Vaping 101 – A Glossary

Put together by our friends over at – A fair and balanced website for the Vaping community for people to read and discuss everything to do with eCigarettes & Vaping.

Firstly it’s not smoking! It’s Vaping!

So you’ve recently taken up vaping and left the nasty old world of smoking behind. You’re caught up in this ‘thing’ that has at long last freed you from the poison that was surely killing you. You’ve added years to your life, you’ve added health back to your life…why wouldn’t you be caught up in the excitement of vaping? It’s only natural.

Visiting websites to learn more and more about vaping can be a lot of fun, not to mention all the tips and tricks you can pick up. You learn which brands are right for you and which ones to avoid. You even get the opportunity to read what others say about certain electronic cigarettes and e liquid so you waste a minimal amount of money blindly choosing products based on pure marketing language. You’re spending more and more time reading than you ever have, and participating in forums as well. But, as with any new endeavor there is a learning curve. Learning curves suck.

One of the things every Vaper must pick up pretty quickly is the accepted terminology, or Lingo, that’s used in reviews, commentaries, and forum posts. That takes time, and until you learn them you’re only getting a portion of the information you need. Wouldn’t it be great to have a all the common vaping terms in one place, with an easy to understand explanation as to what these terms mean?


Analogue – 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 vapourizing eliquid into inhalable vapour.

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 vapourizer, 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 vapour 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.
vapour – 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)


E-juice, e-liquid, juice – the liquid nicotine that you fill your cartomizers with.
PG – Propylene Glycol
VG – Vegetable Glycerin(Glycerine = glycerin = vegetable glycerin(e) = glycerol)
PEG – Polylethylene Glyco


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

APV: Advanced Personal vapourizer (APV) a more advanced version of a personal vapourizer. 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 vapour 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.

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 vapourizes the e-liquid. This generates the vapour.

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.

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.

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.

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 vapour or the same amount twice as fast from the standard.

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.

CASAA: Consumer Advocacy for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association. A non–profit organization campaigning on the behalf of electronic cigarette users.

Coil: A coil is generally a piece of nichrome or kanthal wire that has been wrapped around a kind of wick. Current flows through the coil; the coil gets hot, and vapourizes your e-liquid.

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. `

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.

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.

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.

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

Drip: To drip drops of e-liquid into an atomizer.

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 vapour, throat hit and flavor. No e-liquid delivery system is involved from a typical electronic cigarette system.

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

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 vapourizer) (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 vapour from vapourization 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 vapourizers”(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 vapourize. E-liquid is vapourized by the heating element and this vapour 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.

Filler Material: This is the filling inside a blank cartridge or cartomizer. It is designed to soak in the e-liquid and direct it to the heating element.

Flooding: This occurs when too much e-liquid has flooded an atomizer (atty) or cartomizer (carto) and results in poor vapour and can cause “gurgling”.

Gurgling/Bubbling: 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.

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.

IMR: Lithium Ion Manganese Rechargeable Battery.

ICR: Lithium Ion Cobalt Rechargeable Battery.

Juice: Also know as e-liquid.

Kanthal: One of two types of resistance wire used for a heating coil in either an atomizer or cartomizer. The other is Nichrome.

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 vapour more quickly. Lower resistance produces more vapour than an atty or carto that has a standard resistance rating.

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 vapour 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 level of nicotine found in e-liquid. Typical levels are 0mg, 6mg, 8mg, 12mg, 16mg, 24mg, 30mg, 36,mg and 48mg.

Mod: A custom built PV device.

Modder: A person who is a Modder, modifies an electronic cigarette to their preference. Often to improve the mod device to be more powerful than a typical e-cig.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Standard Resistance: (SR) A standard resistance atomizer is 2.5 ohms.

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

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.

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.

Vaping: The act of using an electronic cigarette. Power is supplied to the heating element that vapourizes the e-liquid and vapour 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 vapour produced when the atomizer heats e- liquid.

Vapour: The water vapour that is produced when the liquid is heated by the atomizer or coil.

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

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.

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

Vapour Production: This indicates how much vapour 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 vapour 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: A wick is an absorbent material that is used in many different styles of atomizers. A type of poly or silica string or number of strings is often used for the wicking. (Wicking) also refers to the act of directing the e-liquid from the container to the heating element.