Newcomers to the vaping scene will no doubt encounter more than a few “vaping terms” from vendors and advanced users alike.
To avoid being left out, QuitDay.org has compiled a vaping glossary to keep you abreast of all the terms that get thrown around.
26650 – The largest-sized battery used in advanced e-cigarettes and PVs, these are usually used by sub-ohm vapers, or users who use atomizers with resistances less than 1 ohm.
306 – A type of disposable atomizer, it uses the same thread as a 510 atomizer. 306 atomizers usually have low resistance, and 510 users often use these types for their increased vapor production.
401, 402, and 403 – Also called m401, m402, and m403, these are types of e-cigarettes that are virtually identical except for the battery length, with 401s being the longest and 403s the shortest.
510 – The most common and popular style of atomizer, its threading has become the industry standard with most atomizers, cartomizers, clearomizers and tanks using it.
808 – Also called KR808, it is one of the many styles of e-cigarettes.
901 – Atomizers with a female thread, these cannot be used with PVs using 510 threading unless an adapter is used.
16340 – The smallest of the batteries used in advanced cigarettes, these are usually used in series or parallel.
18350 – A battery preferred by advanced users for its diminutive size, these are usually used in stealth mods.
18500 – A size larger than 18350s, 18500s offer longer battery life, although they are less popular than 18350s since many users feel that the size increase is not worth the slight bump in mAh.
18650 – The most popular battery size for advanced e-cigs, these batteries give users decent power and battery life with less bulk than 26650s.
Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) – Also referred to as mods (or modified e-cigs), these units are larger, have replaceable batteries, and can either be mechanical, variable voltage, or variable wattage.
AFC – Air flow control. This refers to a small dial (sometimes a screw) found in atomizers and clearomizers/tanks to adjust the drag of an e-cig.
Airflow – The amount of air sucked into an atomizer or tank. Looser airflow results in more vapor, while tighter airflow results in less vapor but more intense flavor.
All Day Vape – A term used to refer to the type of e-juice you prefer over others, i.e., “This strawberry tobacco flavor is great, it can be my all day vape!”
Allen Key or Wrench – A small tool usually used to adjust Allen screws in a rebuildable atomizer or tank.
American Wire Gauge – Also called AWG for short, this is the U.S. standard for wire sizes that determines a coil’s resistance when rebuilding—the thicker the wire, the less resistance.
Amps – Short for amperage, this is the flow of energy along a circuit. Batteries with higher amps can better handle atomizers with lower resistances without overheating.
Analog – The slang name for regular cigarettes.
Atomizer – Also called “atty” for short, this is the part of an e-cig that houses the coil and wick that is heated to produce vapor from e-liquid.
Automatic – A mode of e-cigarette wherein the battery automatically heats the atomizer without users having to press a button. This is activated by a sensor in an atomizer which detects when the user draws air from it.
Automatic Shutoff – A safety feature found in most regulated e-cigarettes, this prevents overheating of the battery. If the e-cig detects overheating, the unit will shut off automatically.
Battery – 1.) The main part of an e-cigarette, the term usually refers to vape pens and cig-a-likes that don’t have replaceable batteries. The two types are manual and automatic. Automatic batteries are switched on by inhaling, while manual batteries require the user to press a button found on the side. 2.) For users of PVs and mods, this refers to Li-ion batteries used to power their devices.
Box Mod – A type of APV that’s shaped like a box, these come in either mechanical or variable configurations. Some box mods are capable of housing up to four 18650 batteries. Typically wider, some users prefer these over tube mods for their shorter (thus, more pocketable) length. Box mods are also more powerful than their tube counterparts, with power outputs ranging from 20 watts to 200 watts.
Bridge – This is the part in disposable atomizers in which e-liquid is held, and is usually coated in steel mesh.
Cartridge – A small mouthpiece filled with Poly-Fil to hold e-liquid, it’s attached to an atomizer and usually comes pre-filled.
Cartomizer – An atomizer and cartridge in one, cartomizers are longer than regular atomizers, hold more e-liquid and are disposable. These are also available as punched (for use in tanks), and with dual coils.
Clouds – A term that describes vapor production, i.e., “My current vape setup is capable of producing massive clouds!”
Coil – The part of the atomizer used to heat or vaporize e-liquid.
Connection – A term used to describe the type of threading your e-cigarette uses for atomizers.
Custom Mod – An APV or PV that’s not factory-built. Usually handmade, these are often assembled using mostly common household items.
Cutoff – A safety feature in e-cigarettes, cutoff refers to the amount of time one can take a drag from an e-cig before it cuts off power to prevent overheating. Cutoff times in regulated e-cigs typically range from 10 to 15 seconds.
DCT – Stands for Dual Coil Tank. This is a type of tank or clearomizer that uses punched cartomizers with an e-liquid capacity ranging from 3ml to 6ml.
Deck – The part of the atomizer in which the positive and negative posts are found. This term is usually used to describe rebuildable atomizers, with larger decks being easier to rebuild on.
DIY – Do-it-yourself. This usually refers to homemade e-juice.
DNA – A chip made by Evolv, this is a variable wattage board whose name is generally used to describe any mod with an Evolv chip.
Draw – A term to describe the act of inhaling vapor from the mouthpiece to your mouth.
Drip (Dripping) – To refill an atomizer via drops of e-liquid straight onto the coil of an atomizer.
Drip Shield – The name for an external cover used to slip onto atomizers to catch leaked e-juice and return it to the atomizer. This prevents e-liquid from spilling onto your e-cigarette.
Drip Tip – An accessory used to replace the stock mouthpieces of atomizers with a large hole to allow dripping without their removal.
Drip Well – A term to describe the bowl shape near an e-cigarette’s connector. It’s designed to catch leaking e-juice to prevent spillage.
Dry Burn – This refers to the firing of an atomizer, without any e-juice, until the coil glows red to burn off dried e-juice residue.
Dry Hit – A term that describes taking a drag off your e-cigarette that’s run out of e-juice.
Dual Coil – Atomizers, cartomizers or clearomizers with two coils instead of one. This gives off more vapor at the expense of reduced battery life.
eGo – One of the more popular models of e-cigs, these are a little larger than standard vape pens, with either an eGo threading, 510 threading or both (via adapter).
E-Juice (E-Liquid) – The solution that’s vaporized to create vapor, e-juice comes in a variety of nicotine strengths and flavors. It is made from propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavoring, and nicotine (there are also some without nicotine).
E-Cigarette – The name used to describe a device that gives smokers an alternative means to satisfy their nicotine cravings. At its most basic, it’s comprised of a battery and atomizer, with e-juice added, from which vapor is created.
Filler Material – Also called “filler” or “Poly-Fil,” this is the absorbent material used inside cartridges and cartomizers to hold e-juice, which is then delivered to the atomizer to be heated.
Flavors – *see E-Juice
Flooding – This is what happens when an atomizer is overfilled. A flooded atty is characterized by reduced vapor production accompanied by gurgling noises.
FDA – The administrative branch of the United States government in charge of the rules and regulations involving the safety of all food and drug products sold in the country.
Forums – Internet community boards from which most vapers glean information, news and announcements.
Genesis Atomizer – A type of atomizer or tank that uses steel mesh instead of silica or cotton. The coil is situated at the top of the tank, with juice delivered by way of osmosis.
Heatsink – Fins or layers protruding from an atomizer, drip tip, or e-cigarette, heatsinks are designed to dissipate heat more quickly.
High Resistance – An atomizer with a high ohm reading, this is used for high voltage vaping.
Hot Spot – Coils with glowing spots that indicate uneven wrapping of the coil. This often results in dry hits.
Hybrid – Also referred to as hybrids or hybrid mods, these are e-cigarettes with a battery holder and atomizer designed as one unit for a sleek and seamless look.
Inhale – The act of breathing vapor into your lungs or mouth. There are two kinds: lung inhale and mouth-to-lung inhale. Lung inhaling is when vapor goes straight to your lungs. This is often used by cloud chasers and high wattage users. Mouth-to-lung inhale is when vapor is inhaled to the mouth, then to the lungs. This type is the most common, and is the same kind of inhale used by cigarette smokers.
Juice – A shorthand term for e-liquid.
Kick – A.) A term used to describe throat hit. B.) A chip made by Evolv that’s inserted into mechanical PVs to convert them into variable voltage/wattage devices.
Leaking – When e-juice leaks out of an atomizer/tank/cartomizer, etc. This can cause damage to e-cigarettes if the e-juice starts to leak into the battery.
LED – Stands for “light emitting diode.” This is the light on the ends of cig-a-likes to simulate the glow of traditional cigarettes. It also doubles as a warning light when the battery need to be recharged.
Liquid – Another shorthand term for e-liquid.
LR (Low Resistance) – An atomizer/cartomizer/clearomizer with a low ohm rating. Usually, these are coils built with 1.5 or lower ohm coils. The lower resistance produces more vapor at the expense of reduced battery life.
mAh – An abbreviation of milliampere-hour, this is the term used to describe a battery’s capacity to store energy. The higher the mAh, the longer its life before needing to be recharged.
Manual – A style of e-cig in which a button needs to be pressed before vapor is produced.
Mechanical Mod – Also referred to as mech mods, mech PVs, or mechs, these are e-cigarette models that don’t have any wires or regulating chips. Usually made of a metal tube with a manual switch that is pressed to complete the circuit, mech mods can also come in box shapes, or in converted battery cases, mint cases, etc.
mg – Stands for milligram strength per milliliter. This is used to determine the nicotine strength of e-liquid. For example, “6mg” means 6mg of nicotine per ml, or 0.8%.
Mini – A term to describe smaller, stealthier versions of standard e-cigarette models.
Mod – Short for “modifications,” e-cig mods usually employ larger batteries to give users longer battery life and stronger vapor production at the cost of size and portability. Mods are built to give users the ability to experience optimal performance of their equipment. Mods are available in mechanical or variable versions.
Mouthpiece – The end from which users inhale vapor. This can either be built-in or customizable using drip tips.
Mouth-to-Lung Hit – Also called “French inhale,” this is the traditional way of inhaling smoke by cigarette smokers. For vapers, vapor is inhaled into the mouth, then inhaled to the lungs. While providing less vapor than direct lung inhalers, this method provides more flavor.
Nicotine – Also called “nic,” this is the substance found in cigarettes and some e-liquid to give smokers and vapors what is called a “nicotine high.” Nicotine by itself is as harmless as caffeine, with both being vasoconstrictors. E-liquids have varying amounts of nicotine, ranging from 0% to 5.2%.
Noob – A term used to describe beginners, it is short for “newbie.” However, since e-cigarette use is not at all difficult to learn, most users are considered noobs for only a week or so.
Ohm – The unit of measurement used for electrical resistance. A lower ohm reading for coils means hotter and thicker vapor, while a higher ohm reading means cooler vapes.
Organic Cotton – A type of wick that’s gaining popularity for use in rebuildable atomizers and tanks, organic cotton burns quicker than silica but offers cleaner, more intense flavor.
Parallel – When mods that can use two batteries are wired as parallel, this gives increased battery life, effectively doubling the mAh. Voltage and voltage drop remain the same.
Pass-through – When an e-cig model is described as having pass-through capabilities, this means the unit can be used while it is charging, connected to a cable. It can also refer to pass-through models in which no batteries are present, but are instead powered by plugging the USB cable into an adaptor, computer or power bank.
Pen Style – A type of e-cig that’s shaped like a pen, these are usually the kind found in starter kits.
Personal Vaporizer – Also called PV for short, this is another name for e-cigs, particularly for mods and nontraditional cig-a-like units.
Propylene Glycol (PG) – One of two base substances used in e-liquid. PG is an over-the-counter substance used in many foodstuffs.
Poly-Fil – Another name for the filler found in cartridges and cartomizers.
Primer – Also called “primer liquid,” this is a VG-based solution applied to the coil and wick of atomizers to prevent drying out during shipping and storage.
Protected Batteries – Batteries that have a built-in chip for safety by breaking the circuit once voltage becomes too high or too low.
Priming – Before using a new atomizer, a few drops of liquid are added then made to sit for a few minutes to let the e-juice saturate the wick fully. The same holds true for newly filled tanks, cartomizers, and clearomizers.
Rebuildables – This can refer to either tanks or atomizers that let users rebuild their own coils and wicks. Used mostly by advanced users, rebuildables allow vapers to adjust resistance, change out different wicks, and experiment with various setups to achieve their preferred vapes.
RDA – The abbreviation for “Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer”
Resistance – Measured in ohms, resistance depends on the thickness of wire used in a coil, the number of coils, the circumference of the coils, and how thick the coils are wound.
RBA – Short for “Rebuildable Atomizer”
RTA – Short for “Rebuildable Tank Atomizer”
Series – For mech mods with dual battery configurations that are wired in series, this effectively doubles the voltage output at the expense of battery life.
Silica – The most common material used for wicks, these have high melting points and can be torched or dry burned to remove dried residue from e-juice.
Smoke Juice – Another term for e-liquid.
Smokeless Cigarette – A term used to describe e-cigarettes due to the lack of smoke they produce.
Starter Kit – A package offered by most vendors that usually has everything one needs to start vaping, including: one or two e-cigarettes, one or two atomizers/clearomizers, a charger, and/or a pack of pre-filled cartridges.
Steeping – A term used by DIY e-juice makers to describe the act of letting newly mixed e-juice sit open to the air for at least six hours to let the ingredients settle.
Sub-ohming – A practice used by experienced vapers to produce massive clouds of vapor by building coils with ohm readings below 1.0 ohm.
Sweet Spot – What one achieves after tinkering to get the perfect vape. From getting the right resistance, the right e-juice and the right nicotine level, to getting the right wattage or voltage, to using the right PV or e-cig for your purpose.
Tailpiping – Direct dripping and inhaling without a drip tip.
Tank – Clearomizers with bigger capacity enclosures made of glass or plastic, which are able to hold larger amounts of e-liquid. They can either be fitted with punched cartomizers, pre-built coils or rebuildable decks.
Throat Hit – The sensation after vapor hits the throat. Many vapers look to simulate the harsh throat hit of cigarettes, while some prefer a smoother throat hit.
Triple Coil – Seen in cartomizers and in rebuildables, triple coils produce massive amounts of vapor, though battery life is reduced because of the added draw on power.
Tube Mod – A term used to describe e-cigs or PVs that come in a tube shape about the size of a small flashlight.
Unprotected Battery – A type of battery without protection. Some are made of safe chemistry materials that don’t react violently, while others may leak if not used or charged correctly.
USB Charger – A charger that is plugged into a USB port from which it draws power. It can either refer to a cable that is plugged directly into an e-cig, or a separate unit that’s used to recharge batteries.
Vaper – A term used to describe anyone who uses e-cigarettes.
Vaper’s Tongue – A sensation felt when a user uses too much of one flavor, causing the tongue to become desensitized. It can also refer to the tickling sensation on the tongue after a long vape session.
Vapor – The result of atomizing e-liquid, this is also referred to as “clouds.” This is the main factor in vaping that simulates smoke to give smokers a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Vapor Production – A term used to describe the amount of vapor an e-cig or e-liquid produces.
Vegetable Glycerol or Glycerine (VG) – One of two base ingredients used in the production of e-liquid. Vegetable Glycerol typically produces more vapor than Propylene Glycol (PG). Users who are allergic to PG often use 90% or 100% VG solutions.
Voltage Drop – This refers to the drop in power typically experienced by mech users. Fresh batteries have an output of 4.2v, and as the voltage drops, so does the power and vapor production of the e-cig.
VV or Variable Voltage – Any type of e-cig or PV that allows users to adjust its voltage output according to taste, it is considered superior to regular PVs that have static voltage outputs.
VW or Variable Wattage – Variable Wattage devices allow users to adjust the wattage output of their PV. The PV adjusts power according to the set wattage, and is the main difference between VW and VV.
Wick – Usually made from silica, other materials used for wicks include stainless steel mesh, organic cotton and ceramic. The main purpose of the wick is to hold and deliver e-liquid to the heating element of an e-cig in a controlled manner so as to prevent flooding.
Wire – This is the term that refers to the material used in an atomizer’s coil.
Wrap – This refers to the number of revolutions used in the wrapping of a coil. The more wraps a coil has, the higher the resistance.
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