Glossary of Vaping Terminology

Glossary of Vaping Terminology

3mg – This is a measurement of nicotine strength.  It is one of the most common nicotine strengths of e-liquid.  It can also be expressed as 3mg/ml. Click here to find out exactly how nicotine levels work and what the numbers mean.  If you want to calculate a 3mg nicotine strength, click here.

6mg – This is a measurement of nicotine strength which can also be expressed as 6mg/ml.  Click here to find out exactly how nicotine levels work and what the numbers mean.  If you want to calculate a 3mg nicotine strength, click here.

Aerosol – technically, this is what an e-cigarette produces when it vaporises e-liquid.  However, it is hardly ever referred to as ‘aerosol’ and is instead called ‘vapour’.

Airflow – the rate at which air flows through your e-cigarette as you inhale.  Many e-cigarettes have adjustable airflow which means you can change the speed and pressure of the airflow, which in turn changes the vaping experience.  The more airflow there is, the more vapour your device will produce.

All-day-vape – An e-liquid that you want to vape all day.  It has a taste you can’t get enough of and you find you can vape that one flavour throughout the whole day.

All-in-one – An all-in-one is a vaping device.  It is generally more advanced than a pod or pen-system but does not have the capabilities of the advanced tank systems.  For more information about what all-in-ones are and what features they have, go to ‘Different devices and how they vary’.

Amps – an abbreviated term for ‘ampere’, this is a unit of electrical current.  The amps refer to the battery power and the higher the amps, the higher the battery’s output.

Atomiser – this is another term for a coil.  It can also be referred to as the ‘atomiser head’ or the ‘atty’.

Battery – Either replaceable household batteries inserted into the battery housing, or a built-in battery inside the mod.  These power the device and heat the coil. For some tips on battery safety, go to ‘How to use your device safely’.

Battery cut-off – A safety feature of most modern vaping devices, this cuts off the power from the battery after a fixed period of time.  It stops the device being left on accidentally or over-used in one sitting, which could cause the batteries to become overheated.

Bore (in a drip tip) – This is the hole in a drip tip which you drip the e-liquid through.  Go to ‘Drip tips’ for more information.

Box mod – Often used as another name for a mod.  The box mod, though, is the shape of a box and is traditionally an advanced mod for custom-builds.

Breathing – In the vaping community, this refers to a method of airing your e-liquid.  You only need to do it when you are mixing your own e-liquids. Find out more about breathing your e-liquid here.

Cartomizer – This is another term for a pod, as it is a cartridge which contains an atomiser.

Cartridge – Another term for a liquid pod.

Chimney – This is the central airflow tube that runs from the body of a tank to the drip tip.

Cigalike – One of the first types of e-cigarette, the cigalike has been surpassed by the next generation of vaping devices which are more efficient and cheaper to use.  It is still available to buy, though, and some vapers like the cigalike because it is designed to look like a cigarette.

Cigarette – A traditional cigarette designed to be smoked.  There is a huge range and they differ in size and amount of nicotine inside.

Clearomiser – Some vapers refer to the clear, detachable tank as a clearomiser.

Cloud – This is a slang term for the vapour which is produced by an e-cigarette because it resembles a cloud.  It has led to the term ‘cloud-chaser’ for vapers who like to produce a lot of vapour at once.

Cloud-chaser – A slang term for a vaper who likes to produce a big cloud of vapour when they vape.  To find out which devices are compatible with this, go to ‘Features of different devices’.

Coil – The metal piece which is attached to and powered by the battery so it heats up and vaporises the e-liquid.  Traditionally, this has been a length of metal wire coiled round (hence the name) but, these days, there are many variations.  The term ‘coil’ can refer to just the metal which heats the e-liquid or the package of metal and wicking material together.  For more information about the types of coils available, go to ‘Choosing coils compatible with your device’.  Experienced vapers can build their own coils.

Custom-built devices – Also known as ‘custom builds’, these are vaping devices which can be assembled according to each vaper’s specifications.  They fall under the category of tank systems and have elements of the device made by the vaper (such as the coil).  For more information about how devices can be custom-built, click here.

DTL – Direct-to-lung.  This is one of the techniques for inhaling vapour.  For more information about what it is and how to do it, go to ‘How to inhale properly’.

Device – This is the vaping device you use to vape.  It can also be known as an e-cigarette. The term refers to the e-cigarette as a whole, including all of the individual elements which make it.  Click here to see our range of devices.

Drip tips – These are specially-designed mouthpieces which allow you to drip e-liquid directly onto the coil rather than use a tank or liquid pod.  For more information about them, click here.

Dripping – In vaping terms, this is when you drip e-liquid directly onto the coil.  It means you only use a few drops of e-liquid at a time and you can change flavours quickly.  See ‘Drip tips’ to find out how this works.

Dry hit – Something no vaper wants to experience.  This is what happens when you fire your device, heat the coil, but there is not enough e-liquid soaked into the wick for the coil to vaporise and so, instead, it burns the wick.  Not only does it taste horrible but it ruins your wick, meaning you either have to re-wick your coil or replace the whole coil (depending upon what type of coil you have). If you want to avoid this, go to ‘How to stop dry hits’ for some simple steps.

E-cig – This is a shortened version of the term e-cigarette which is generally used informally.

E-cigarette – This stands for ‘electronic cigarette’ and refers to the whole vaping device.  There are many types of device available. If you want to browse our collection, click here or, if you want to know what different types of e-cigarette are available on the market, click here.

E-juice – Another term for e-liquid.  It’s generally used informally.

E-liquid – This is the liquid that you put into your e-cigarette to vaporise.  It’s made up of PG, VG and flavouring (and nicotine, if you want to add it).  For more information about what makes up e-liquid, go to ‘What are PG and VG and what difference do they make?’.  You can buy ready-made e-liquid in bottles or shortfills, or you can make your own.  To decide which of these is best for you, go to ‘Choosing e-liquid compatible with your device’.

Electronic cigarette – Any vaping device.  It can be shortened to e-cigarette or even e-cig.

Flavour concentrates – These are small bottles of flavoured liquid which DIY mixers use to flavour their e-liquid.  They come in a huge range of flavours and can be mixed to create complex recipes. Go to ‘Mixing E-Liquids’ to find out how they’re used and what recipes to create or browse our amazing range of flavour concentrates here.

Flavour ghosting – This is a slang term to describe the effect of one flavour lingering when you’re vaping another.  It happens because the old e-liquid in your tank or coil hasn’t been completely used before you add the new e-liquid.  You can avoid it by cleaning your tank and coil.

Freebase nicotine – There are currently two types of nicotine available for e-cigarettes: freebase and nicotine salt.  Freebase nicotine is still the most common and comes in nicotine shots which can be added to e-liquid at the nicotine strength you want.

Inhale – The act of drawing in vapour from your e-cigarette.  There are different inhaling techniques (MTL and DTL).

Lead – This is a term used by vapers who make their own coils and it refers to the two ends of the coil that stick out and are locked in place to complete the circuit.

Liquid pod – Also known as a pod, this is the capsule which contains e-liquid and is ready to vape once it is clicked into place in a pod system.  For more information about pod systems, go to ‘Different devices and how they vary’ and to find out more about the liquid pods, go to ‘Choosing e-liquid compatible with your device’.

MTL – Mouth-to-lung.  This is one of the techniques for inhaling vapour.  For more information about what it is and how to do it, go to ‘How to inhale properly’.

Mechanical mod – These are unregulated mods which use full battery power so that, as the battery drains, the power weakens.  We strongly advise that only experienced vapers use these as they do not have the safety-features built into them that other vaping devices have.

Mod – This is the part of the device which contains the controls and the battery housing.  The term ‘mod’ is short for ‘modification’ as they were traditionally used by vapers who wanted to customise their vaping device to produce more cloud.  These days, mods are readily available and have safety features built in.

Mouthfeel – This is the sensation in your mouth as you inhale.  It can be affected by the amount, thickness, flavour and temperature of the vapour.

Mouthpiece – The end part of the device which you use to inhale the vapour.  There are many types, including angled mouthpieces which help to stop spitback and drip tips which can be used to customise your device.

Nicotine shot – Also known as a ‘nic shot’ this is a 10ml bottle of 18mg nicotine liquid which can be added to e-liquid (whether ready-made bottles or shortfills or DIY-made e-liquid).  To find out more about nicotine for e-cigarettes, go to ‘Choosing your nicotine level’.

Nicotine liquid – The nicotine solution which can be added to e-liquid.  It usually comes in nicotine shots of a strength of 18mg.

Nicotine salt – This is a type of nicotine which can be added to e-liquid.  It is much stronger than freebase nicotine but it still comes in liquid form.

Nicotine strength – Also known as ‘nicotine level’, this is the measurement of nicotine in your e-liquid.  The most common nicotine strengths for vaping are 3mg and 6mg. To add nicotine to your e-liquid, you’ll usually use a nicotine shot added to a shortfill.  To work out what nicotine strength id ideal for you, click here.

Ohm (Ω) – Named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm, this is a measurement of electrical resistance.  In vaping terms, this is how much resistance your coil has. The resistance of your coil will affect your vaping experience by causing more or less vapour to be produced.  It’s important to know what ohm-rating your coil is so that you can be sure it is compatible with your device. To find out more about choosing coils compatible with your device, click here.

Ohm-rating – Each coil will have an ohm-rating which will tell you the resistance of that particular coil.  It’s important because your coil must have an ohm-rating which is compatible with your vaping device, otherwise it will malfunction by causing the battery to over-heat.

PG – Propylene Glycol.  This is one of the main ingredients to make up e-liquid.  It’s a runny liquid which carries the flavour in vape juice.  It’s used in pharmaceuticals and is considered safe for consumption.  To find out more about what exactly it is and what it does in your e-liquid, click here.

Pen system – One of the types of vaping device available.  They are slim and cylindrical, like a pen, which is how they get their name.  The advantage of a pen system is they’re small and discreet. For more information about the different types of vaping device, go to ‘Different devices and how they vary’.

Pod – A self-contained capsule of e-liquid which can be clicked into a compatible vaping device (a pod system).  They are ready to use and contain both e-liquid and a coil so they’re really easy to use. Check out ‘Choosing e-liquid compatible with your device’ to find out what the benefits of liquid pods are.

Pod system – One of the types of vaping devices available.  They are designed to be used with pods, which click into place and are ready to vape straight away.  For more information about pod systems, go to ‘Different devices and how they vary’.

Ramp time – the time it takes for your coil to heat up.

RDARebuildable Dripping Atomiser.  For more information, go to ‘Drip tips’.

Regulated box mod – A mod which gives a consistent output of power and has safety features built into the device.

Resistance – This refers to how much electrical current can pass through the coil.  It’s measured in ohms. To find out more, go to ‘Choosing coils compatible with your device’.

RTA – Rebuildable Tank Atomiser.  For more information, go to ‘Custom Built Devices’.

Shortfill – A bottle of e-juice which is ‘short-filled’ to leave room in the bottle for nicotine to be added.  For more details, click here.  The nicotine comes in small bottles of 18mg strength and can be added to the e-juice to make the desired nicotine strength.  Go to ‘Calculating your nicotine level’ to work out how much nicotine to add to your shortfill.

Smoke – This is what is exhaled by smokers when they use a traditional cigarette.

Smoking – This refers to the use of a traditional cigarette.  It produces smoke, not vapour. Check out ‘Why people use e-cigarettes to quit smoking’ for some differences between smoking and vaping.

Steeping – The process by which DIY-mixed vape juice is matured to make the taste as vibrant as possible.  See our full guide to ‘Steeping’ for more details about what it is and how to do it.

Tank – The component of a vaping device where the e-liquid is stored.  It also houses the coil so the e-liquid can be absorbed into the wick and vaporised by the coil.  It attaches to the mod and has a mouthpiece through which you can draw vapour. In the EU, tank capacity is limited to 2ml.  Check out our range of tanks here.

Tank system – One of the types of vaping device.  It is a broad term which applies to any device which is made up of a mod (the battery compartment) and a detachable tank (the component where the e-liquid is stored).  To find out more about the various types of vaping device, go to ‘Different devices and how they vary’.

Temperature – In vaping terms, this is the temperature that the coil reaches when the device is activated.  By varying the temperature of the coil, you can change how quickly it vaporises the e-juice and therefore change the vaping experience.  For example, by decreasing the temperature, you produce less vapour and get a cooler inhale.

Temperature control – This is a feature of advanced mods which allows you to set the temperature you want your coils to reach.  The mod will adjust the settings automatically to reach and maintain the target temperature. To find out more about it, go to ‘Temperature control vaping’.

Throat hit – The feeling in your throat when you inhale.  Vapers who have switched from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes often like to feel the throat hit when they vape as it is similar to the feeling of smoking.  The feelings is increased by using more PG in your vape juice, and also some flavour concentrates produce a more intense throat hit than others. To reduce the throat hit, use more VG.  Whether you like the throat hit is a matter of personal taste.

VG – Vegetable Glycerine.  This is one of the main ingredients of vape juice.  It makes the cloud when you vape, so cloud-chasers have a high ratio of VG in their e-liquid.  To find out more about it, click here.

Vape – This is the act of vaping.  You use an e-cigarette to vape by heating e-liquid and inhaling the vapour.

Vape juice – An informal name for e-liquid.

Vape liquid – Another name for e-liquid.

Vaper – Someone who vapes is a vaper.

Vaping – The act of using an e-cigarette to vape.  When you’re vaping, you’re inhaling the vapour produced by your e-cigarette.

Vaping device – Another term for an e-cigarette.  It refers to the device as a whole. To find out what makes up a vaping device, go to ‘The structure of a vaping device’.

Vaping style – The way in which you choose to vape.  It refers to the choices you make about which device you use, the e-liquid you use as well as how often you vape and whether you take long or short draws.  

Vaporiser – This is yet another term for an e-cigarette because it is the device which vaporises the e-liquid.

Vapour – The heated e-liquid that you inhale as steam.

Vapour production – The amount of vapour your produce from each draw on your e-cigarette.

Variable temperature – A method of vaping using a regulated mod.  It is a for experienced vapers who want to control the temperature of their vaporiser.  Vapers can vary the temperature of their device according to what e-liquid they have, what coil they’re using and what style of vaping they want to use.

Wattage – This is a measurement of the rate at which electrical energy is used.  A lot of vaping devices (particularly the more advanced ones) have adjustable wattage so you can change the wattage to customise your experience.  Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the more vapour is produced.

Wick – The wicking material used in the coil to absorb the e-liquid.  When it is heated, the coil vaporises the e-liquid from the wick. If the wick is not functioning properly (or you’ve dried it out), you can get a dry hit.