Vaping Glossary

If you're new to vaping, there will be more than a few vaping terms used by experienced users or vendors that you may not know. This is a collection of abbreviations and terms to help you understand it all.

20700 – The type of battery typically used with advanced mods and some mechanical mods. It's called a 20700 because it is 20mm by diameter and 70mm by length. These batteries have higher storage and amperage than the standard 18650 batteries.

26650 – The largest-sized battery used in advanced mods, these are often used by sub-ohm vapers.

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 – Often 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 standard with most tanks of all kinds using it. 

808 – Also called KR808, it is one of the many styles of vaporizers.

901 – Atomizers with a female thread, these cannot be used with vaporizers using 510 threading unless you're using an adapter. 

16340 – The smallest of the batteries used in vaporizers, these are usually used in series or parallel.

18350 – A battery preferred by advanced users for its very small size, these are usually used in stealthy 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 vaporizers, these batteries give users good power and battery life with less size than 26650s.

Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) – Also called mods (or modified e-cigs), these units are larger, use replaceable batteries, and can either be mechanical, variable voltage, or variable wattage.

AFC – Air flow control. This refers to a small dial (or sometimes a screw) found in tanks to adjust the drag of an e-cig.

Airflow – The amount of air drawn an atomizer or tank. Looser airflow results in more vapor, while tighter airflow results in less vapor but more intense flavor.

Alien Coil – a modification of the Clapton coil with a wire wrapped around three main wires.

All Day Vape – A term used to refer to the type of e-juice you can use all day without getting tired of it.

Allen Key or Wrench – A small tool usually used to adjust Allen screws in a rebuildable atomizer or tank.

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.

Aqueous Glycerine (AG) – The thinned VG liquid by the help of the deionized water, which makes it less viscous.

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. Also called a tank.

Automatic – A type of e-cigarette where 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 puffs on 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.


1.) The main part of an e-cigarette, the term usually refers to vape pens 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 mods, this refers to Li-ion batteries used to power their devices.

BCC – Bottom Coil Clearomizer. The heating element is situated at the bottom of the tank.

BDC – Bottom Dual Coil Clearomizer. Two coils are at the bottom of the tank.

Blanks – Cartomizers or Cartridges with no e-liquid content inside. Designed to be refilled with user’s e-juice.

Boost – A special feature in a regulated mod allowing to instantly increase the power.

Box Mod – A type of vaporizer 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 length. Box mods are more powerful than their stick counterparts, with power outputs ranging from 20 watts to 200+ watts.

Bottom Vertical Coil Clearomiser (BVC) – The coil is in a vertical configuration, which makes for improved airflow.

Car Adapter – A charging device for e-cigs that connects to the car lighter.

Carcinogen – A chemical compound that appears in tobacco combustion or extreme e-liquid heating. Studies suggest that carcinogens might cause cancer and other diseases when inhaled regularly.

 – 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.


Charger – A battery charger for e-cigarettes or for separate batteries that are used with box mods and mechanical mods.

Clapton Coil – An advanced coil build used in rebuildable atomizers. It is a thin wire with a wide gauge wire wrapped around the core wire.

Clouds – A term that describes vapor production.

Coil – The part of the tank used to heat or vaporize e-liquid.

Coil Jig – A metal tool for coil rebuilding.

Coil Winder – A stainless steel tool for coil wrapping.


Connection – A term used to describe the type of threading your e-cigarette uses for atomizers.

Custom Mod – A vaporizer that’s not factory-built. 

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.

DCT – Stands for Dual Coil Tank. This is a type of tank that uses punched cartomizers with an e-liquid capacity ranging from 3ml to 6ml.

Deck – The part of the tank 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.

Dewick – Removing the wick from an atomizer.

Diacetyl – Diacetyl is a flavoring used in some e-liquid production for its buttery flavor. Can cause Bronchiolitis obliterans (otherwise known as Popcorn Lung) if inhaled in large concentrations. Most e-liquid vendors have stopped using it.

Digital Cigarette – Another term for an Electronic Cigarette

Disposable E-Cigs – Non-rechargeable e-cigs that a user should throw away after the battery dies.

DIY – Do-it-yourself. This usually refers to homemade e-juice.

Draw – A term to describe the act of inhaling vapor from the vaporizer.

Drip (Dripping) – To refill an atomizer with drops of e-liquid straight onto the coil of an atomizer.

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 – A popular model of e-cig, these are a little larger than standard vape pens, with either an eGo threading, 510 threading or both via adapter.

eGo Threading – A standard threading at the base of an eGo battery and eGo cartomizer.

E-Juice (E-Liquid) – The liquid 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 usually, but not always, nicotine.

E-Cigarette – The name used to describe a device that gives smokers an alternative to smoking, by vaporizing e-liquid containing nicotine. It’s comprised of a battery and tank. E-liquid is added and vapor is made.

Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit – A kit usually consisting of a vape battery, tank, coil & charger, giving the user everything they need to start vaping except e-liquid. 

E-Hookah – An electronic attachment to the real hookah that evaporates e-liquid.


E-Smoke – A name for the vapor produced by e-cigs.

Flooding – This is what happens when an atomizer is overfilled. A flooded atty is characterized by reduced vapor production accompanied by gurgling noises.

Forums – Internet community boards from which most vapers learn information, news and announcements.

Formaldehyde – A type of carcinogen that appears during vaping on extreme temperatures or smoking. This chemical might be harmful to human health when inhaled frequently.

Fused Clapton – A Clapton coil with two or more core wires.

Glassomizer – A clearomizer with the glass reservoir instead of plastic one.

GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) – A term that FDA uses to indicate that the product is considered to be safe.

Grub Screw – A type of clamps of the atomizer posts with slightly pointed tip.

Heatsink – 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 or burnt hits.

HV (High Voltage) – indicates a vaping device that operates above the conventional 3.7 volts. As a rule, these atomizers and mods are not intended for use with standard low-power batteries due to insufficient battery power.

Inhale – The act of breathing vapor into your lungs or mouth.

There are two kinds: straight-to-lung 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.

Kanthal Wire – The brand name that commonly refers to their iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloy wire used in high-wattage devices. This alloy has very slight temperature alterations, that’s why not intended for use as an outer wrap of coils for the temperature control mode.

Kick – A term used to describe throat hit.

Leaking – When e-liquid leaks out of an atomizer/tank/cartomizer. 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 small vapes to simulate the glow of traditional cigarettes. It glows red to signify the battery is running low. 

Liquid – Another shorthand term for e-liquid.

Lithium-Ion Batteries (Li-Ion) – high-quality rechargeable batteries that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and capacities.

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.

mA – 1/1000th of an amp. This notation often describes the output of chargers.

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 the duration before needing to be charged.

Manual Shut-Off – A feature that allows the user to manually shut off the device with a combination of clicks of the button, in order to prevent quick battery discharge and misfires.

Mechanical Mod – Also referred to as mech mods or mechs, these are vape 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.

Microcomputer/Microprocessor – A tiny microchip that communicates with the battery to power the tank, allowing experience customization.

MG strength – the amount of nicotine (in milligrams) in one milliliter of e-liquid. Written as mg/mL (milligrams per milliliter (mL)

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.

Mouthpiece – The end of the vape where users inhale vapor from. Can be built-in or removable. 

Mouth-to-Lung Hit – 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.

Nichrome Wire – A Nickel-Chrome wire used in some atomizer coils. May contain some iron. A common ratio is 80% nickel to 20% chromium. Nichrome is applicable in high-wattage devices, TC mode, and exotic coil builds.

Nic Juice – An e-liquid that contains nicotine.

Nicotine – Also called “nic,” this is the substance found in cigarettes and some e-liquid to give smokers and vapors their required nicotine intake. E-liquids have varying amounts of nicotine, ranging from 0% to 5.2%.

Nicotine Level – The concentration of nicotine in an e-liquid, measured in mg/mL.


NiMH – Nickel-Metal Hydride – a type of battery containing no cadmium, and no memory effect, which is why it’s capable of charging at any given time without affecting battery safety.

NRT – Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

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, it gives increased battery life, effectively doubling the mAh.

Pass-through – When an vape model is described as having pass-through, 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 a power source.

Pen Style – A type of vape that’s shaped like a pen.

Personal Vaporizer – Also called PV for short, this is another name for vape, particularly for mods and nontraditional pen style units.

Propylene Glycol (PG) – One of two main substances used in e-liquid. PG is an over-the-counter substance used in many food products.

Primer – Also called “primer liquid,” this is a VG-based solution applied to the coil and wick of atomizers to prevent drying out during 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 coil, a few drops of liquid are added and 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.

Resistance Wire – a specific kind of metal wire that is used for coils (heating elements) that vaporize e-juice. The level of resistance affects the amount of vapor and flavor.

Ribbon Kanthal, Ribbon Wire, Ribbon – a type of resistance wire used for building coils which has a flat cross-section, rather than round, providing more surface area to conduct heat to the e-liquid. Users of this wire claim that it provides better vapor and flavor production than traditional wire.

RBA – “Rebuildable Atomizer”

RTA – “Rebuildable Tank Atomizer

Sensor – An electronic component used in some e-cigarette batteries which detects when the user is taking a puff, and automatically provides power to the coil, eliminating the need to press a button.

Series – For mechanical mods with dual battery setups that are wired in series, this doubles the voltage output at the expense of battery life.

Silica – A common material used for wicks. 

Smart Chip – A chipset located in a vaporizer unit that provides advanced functionality and settings.

Stacking – A risky practice of stacking batteries end-to-end in a mechanical mod for increasing the power.

Standard Resistance – Is the typical range of ohm ratings suitable for vaping device capabilities, commonly 1.8 to 3.0 ohms.

Starter Kit – A package that usually has everything one needs to start vaping, including: a vaporizer, one or two coils, a charger, and/or a pack of pre-filled cartridges.

Steeping – A term used to describe the act of letting newly mixed e-liquid sit open to the air for at least six hours to let the ingredients "marry."

Stick Style – Another term for a vaporizer that looks like a stick. 

Sub-ohm – Referring to something less than 1 ohm. Coils with ratings lower than 1 ohm would be considered sub-ohm.

Tailpiping – Direct dripping and inhaling without a drip tip on your device.

Tank – Clearomizers with bigger capacity enclosures made of glass or plastic, which are able to hold larger amounts of e-liquid. They can be fitted with their appropriate coils.

Throat Hit – The sensation after vapor hits the throat. Many users rely on this sensation, as it's reminds them of the "hit" cigarettes gave them. Some users prefer a smoother experience. PG is usually the main ingredient that causes a throat hit.

Toot – A slang term for a draw from an electronic cigarette.


Topping Off – adding a few drops of e-liquid into a cartridge, cartomizer or tank, to fill it to capacity.

Tube Mod – A term used to describe e-cigarettes or PVs that come in a tube shape.

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.

USB Passthrough – A function of a vaping device allowing to vape while it charges through the USB cord.

Vaper – Used to describe anyone who uses e-cigarettes.

Vaper’s Tongue – A sensation experienced when a user uses too much of one flavor, causing the tongue to become desensitized.

Vaping – The activity of using an electronic cigarette.


Vent holes – Small holes across the battery unit that is made to prevent battery overheating.

Vapor – The result of vaporizing 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.

Vaporizer – Another term for an e-cigarette. Often used to describe a vaping device for ground materials or oil concentrates.

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 – Refers to the electrical potential of a power source.

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.

Watt (wattage) – The amount of power consumed by the tank's coil. The higher the wattage – the more vapor is produced. Higher wattages often lead to hot vapor & diminished flavor.

Wick – The material wrapped around the heating coil that soaks e-liquid for vaporization. Usually made of organic cotton.

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.