The Essential Vaping Glossary

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Being new to vaping can get overwhelming quite fast. As you learn about the new gear and accessories, the difference between e-liquids and search for your perfect vape pen, it’s good to have some things down. And this is where our Essential Vaping Glossary comes in. Here, you will find a comprehensive but not exhaustive selection of vaping terms to get you started your new habit.



ADV (All Day Vape) — if you really like a certain e-juice flavor and are ready to vape it all day long, this is what you will call your “all day vape”.

Airflow (or Adjustable Airflow) — an adjustable feature on tanks and atomizers, which lets vapers control draw resistance.

Analog – It is a slang term used by vapers to describe traditional (tobacco) cigarettes.

Atomizer (Atty) — a component of a vaping device that converts the liquid into vapor.

APV — Advanced Personal Vaporiser; APVs usually have a larger battery, often with features such as variable voltage and wattage. An APV is more commonly called a MOD (modified e-cig)



BCC — Bottom Coil Clearomizer; a device where the coil of the atomizer sits at the bottom of the clearomizer tank.

BDC — Bottom Dual Coil Clearomizer.

Box Mod — a vaping gadget that comes in a box shape and features several different wattage selections.

Breathing – the process of leaving an e-liquid bottle open to let the alcohol in it evaporate.

BVC – Bottom Vertical Coils; a type of design of atomizer coils that is becoming very popular.



Cartomizer (Carto) —  is a combination of disposable cartridges and atomizers.

CBD — cannabidiol, one of 120 compounds of cannabis that is attributed to a variety of healing properties and is often used in e-liquids. CBS does not have psychotropic effects.

Cig-a-Like — a vaping device that looks like a traditional cigarette.

Clapton Coil — a type of coil with a large gauge of wire wrapped tightly by a smaller gauge of wire, which looks a little bit like a guitar string.

Clearomizer – a transparent version of a cartomizer made of thin and easily breakable plastic.

Coil — the part of the vaping device that heats the e-liquid.



Deck — a flat base area on an RBA/RDA that is designed to keep e-liquid away from the battery connection.

Diacetyl — a flavoring frequently used in some e-liquids and known for its creamy flavor. If inhaled in large amounts, the flavoring has been linked to the condition known as popcorn lung.

Draw — the act of inhaling the vapor from the mouthpiece of your vaping device.

Dripping — a method of vaping that involves adding a few drops of e-liquid directly into the atomizer chamber (instead of the cartridge).

Dry hit — an unpleasant taste you get when inhaling when the cotton or other wicking material in your vaping device is not saturated with e-juice.

DTL (direct-to-lung) — a vaping method when you inhale vapor straight into the lungs.

Vaper’s tongue — a loss of ability to taste the flavor of e-juice. It typically occurs after you’ve been vaping the same flavor for a long time.



E-juice — the liquid that is vaporized in the vaping device, which typically consists of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, flavoring and nicotine (optional).

E-liquid — another word for e-juice.

E-NIC (Electronic Nicotine Inhaler) — another name for an electronic cigarette.

E-Smoke — another name for an electronic cigarette.



Flooding — a situation that occurs when too much e-liquid is put into the atomizer.

Formaldehyde — a substance that is produced when e-liquid is heated to incredibly high temperatures; a known carcinogen.

French hit — when you vape out of the lungs and then re-inhale through the nose.



Genesis Atomizer — an RBA that uses stainless steel mesh as a wick instead of the typical silica.

Glassomizer — a clearomizer that uses glass rather than plastic for the tank. Examples would be the Kanger Protank.

Goose neck — an extension for your valibg device. Goose necks come to a variety of sizes and colors.

Grub screw — a type of screw used in atomizer posts.



High Resistance (HR) Atomizer — an atomizer or cartomizer with a higher Ohm rating than the standard equipment.

Hit — inhalation of vapor.

Hot spot — an area where the atomizer coil is especially hot. Hot spots often cause dry hits. A

HV Mod — a dual battery or boosted supply mod for high power vaping.



Inception Coil — a mini coil inside a larger coil made from one continuous piece of wire.

Inhale —  the act of breathing the vapor from your vaping device into your lungs.



Juice — another name for e-liquid.



Kick — an alternative way to describe a throat hit (ADD link to throat hit further in the guide).

Kanthal Wire — a trademark name for a group of iron-chromium-aluminum alloys used in high-temperature vapes.



Leaking — the unwanted process of E e-liquid leaking out of the bottom the clearomizer/atomizer/cartomizer and onto the battery.

Low Resistance (LR) —  a vaping device with a lower Ohm rating than the standard equipment.

Lung hit — a way of inhaling when the vapor goes straight into the lungs. See also Mouth to lung hit.



Mechanical mod — a vaping device that doesn’t have any electronics or wiring.

Micro coil — a type of coil where the coil is wrapped so that it is all touching; it requires more wraps than a traditional coil.

Mouth to lung hit — a method of inhaling when the vapor is first pulled into the mouth and then inhaled into the lungs.



Nic juice — another name for nicotine-containing e-liquid.

Nicotine (Nic) — an addictive substance found in tobacco and not used in traditional cigarettes and e-liquids. It is available in various strengths and you can also purchase e-liquids without nicotine.

Nicotine level — the amount of nicotine per ml contained in the e-liquid. It is typically measured in milligrams. You will find e-liquids in various nicotine concentrations from 3mg/ml all the way to 50mg/ml.

Nic salts — a term used to describe the natural state of nicotine found in tobacco leaves. Nic salts are praised for better absorption rates and are capable of delivering higher nicotine concentrations into your system.



Ohm (Ω) —  the unit of measuring electrical resistance with a lower number indicating a lower resistance. You will find vaping devices of both high and low resistance.



Passthrough — a device used as an alternative way of charging your vaping. It is plugged directly into the USB port of a computer or charger and lets you vape without worrying about battery life.

Pen-style — one of the many styles of vaping devices, the shape of which resembles a ballpoint pen.

Pod mod — a vaping device that uses prefilled cartridges.

PV — personal vaporizer; another name for a vaping gadget.

Propylene Glycol (PG) — one of the two main ingredients used in e-liquids.

Priming — the act of preparing a wick for a vaping session, which involves soaking the wick in e-juice.



RBA — rebuildable atomizer. A more sophisticated vaping device featuring a build deck, one or more coils and wicking on the inside. RBAs come in different formats: namely, RDA, RTA, and RDTA.

RDA — Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer. A vaping device that requires the vaper to manually add juice to the coils and wicks — it will not be fed from the tank directly.

RDTA — Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer. A vaping device that is a cross between an RDA and an RTA and combines features and functionality of the two types of devices mentioned above.

RTA — Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. A vaping device that features a tank of specific capacity (typically made of glass) for storing e-juice. One of the advantages of RTAs is that you get more juice capacity and can, thus, vape longer without refills.



Steeping — the process of allowing the e-liquid to sit either in the open air or sealed container.

Stovetop coil — a type of coil featuring a large surface area and resembling the heating elements on electric stoves.

Sub-ohming — the process of increasing the current from the battery on your vape device to achieve massive vaping clouds.

Sub-ohm vaping device — a device with atomizer coils that have a resistance of less than one ohm. Typically used for blowing large clouds.



Tank — a cartridge that holds your e-liquid in the vaping device

Throat hit — the sensation vaper experiences when the vapor hits their throat. A more intense throat hit is typically achieved by vaping e-liquids with a high PG ratio and nicotine level.

Tiger coil — a coil wrapped with a strand of regular kanthal secured with ribbon wire.

Topping off — adding a few drops of e-liquid into the tank of your vape gadget.



Vaper — used to name those who use electronic cigarettes.

Vaper’s tongue — a condition frequently experienced by vapers when they vape too much of one flavor and their taste buds become desensitized.

Vapor — gas like substance produced as a result of hearing and vaporizing e-liquid.

Vaporizer — a device that turns e-liquid into a gas or a vapor; another term for electronic cigarette.

Vapor production — relates to how much vapor is produced on an average inhale of an e-cigarette.

Vaping (vape) — the use of electronic cigarettes.

Vertical coil — a coil that has been rotated 90 degrees.

Vegetable Glycerine (VG) — one of the key ingredients in e-liquid known for producing more vapor (compared to PG).

VW (Variable Wattage) — a personal vaporizer that lets the vaper control the wattage output of their device.



Watt (wattage) — used to measure the heat that the atomizer coil uses to vaporize the e-liquid.

Wick — absorbent material in a personal vaporizer that is used to deliver the e-liquid to the coil.

Wicking — the process when more concentrated fluid moves to an area of lesser concentration.

Wrap — one layer of wire around a coil.



Zero-nic — e-liquid with no nicotine.

As you get more familiar with all the aspects of vaping, you may have plenty of terms to add to the list. Plus, the vaping industry never stands still — and there are probably new vape terms being conjured as you are reading this.

MTL (mouth-to-lung vaping) — inhaling vapor through your mouth, letting it linger for a while and then inhaling it into your lungs.

RDA stands for a rebuildable dripping atomizer.

RTA stands for a rebuildable tank atomizer.

RDTA stands for a rebuildable dripper tank atomizer. In short, it’s RDTAs have their decks designed in pretty much the same way as RDAs — you can drip on it but it also has a tank to hold excess juice. RDTAs are perfect for those vapers who enjoy the flavor and cloud production of an RDA but prefer to avoid frequent dripping.

The important thing to remember about all of the above device types is that they are all rebuildable atomizers and will require coil building and wrapping skills, the knowledge of ohm law as well as some understanding of battery safety.


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