.0ohm. A standard resistance atomizer is 2.5ohm.

Starter Kit – A kit that typically includes everything needed to begin vaping. Most starter kits come with 1 or more atomizers, 1 or more batteries, a charger and 4 or 5 pre-filled cartridges.

Steeping– Allowing your e liquid to sit either open to the air, or in a sealed container. This is generally not necessary in e liquid that has a high ratio of PG to VG. It is more often necessary in  high VG ratio juices.

Stick Style– Any electronic cigarette that resembles the style of a traditional cigarette.

Stovetop coil – Stovetop coils are coils built to resemble the heating elements on electric stoves. Massive surface area is possible, some claim they can produce insane amounts of vapor.

Subbing: See sub-ohm. Coil or coils with an ohm reading below one are used to create more vapor by offering higher coil temperatures.

Sub-Ohming– The practice by experienced vapers to increasing the current from your specific battery and by (using the principles of Ohms Law), reduce the ohms of the coils below one to achieve massive vaping clouds.

Syrupy – Some e-liquid are very sweet. Syrupy is often used to describe them.

Sweet Spot– The balance of several  variables needed to achieve a satisfying vape. These variables are most commonly; voltage, wattage, resistance, and the flashpoint of the juice.


Tailpiping– Direct Dripping without a Drip Tip

Tank– A special type of cartridge that holds considerably more liquid than cartridges with filler. Usually used with a cartomizer and sometimes an atomizer.

Temperature Control – Temperature Sensing – Temperature Control (sensing) works by simply monitoring the changes of resistance in a coil and using these changes to estimate temperature changes. It is successful because resistance increases are undeviating and anticipated with temperature changes, though the amount of the increases varies greatly between the different wires that are used. For more on that, see our advanced article in the Knowledge Base for Coil Wire Coefficients.

TCR – Temperature Control in vaping is made possible only when a wire has a realistically high Temperature Coefficientof Resistance (aka TCR). This Coefficient has a mathematical value that specifies how much resistance will rise for any given temperature increase, relative to its starting resistance of course. When the coefficient is said to be ‘high resistance’ it will increase as the temperature increases. When the coefficient is low the resistance rises only a negligible amount.

Thermal Runaway– A very rare but serious occurrence. A chain reaction that results in the fire and bursting of a rechargeable lithium based battery. This happens from a couple different possibilities: overcharging, short circuiting, stacking batteries, physical damage to the battery and other PV malfunctions.

Throat Hit– The feeling an e-cigarette smoker experiences when the vapor hits their throat. Most desire it to feel like a cigarette with a full, yet smooth hit. This is commonly felt with PG juices. Check out our PG vs VG page for more information.

Tiger Coil – A coil wrapped with a strand of regular kanthal twisted with ribbon wire.

Titanium wire – Alternative to nichrome, nickel, and kanthal wires. Can provide a cleaner flavor but tends to be harder to work with than kanthal. Often bursts into flames during dry burns. Is excellent for use with temperature controlled devices.

Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR)– Policy or practice of providing less harmful nicotine-containing products.

Toot– Also known as Pull or to draw from your electronic cigarette.

Topper– A device that goes on top of an electronic cigarette battery/battery holder

Topping Off– Adding a few drops of e-liquid into a cartridge, cartomizer or tank.

Triple-Coil Cartomizer – A newer type of cartomizer that employs three coils providing about 1.6ohms of resistance. They vape strong, slightly more so than dual-coils, and come in several sizes.

Tube Mod– Any PV or APV that comes in a tube shape about the size of a small flashlight.

TH: Throat Hit (TH) Throat hit is the sensation that is felt in the back of the throat when inhalation is taken from the mouth down the throat. Some factors to the throat hit felt are, the nicotine level used, and or the quality of the e-liquid. Higher levels of nicotine generally give a greater throat hit. Personal vaping habits or techniques are also factors for throat hit.

Topping Off: Adding a few drops of e-liquid onto a cartridge or cartomizer or tank are called topping off.

Toot: Another term used to describe the pull or to draw from your electronic cigarette.


Unicorn bottle – E-liquid bottles that hold 15 ml or 30ml with an easy to use tip for dripping. Great for carrying liquid when traveling or out on the town as an alternative to the shorter, fatter bottles.

Unprotected Battery– Any lithium based battery that has no protection for the overcharging or other situations that can cause thermal runaway.

USB Charger– An e-cigarette battery charger that lets you charge by connecting the battery to your computer’s USB port.

USB passthrough-See passthrough.


Vapegasm– The experience you get when you put on a new atomizer or cartomizer. That first taste you get from your favorite e liquid.

Vapor’s Tongue – A common problem among many vapers when they vape too much of one particular flavor, and the taste buds become desensitized to that flavor.

Vape Whore–  (1) Someone who is constantly vaping; also known as a pacifier vaper (2) Someone that only ever signed up for a site or forum community to try to win prizes. They don’t contribute much, if anything,  and are only there to win free gear or eliquids.

Vapor– The atomization of e liquid which results in vapor clouds that are exhaled as water vapor (steam). This is the  visible factor in vaping that simulates smoking, but is an infinitely safer alternative.

Vaporizer– A vaporizer turns a liquid into a gas or a vapor. This is also another word used for electronic cigarette.

Vapor Production– Typically associated with e-liquids and the amount of vapor they are capable of generating with the right gear. Vapor Production indicates how much vapor is produced using a lung hit style of vaping.

Vaping (vape)-Using an electronic cigarette is called ‘vaping’. It is similar to the term ‘smoking’ when referring to someone using an analog cigarette.

Vented Battery Cap– Holes or series of holes that allow for the battery to vent harmful gases in case the battery goes into a thermal runaway.

Vent holes– Special holes made in the casing of high-end vaporizers or custom mods, to vent battery gases away from the face in case of a battery explosion.

Venting a Battery – The process where a battery is taken beyond its specifications and gas is then released from the battery.

Vertical Coil – Instead of building coils horizontally, a vertical coil is rotated 90 degrees so as to stand upward. A vertical build often allows for better airflow when using a rebuildable dripping atomizer.

VG (Vegetable Glycerine)–  An ingredient found in e-liquid. It has a sweet taste and low toxicity, it is thicker than Propylene Glycol and is usually used where thicker liquid or thicker vapor is desired. Can also be used for vapers that have a sensitivity to PG. Modern day e-liquids are higher in VG than e-liquids prior to 2015.

Voltage– The amount of kinetic energy which, for vaping purposes, when paired with ‘resistance’, creates wattage.

VV (Variable Voltage)– Any device that allows the user control over the voltage output of their device.

VV Mod– A variable voltage mod. a VV mod usually has a removable battery. Users can change the voltage in either direction to find the sweet spot.

VW (Variable Wattage)– Any device that allows the user control over the wattage output of that device across the atomizer coil. This is different than a VV device because the voltage is calculated to arrive at the set wattage.

Vaping: The act of using an electronic cigarette. Power is supplied to the heating element that vaporizes the e-liquid and vapor is then taken into the lungs and provides the sensation of smoking along with nicotine if it is present in the e-liquid.

Vape: The electronic version of “to smoke”. Refers to as such because of water vapor produced when the atomizer heats e- liquid.

Vapor: The water vapor that is produced when the liquid is heated by the atomizer or coil.

Vaper: A person who vapes. A smoker smokes. A Vaper vapes.

Vaporizer: The Vaporizer turns a liquid into a gas or vapor. Another term used for electronic cigarette, e-cig, PV, etc.

Variable Voltage: (VV) Variable Voltage allows you to control how many volts your device will produce. With a variable voltage e-cig, you have the ability to dial in the voltage by a click of a button or sequence. A typical voltage range for variable voltage is 3.0volts – 6.0volts and VV device’s can change these volt settings in .01 increments.

Variable Wattage: (VW) Variable Wattage allows you to control how many watts your device will produce. Variable wattage will allow you to set the wattage, no matter what resistance atomizer or cartomizer you use with the device. Variable Power (VP) is also used to describe variable wattage.

VTC: Stands for Variable Temperature Control

VTF: Stands for Vapor – Throat Hit –  Flavor

VV/VW: Some advanced personal vaporizers, incorporate both variable voltage and variable wattage features.

Vapor Production: This indicates how much vapor is produced using an average inhale of an e-cigarette.

Vent Holes: Vent holes are used on the bottom of electronic cigarettes and mods. They are designed as such to vent gases in the event of a battery failure.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG): commonly referred to as VG in Vapers terms, it is a compound that comes from vegetable oil, in particular palm or coconut. It has powerful humectant properties which means it is able to retain moisture. It is clear, colorless and very sweet. It is used in e-Liquids to amplify vapor production and as a sweetener. Because some people have light to severe reactions to PG (propylene glycol) they may seek e-Liquids that are higher in VG content. Considered safe for human consumption, it is a vital component to a well- balanced e-liquid.

Voltage: Volts are supplied to the atomizer or cartomizer from the battery. Many electronic cigarettes supply approximately 3.7V. Multi voltage devices have a range of predetermined voltage settings.


Watts: Watts is a measurement of power that is the function of the voltage of your electronic cigarette or mod and the resistance of your atomizer or cartomizer. Watts = Voltage (squared) of your device divided by the resistance of your atomizer or cartomizer.

 Wick– Wicks are used to deliver e-liquid to the coil in electronic cigarettes. Most atomizers use a wicks that are most commonly made with organic cotton. Before cotton the most common wicking material was silica cord. However, wicks can also be made from rolled up steel mesh, fiberglass, and ceramic materials. Ceramics is a fast-growing segment of the vape industry.

Wicking– The process of osmosis where more concentrated fluid moves to an area of lesser concentration in an effort to find equilibrium.

Wire– Generally refers to resistance wire used in building coils for atomizers.

Wrap – One revolution of a wire during the process of building coils. Wrap refers to the process of “wrapping” a wire around a tool, usually a coil jig or drill bit or even a screwdriver.




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