The Beginner’s Guide to Vaping Terminology

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In part one of this beginner’s guide, we explored the history of vaping and the rapid evolution of electronic cigarettes. As you’ll recall, e cigarettes heat up flavored liquids to produce vapor, which the user inhales and exhales in a way that resembles smoking. Vaping is very different from smoking, however, e cigs require a bit of technology to produce the similar effect. But, before delving further into the details of how e cigs work, it’s time for a quick rundown of commonly used vaping terminology.

Understanding Vaping Terminology

The Internet is full of factual and helpful information about e-cigarettes. However, if you’re unfamiliar with vaping vernacular, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the jargon that veteran vapers throw around. Below is a glossary to help you get up to speed. Even if you think you’re an e cig expert, you still might learn a new term or two.

A-Z Vaping Terminology

Analog: A traditional tobacco cigarette that involves combustion to produce smoke, as opposed to an electronic cigarette that produces vapor.

Related: Vaping vs. Smoking

Atomizer: The standard heating element in an e-cig. As it warms up, the atoms that make up the e-juice move faster, which transforms the liquid into vapor.

Battery: The heating element’s power source. E cig batteries vary between lithium polymer and lithium-ion and can be replaceable or integrated into the device.

Blend: A fancy term for the ratio of propylene glycol to vegetable glycerin in an e-liquid.

Related: What’s in E-Liquid?

Box Mod: A type of mod supported by a big, box-shaped battery.

Cartomizer: A tank with a built-in atomizer. They can be disposable or refillable.

E-Tank: A removable container that holds e-liquid ready for use. They often include an absorbent filler material.

Cig-a-like: An e cig designed to look like a tobacco cigarette.

Clearomizer: A clear cartomizer with visible e liquid.

Cloudchaser: A vaping enthusiast who loves making big vapor clouds.

Clouds: A large plume of vapor produced by heating e-liquids to high temperatures.

Coil: The metal conductor for the heating element.

Drip Tip: A removable e cig mouthpiece.

Dripping: Putting e liquid directly onto the heating element as opposed to using a tank or cartomizer.

Dry Burn: A technique for cleaning atomizers by burning the coil in short durations with no e-juice present.

Dry Hit: A harsh tasting hit resulting from an insufficient supply of e-juice.

E cig/E-cig: Short for electronic cigarette.

E liquid/e juice: Synonymous terms for the flavored liquids e cigs use to produce vapor.

Lung Hit: Inhaling vapor directly into the lungs.

Mechanical Mod: A mod that lacks safety features commonly found in pre-manufactured devices.

Mod: A type of e cig made up of separable components. The term originally applied to personal vaporizers that had been either modified from a pre-manufactured e cig or built from scratch to meet the specific desires of the user; however, the term is now commonly used to describe any e cig that isn’t a cig-a-like.

Mouth Hit: Drawing vapor from an e-cig into the mouth before either inhaling it into the lungs or blowing it back out.

Nic/No-Nic: E liquids with or without nicotine.

Related: What is Nicotine?

Ohm: The scientific measure of electrical resistance. Lower resistance results in faster heating.

PG: Propylene glycol, a common base for e-liquids.

Regulated Mod: A mod with safety features to prevent overheating.

Resistance: The rate at which electricity travels through the heating element.

Tank: The reservoir for e liquid to be used with an e cig.

Threading: The type of connection used to attach the e liquid container to the device.

Throat Hit: A draw that you can feel tingling the back of your throat – usually associated with higher nicotine levels.

Unregulated Mod: Another term for mechanical mod.

Vaper’s tongue: A temporary dulling of the sense of taste that sometimes follows intense vaping sessions or vaping the same flavor for long periods of time.

VG: Vegetable glycerin, another common e-liquid base.

VV: Variable voltage, or the ability to control an e cig’s voltage.

VW: Variable wattage, or the ability to control an e cig’s wattage.

Wick: An absorbent material that draws e-liquid onto the heating element. 

How Do E-Cigs Work?

Now that you’re fluent in vaping terminology, you’re ready to read more about how e cigs work in part 3 of our beginner’s guide to vaping.