We’ve all been left in the dark on vaping vocabulary at some point. When I was new to vaping, hearing my peers talk about vaping was like hearing my friend Kenny talk about Bitcoin. To bring meaning to this gobledygook, I’ve accrued a list of vaping vocabulary:
Airflow: An generally adjustable intake of air into an electronic cigarette’s atomizer. Airflow enables cooler vapor with more robust cloud production.
Amps: Short for “ampere,” which is a unit of electric current, and is one of the seven SI base units.
Atomizer/Atty: The apparatus on an electronic cigarette that contains the heating coil, wick, and bridge. The atomizer is responsible for the actual vaporization of e-juice.
Authentic: As opposed to “clones,” authentic vape equipment is the originally manufactured and patented model.
Battery: Batteries are the source of electrical current in an electronic cigarette. These vary widely in size, shape, and power.
Blend: The ratio of vegetable glycerine (VG), propylene glycol (PG), nicotine, and flavoring contained in e-juice.
Box-Mod: A typically box-shaped and regulated vape device that contains lithium ion batteries and a chip to regulate the flow of electrical current to the atomizer.
Build: The practice of assembling one’s own atomizer, including coil construction and wicking. Usually associated with dripping.
Cartomizer: Combined atomizer and disposable cartridge. Affordable, and regarded as outdated.
Ceramic (coil): A heating element that utilizes ceramic wicks, as opposed to fiber, silica, or cotton.
Chuff: An oversized, distinct drip-tip. Usually requires a 12mm opening instead of the standard 8mm.
Clearomizer: A cartomizer with transparent outer edge, which lets vapers monitor their loaded e-juice supply.
Clone: A copy, counterfeit, or homage version of an authentic vaping product. Clones tend to be more affordable than authentic products.
Cloud Comp: A competition in which vapers produce vapor clouds. Victory is generally determined by cloud size.
Coil: The wrapped wire housed in the atomizer, which acts as the primary heating element. Coil material and style varies widely.
DIY (Do-It-Yourself): The craft in which vapers mix their own e-juice with bulk materials.
Drip: Applying, or “dripping,” e-juice directly onto the atomizer (coil/wick) for flavor and vapor production.
Drip Tip: Originally conceived for dripping convenience, a drip tip is a plastic tip attached to the atomizer.
Dry Hit: The much-loathed process of drawing vapor from an atomizer devoid of e-juice. A dry hit is a sign that a vaper should apply e-juice to their atomizer.
eGo: A 510 threaded battery with specific threading on its exterior. Can be found on many beginner-level and outdated devices.
E-Juice: The liquid mix of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, nicotine, and flavoring. The raw material that is vaporized and inhaled in vaping.
Fire: To activate a vape device’s heating element to produce vapor. Usually a button that allows electrical current to flow from a battery to atomizer, converting electrical energy to heat, which atomizes e-juice into vapor.
Flavoring: The natural and/or artificial additive in e-juice which stimulates olfactory and gustative responses in vapers.
Flooding: An occurrence which results from excess e-juice in or on the atomizer. Can produce gurgling, and hindered vapor/taste production.
Ghost Flavor: The lingering taste of e-juice. An atomizer that has not been properly cleaned will carry the ghost flavor of a former e-juice, after the e-juice has been changed.
Internal Battery: A battery housed inside of a vape device, which is not intended to be removed.
Joule: The International System unit of energy, equal to the work done by a force of one newton when its point of application moves one meter in the direction of the force, equivalent to one 3600th of a watt-hour. Used in Temperature Control mods.
Kanthal: A family of iron-chromium-aluminum alloys used in a wide range of resistance and high-temperature applications. A reliable metallic material used for atomizer coils.
Lithium Ion (battery): A member of a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. Extremely common in consumer electronics.
mAh: One-Thousandth of an ampere-hour, which is a unit of electric charge. Milliampere-hours are commonly used as units of measurement for electrical capacity of batteries.
Married Batteries: Two batteries used in tandem over their whole functional life. Recommended for external batteries paired for multiple-battery vape devices.
Mod: Originally called “Modified Electronic Cigarettes,” but now a name for any vaping device that is more advanced than a “vape-pen” or a cigalike.
Nickel: A metallic element used for coils. Nickel has a high temperature coefficient, with drastic changes in resistance when heat is applied. Should be used with extreme caution.
Ohm: A measure of electrical resistance.
Ohm’s Law: An electrical law that states the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points.
Parallel: All components in a circuit are connected across each other, forming exactly two sets of electrically common points. Regarded as safer than series circuits.
PG/ Propylene Glycol: An organic compound that is viscous, colorless, nearly odorless, and a versatile flavor-carrier. High-PG blends are more flavorful, with a harsher “throat-hit.” Some vapers are known to have PG intolerances and allergies.
RBA/RDA: An atomizer that can be rebuilt and customized to the user’s specifications. Generally used for dripping.
RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer): A pressure differential liquid tank that surrounds and feeds the atomization chamber. In summation, a “built” coil within a tank atomizer.
Resistance: An electrical quantity that measures how the device or material reduces the electric current flow through it. The resistance is measure in units of ohms.
Series: A circuit where there is only one path from the source through all of the loads, and back to the source. In vaping, the electronic current through each battery flows consecutively.
Shade Rating: The rating of darkness/lightness of an e-juice. E-juice varies in viscosity, blend, and shade.
Short Circuit: An electrical circuit that allows a current to travel along an unintended path, often where essentially no (or very low) electrical impedance is encountered. The electrical opposite of a short circuit is an “open circuit”, which is an infinite resistance between two nodes. In the world of vaping, this can be extremely dangerous.
Silica: An expensive wicking material that can dry-burn freely, but is harder to use and compromises flavor. Cotton wicks are generally preferred.
Spit Back: The irritating splatter of e-juice from an RBA, generally resulting from drowned or flooded coils.
Starter Kit: A comprehensive package of vaping equipment needed to start your vaping journey. Available at the beginner to advanced levels.
Steep: The process of oxidation that occurs when e-juice is allowed to rest after its creation. We recommend steeping freshly-mixed juice for a few weeks before vaping, to optimize flavor and vapor production.
Sub-Ohm: The craft at vaping high-powered devices at a resistance level less than 1 ohm. More unrestricted power means more vapor, stronger flavor, and more danger. Safety precautions should be exercised when sub-ohm vaping.
Tank Cracker: A number of e-juices are known crack or break plastic tanks. A tank-cracker may be more acerbic, acidic, or erosive than other e-juices.
Temperature Control/ TC: A feature of vape devices that allows preset values in Celsius/Fahrenheit that your coil temperature will not exceed.
Tootlepoofer/Tootlepuffer: A vaper that is completely satisfied vaping at low wattage, with basic and feeble devices. A tootlepoofer prefers the small, tight draws of pen-style and cigalike electronic cigarettes.
Top-Fill: A tank atomizer that is filled from the top, as opposed to atomizers that must be detached, flipped, and filled from the bottom.
Vape: To inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.
Vape Band: A band made of rubber or other shock-absorbing material that is wrapped around a tank to prevent damage to an electronic cigarette. Often decorative.
Vented battery: A battery that overloads, releases toxic gasses, and potentially explodes. Usually caused by hard shorts and/or damage to a battery.
Wick: A material housed in the atomizer that absorbs e-juice and delivers it to the heating element. A crucial part of flavor and vapor production.
If you have any vaping vocabulary that you’d like to see defined, and is missing from the list above, feel free to share your terms below! Vaping vocabulary is extremely important to the vaping community and experience.