Vaping Terminology 101


Vaping is more than just a trend. It is a radically novel solution for ex-smokers to quit smoking. It is a passion for hobbyists. It is even a fidget toy for people who like to keep their hands and mouths busy. Clearly, vaping means different things to different groups of people. Since it means so much to so many, vaping has grown out of its nascent stage as a sensation and become an entire industry in itself. As with any industry, it has its own set of jargons, technical terms, and terminology. We have compiled an extensive glossary of vaping terminology to help vapers like you.

Vaping Terminology

306 – It is a type of disposable atomizer that is similar in function to a 510 atomizer, but has significantly lower resistance and produces larger quantities of vapor. It uses the same thread as a 510.

m401, m402, m403 – They belong to the same group of e-cigarettes. There’s absolutely no difference between them, except for their length. Commonly known as 401, 402, and 403, the 401 is the longest and the 403 is the shortest of the bunch.

510 – It is a class of atomizers that are popular among the vapers. Because of their immense popularity, most e-cigarette and parts manufacturers use their design as a standard for making their products.

808 – It is another group of e-cigs and are also known by the name KR808.

901 – It is a kind of atomizer that comes with a female thread, which is not compatible with the threading of the 510 atomizer. However, an adapter can be used to make it work with the 510 threading.

26650 – It is a type of battery that is used in e-cigarettes and mods. It is generally used in e-cigs that feature atomizers with less than 1 ohm resistance. They are the largest batteries around.

18650 – They are the most popular batteries among the vapers. They offer the perfect blend of power, and battery life. Also, they are significantly smaller than the 26650s.

18500 – They are a kind of batteries that are smaller than 18650s, but offer markedly lower power. Most vapers feel that the power supplied by 18500s is not in proportion to their size. So, they are the least popular.

18350 – These batteries are mainly used in stealth mods because of their small size.

16340 – These are the smallest batteries used in any modern vapes or mods.


APV – It stands for Advanced Personal Vaporizer, which are modified e-cigarettes. They are highly customizable e-cigs and offer wattage control as well as voltage control. Some of them can be mechanically configured too. These e-cigs are commonly known as mods.

AFC – It stands for Air Flow Control, which is a small mechanism – a dial, a screw, etc. – that offers drag control in an e-cig.

Airflow – It refers to the amount of air that is sucked into an e-cig. Larger the airflow, more is the vapor produced. However, the flavor is at its most intense when the airflow is lesser.

All Day Vape – A term that is used to refer to an e-juice that is a vaper’s top favorite. For instance, if a person’s favorite e-juice is Western Red, they might say, “Western Red is my all day vape.”

Allen Key or Wrench – A miniature tool that is used to adjust Allen screws on a mod.

AWG – Short for American Wire Gauge, the AWG refers to the US standard for wire sizes that denotes their resistances. Mod users should remember that thicker the wire, lesser is the resistance.

Amps – Short for amperage, Amps is the unit of electric current which signifies its power. A higher amp current with a lower resistance atomizer produces less heating.

Analog – It’s a slang name among the vapers for a regular cigarette.

Atomizer – One of the essential components of every e-cigarette, an atomizer houses the coil and the wick that together produce the vapors. It is also called an Atty.

Automatic – They are a type of e-cigs which automatically start working without needing the user to press a button. They are fired up when the user drawn in the first puff.

Automatic Shutoff – It’s a safety feature in e-cigs which shuts off the circuit in them when the battery overheats.


Battery – It is a versatile word that is used to refer to multiple components in an e-cig. In mods, it refers to the replaceable Li-ion batteries that power them. In the case of cig-a-likes and vape pens, which do not have replaceable batteries, the word is used to refer to the e-cig itself.

Box Mod – A type of vape mods that are shaped like a box. Their design makes them easy to carry in a pocket, as against the tube mods. But, their immense popularity is because of their ability to house as many as four 18650 batteries that allows them to produce 20-200 watts of power.

Bridge – This is where the e-liquid is held and is usually covered in a metal mesh to protect the e-liquid bottle.


Cartridge – A cartridge holds the e-liquid and is attached to an atomizer. The Cartridge is filled with Poly-Fil and comes pre-filled.

Cartomizer – A single component that consists of both an atomizer and a cartridge. This configuration holds more e-liquid.

Clouds – It refers to the thick vapors that are produced by vapes. The vapors have a likeness to the rain clouds.

Coil – This is the component in an e-cig that heats up the e-liquid and converts it into vapors.

Connection – The term refers to the type of threading used in the atomizers, such as 901 threading, 510 threading, etc.

Custom Mod – A vape mod that is homemade, and not built by a manufacturer. Experienced vapers build custom mods using household items.

Cutoff – It refers to the duration of time for which a vape user can drag from an e-cigarette before the power is automatically cut off. This is a safety feature in e-cigs to prevent overheating.


DCT – Short for Dual Coil Tank, they are a type of tank or clearomizer that make use of pre-drilled cartomizers.

Deck – It refers to the part of the atomizer where its positive and negative terminals are located. Larger deck atomizers are preferred by mod builders because they are easier to build around.

DIY – As with anything, DIY means do-it-yourself. In vape lingo, it means a homemade e-juice.

DNA – It refers to a series of variable wattage chips from Evolv. Any mod with an Evolv chip is often called a DNA too.

Draw – The e-cig equivalent of a puff-in among smokers.

Drip – The act of dripping drops of e-liquid directly onto the coil of an atomizer to refill it.

Drip Shield – A small external cover that catches the leaking e-juice and directs it back into an atomizer, so that it doesn’t spill onto the e-cig.

Drip Tip – It’s an alternative to factory-made mouthpiece of an e-cig and allows the user to drip e-liquid directly to the atomizer without removing the mouthpiece each time. Many vapers prefer Drip Tips over stock mouthpieces.

Drip Well – A bowl-shaped part of an e-cig’s connector that catches the leaking e-juice and prevents it from spilling.

Dry Burn – The act of firing the e-cigarette without any e-juice in order to heat up the coil and burn off the e-juice residue from atomizer.

Dry Hit – The act of taking a drag out of an e-cig even when it has run out of its e-juice.

Dual Coil – Refers to the vapor producing components – clearomizers, cartomizers, and atomizers – when they have two coils, instead of one.


eGo – A popular type of e-cigs that are bigger than vape pens in size.

E-Juice/E-Liquid – It refers to the liquid that is converted into vapors in an e-cigarette. They come in a variety of flavors and nicotine concentrations.

E-Cigarette – A nicotine delivery system that is a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes. A typical e-cigarette consists of an atomizer, a battery, and e-juice. Together, they produce vapors that are inhaled by the user to get their nicotine fix.


Filler Material – It is a highly absorbent material that is used inside cartomizers and cartridges to absorb the e-liquid and supply it to atomizer for vapor production. It is usually made of Poly-Fil.

Flavors – E-juices come in a variety of flavors to suit different tastes of vapers.

Flooding – When an atomizer is overfilled with e-juice, it is characterized by a noticeable drop in vapor production, accompanied by gurgling noises.

FDA – The regulatory body of the United States government that regulates anything related to food and drugs.

Forums – Online discussion and community boards, where vapers share useful information with each other.


Genesis Atomizer – A special type of atomizer that makes use of a steel mesh to deliver the e-juice to the coil.


Heatsink – Heatsink are fins that protrude from different parts of an e-cig mainly for the purpose of dissipating the heat generated in an e-cig.

High Resistance – It is used to refer to an atomizer which has high resistance or high ohm reading.

Hot Spot – When a coil is unevenly wrapped, portions of it get hotter than their neighboring regions and glow red. These regions are called hot spots, and are characterized by dry hits.

Hybrid – Also called a Hybrid Mod, it is a type of mod in which both the atomizer and the battery holder are designed as a single part for a sleek look.


Inhale – Inhaling is the act of drawing vapor into the mouth from an e-cig. Vapers inhale in 2 different ways. The first type is the Direct Lung Inhale, wherein the user draws the vapors directly into the lung. This produces large quantities of vapors. The second type is Mouth-to-Lung inhale, wherein the user initially draws the vapors and collects it in their mouth before directing it to their lungs. This provides a better taste of flavor for the users.


Juice – Just another term for the e-juice.


Kick – The term Kick is used to refer to two different things. For one, it is used to describe a throat hit. Two, it refers to a type of chip by Evolv that can convert a mechanical mod into a variable voltage/wattage mod.


Leaking – It is used to refer to the leakage of e-juice in an e-cig, irrespective of the source of the leak in the e-cig. If the leaking e-juice falls on the battery, then it can damage the entire e-cig.

LED – Short for Light Emitting Diode, the LEDs are installed on cig-a-likes to mimic the act of smoking. They glow when the user inhales. When their glowing intensity deteriorates, it’s a sign that the battery needs to be recharged or replaced.

Liquid – Another term used to refer to the e-liquid or e-juice.

Low Resistance – It is used to refer to an atomizer which has low resistance or low ohm reading.


mAh – Short for milliampere-hour, mAh indicates the capacity of a battery to store power. The higher the mAh reading, the longer the battery lasts.

Manual – E-Cig models which can be fired up by pressing a button on them.

Mechanical Mod – It refers to mods that do not feature a regulating chip like DNA or Kick. They can be operated with a manual switch and come in a variety of shapes. Sometimes, they are also known by other names like PVs, mechs, or mech mods. They all mean the same thing.

mg – It refers to the concentration of an ingredient in an e-juice. For instance, when an e-liquid’s strength is said to be 5mg, then it means that every ml of the e-juice contains 5mg of nicotine.

Mini – A class of small e-cigarettes that are designed specifically to be stealthy.

Mod – Mod refers tocustomizable e-cigs that provide a richer, personalized, and better vaping experience to the vapers. They come with larger batteries with longer life, have replaceable parts, and produce thicker vapors.

Mouthpiece – The part of the e-cigs from which the users inhale vapors. Often, many vapers replace the factory-built mouthpieces with drip tips to make it easier for dripping.


Nicotine – The active ingredient in cigarettes that makes the smokers crave them so much. Nicotine itself is not harmful and belongs to a group of substances called vasoconstrictors, just like caffeine. E-liquids have varying concentrations of nicotine to help smokers quit their habit, while getting their nicotine fix.

Noob – People who are new to vaping are called noobs or newbies. As vaping is a pretty easy thing to learn, most beginners are called noobs for only a week.


Ohm – The standard unit used to measure the electrical resistance of a coil. Coils with higher ohm readings produce thicker and hotter vapors, while coils with lower ohm readings produce lesser and cooler vapors.

Organic Cotton – Wicks made from organic cotton that produce a cleaner and more intense flavor.


Parallel – Many mods have batteries that are connected in parallel. This does not affect the voltage and the voltage drop, but the mAh value becomes the sum total of the mAh values of all the batteries in parallel. This configuration increases the battery life.

Pass-through – This term refers to two types of e-cigarette models. If an e-cig can be used even when it is charging, or connected to a cable, then it is said to have pass-through capabilities. The term is also used to refer to those models that come with no batteries and can only be operated by plugging their USB cable into a live USB port.

Pen Style – E-cigarettes that are shaped like a pen. They give a traditional cigarette feel to vapers.

Personal Vaporizer – PV, for short, is a versatile term that is generally used as a synonym for mods and non-traditional cig-a-likes. However, some people may also use the term to refer to their e-cig.

Propylene Glycol – PG, for short, is an over-the-counter substance that is used in many foods. It is one of the two primary ingredients of every e-juice.

Poly-Fil – A special kind of absorbent material used in cartomizers and cartridges to absorb e-juice and deliver it to the atomizer.

Primer – It is a liquid that is applied on the wick and the coil of the e-cigarette to prevent them from drying out. These VG-based solutions are also known as primer liquids.

Protected Battery – A special type of battery that has a built-in chip, which breaks the circuit when the voltage becomes too high or too low.

Priming – New e-cigarettes and parts should not be used right out of the box. They have to be primed. In other words, a few drops of e-juices should be applied onto new parts like clearomizers, cartomizers, tanks, and atomizer wicks. The liquid takes a few moments to saturate the parts, and only then should they be used.


Rebuildables – Vapers use this term to refer to the e-juice tanks and atomizers that have replaceable wicks and coils. Such components grant the users a superior degree of flexibility in terms of customizing their e-cigarette. They can change the resistance of the coil, and the material of the wick to suit their vapor requirements. Experienced vapers experiment with different configurations of e-cigs using rebuildables.

RDA – Short for Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer, they are a type of e-cigs that make use of rebuildables and have atomizers that drip the e-juice onto the wick that surrounds the coil.

Resistance – Also known as Electrical Resistance, it is a measure of resistance offered by the coil to the flow of current. The resistance of a coil depends on multiple factors such as its thickness, its circumference, and the number of windings.

RBA – It is short for Rebuildable Atomizer. For more information, see Rebuildables.

RTA – It is short for Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. For more information, see Rebuildables.


Series – Some mods have multiple batteries connected in a series configuration. This increases the voltage to the sum total of the individual voltages of the batteries in the series connection. However, it reduces the life of the battery.

Silica – It is the most popular choice of material for making the wicks. Its high melting point allows the users to heat up their e-cigs for dry burns.

Smoke Juice – It is just another term used for e-juice.

Smokeless Cigarette – E-cigarettes do not produce any smoke. They produce only vapors. Hence, they are often called as smokeless cigarettes.

Starter Kit – Beginner vapers might find themselves confused by the variety of items and terms used by vapers and vape retailers. Starter Kits make things simpler for them. They typically include all the parts required for vaping, such as one or two e-cigs, an atomizer, charger, pre-filled cartridges, and so on.

Steeping – Many experienced vapers prepare their own DIY e-juices. Once they are prepared, the e-juices are left open in the air for about six hours, so that the ingredients settle. This process is called steeping.

Sub-ohming – This is the practice of vaping with coils that have resistances of less than 1 ohm. Such a configuration produces thick clouds of vapors.

Sweet Spot – A vaper hits the sweet spot when they achieve the perfect setting after tinkering with their e-cigarette. The setting may refer to adjusting the nicotine levels, setting the right resistance, adjusting the voltage, or even finding the perfect e-juice.


Tailpiping – The process of vaping without a drip tip.

Tank – Tanks are just clearomizers that have a larger capacity to store e-juices. They are usually made of glass or plastic.

Throat Hit – The sensation that a vaper feels when they draw from an e-cig and the vapours hit their throat. Harsh throat hits mimic the effect of tobacco cigarettes, but some vapers prefer a smoother hit.

Triple Coil – Triple coils produce copious amounts of vapours as they have a larger surface area to heat up the e-juice in the wick. However, they also draw more power and reduce the battery life.

Tube Mod – Tube mods are rebuildable e-cigs that are shaped like a tube.


Unprotected Battery – It refers to a battery that does not come with a built-in safety mechanism to disconnect the circuit when the conditions are conducive for accidents. Many batteries are made of stable chemicals that do not react violently. However, some batteries are risky to use because they might leak, or react violently for a variety of reasons. It’s best to stick with a protected battery.

USB Charger – As the name suggests, it is a type of charger that connects to USB port for charging. The USB Charger can be nothing more than a cable that connects directly to the e-cig, or it can be a separate device which charges the removable battery.


Vaper – Any person who uses e-cigarettes is called a vaper.

Vaper’s Tongue – This term refers to two different phenomenon. For one, it refers to the tickling sensation that a vaper feels after a long vaping session. Two, a vaper is also said to have a vaper’s tongue when their tongue becomes desensitized to a flavor after too much use of that flavor.

Vapor – An e-cigarette has a coil that heats up and evaporates the e-juice, producing clouds of that e-liquid. This cloud is called vapor, which is inhaled by the vapers as a substitute for smoking.

Vapor Production – The amount of vapor produced by an e-cig.

VG – Short for Vegetable Glycerol, it is more popularly known as Glycerine, which is a common ingredient in many household items. It is also one of the ingredients in e-juices.

Voltage Drop – With use, e-cigarette batteries lose their charge. When that happens, a perceptible drop in voltage is experienced by vapers. This is more pronounced in the case of mechanical mods. As the voltage drops, the power and with it, the quantities of vapors produced also drops.

VV – It stands for Variable Voltage and refers to e-cigarettes whose voltage can be adjusted by the vapers to suit their vapor production needs. This offers them superior flexibility and a better vaping experience.

VW – It stands for Variable Wattage, and refers to e-cigs whose wattage can be adjusted by the vapers. Many e-cigs have the capability to adjust the power in accordance with the wattage setting of the vaper.


Wick – Wick is what absorbs the e-juice and holds it near the coil for vapor production. A wick can be made of a variety of materials such as cotton, stainless steel mesh, silica, and ceramic.

Wire – Wire refers to the material of the coil used in vapour production.

Wrap – Wrap refers to the number of windings of the coil. The more windings a coil has, the higher is its resistance.

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