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Vaping glossary

Want to learn more about vaping, but think that an atomizer is something Dr. Who might use? Then you're in the right place!

To somebody looking for a healthier alternative to smoking, the world of vaping can be a bewildering space where even the jargon has its own jargon and there are endless products, options and acronyms to wade through. Advanced vaping mufactuers like CompLyfe Mods and Avid Lyfe use plenty of these word, so to get a better understanding of the world of advanced vaping our vaping glossary is a good point to start!

You only have to look at forums online to see the confusion, even when it comes to the basics. Inevitably every culture develops its own terminology and slang - and sometimes you need a little guidance to cut through the fog, so here are some of our top pointers to get you started.



18350: A smaller battery used in compact vape devices.

18650: A type of battery and by far the most widely used battery in vaping today.

18500: A medium sized battery, sits between 18650 and 18350, is also used in smaller mods.

20700, 21700: A larger battery recently developed, slightly larger and has more capacity than the 18650.

26650: Largest type of vape battery, is rarely used but some mods and mech mods are available that fit this battery.

50/50: Stands for 50 % Vg 50% PG, normally results in a thinner composition

70/30: Stands for 70% vg 30% PG, is one of the most popular eliquid composition and is great for every type of atomizer.

80/20: Stands for 80% VG 20% PG, normally results in a very thick eliquid, and ideal for cloud chasing


PV: Advanced Personal Vaporizer

APV: Advanced Personal Vaporizer

Atomizer: This is the heating element in an electronic cigarette. Typically atomizers need to be replaced every few weeks, as they are a consumable product.

Atty: Short for ‘atomizer’.

Analogue: A way to refer to smoking cigarettes


Box Mod: A certain style of e-cigarette device which is shaped like a box.


Charger: A device used to charge a battery. Always use the correct charger, such as the one provided with a rechargeable product, or an authorised replacement.

Clapton Coil: A special type of e-cig coils.

Coil: Wrapped wire, typically kanthal, attached to an atomiser that heats up upon operation of the device. Wicks in or around the coil heat up, vaporising the juice they are saturated with.

Cloud Chasing: To modify your vape to create as much vapor as possible, cloud chasers also compete to create the largest 'clouds'


Drip Tip: A drip tip is the mouthpiece. They can come in various shapes, sizes and colours.

Dry Burn: A method used to clean the coils in an atomizer by activating the device without a tank of liquid attached.

Dry Hit: An unpleasant taste when using an e-cigarette, triggered by not enough e-liquid being saturated in the wicks when you activate the device.

Dripper: A type of atomizer which is customizable, allowing the user to drip e-liquid onto their wicks.

Dripping: Vaping with an RDA is called ‘Dripping’ as you have to literally drip eliquid on to your coils.

DLI (Direct Lung Inhale): Used to describe an atomizer with open air flow, meaning to vape it you have to directly inhale the vapour in to your lungs.


E-Cig: An E-Cigarette

E-Liquid: The liquid solution that is vaporized by an e-cigarette. It contains flavourings, nicotine, and a mix of PG/VG.


Flooding: This can occur when too much E-Liquid is added to the clearomizer/atomizer. It often results in a ‘gurgling’ vape.

Flavour Chasing:


Genesis: A rebuildable atomizer which is a combination of a tank and a RDA.


High Resistance: An atomizer can have a high resistance meaning that it is capable of being used with high voltage devices.




Kanthal: A type of wire used to make coils in atomizers.


Leaking: This can happen when too much e-liquid is flowing to the wicks, and the wicking material cannot absorb it all. The excess liquid will leak from holes designed for airflow.

Low resistance: A lower resistance on your atomizer/clearomizer means that there is less regulation of current and so the heating element will got hotter more quickly and produce a lot of vapour.


MaxVG: An eliquid with the maximum amount of VG possible

mAh: Milliampere hour. The higher the rating the longer the battery will last.

Mechanical Mod: A mod which uses IMR batteries to power it. They are unregulated and have no safety features. They are advanced electronic cigarettes and should be used only by experienced users.

Mesh: A thin piece of stainless steel sheeting used in genesis style tanbarks. Used instead of silica wicks.

Mg: The unit of measurement for nicotine strengths

ML: A unit of measurement for Liquid

Mod: An advanced electronic cigarette device. They offer more functionality and power.

MTL: Stands for mouth to lung, and describes a restricted airflow, more like a cigarette.




Nic salts: Nic salts are eliquids with salt based nicotine instead of regular nicotine. This type of eliquid enables you to vape at higher nicotine strengths and get a smooth vape that's not harsh on the throat, nic salts are therefore ideal for pod mods.


Nicotine Shot: A nic shot is generally a 18mg 10ml bottle of eliquid with no flavouring, it is designed to pour in to a 50ml short fill eliquid to make it a 3mg 60ml bottle of eliquid. Designed as a work around to TPD regulations.




Ohm: The electrical resistance measurement which is used to measure the resistance in atomizers




PV: Personal Vaporizer, generally refers to any box mod or unit that powers the atomizer


Pod: Replacement cartridge for a pod mod like the SMPO. Pods are normally disposable and can come as pre filled or as refillable.


Pod Mod: A mod mod is a ultra compact all in one vape device. Normally has prefilled disposable cartridges called pods, and are designed to have high strength nicotine. Very effective for coming of cigarettes.


PG: Propylene Glycol. A mixing agent which is usually one of the main ingredients in e-liquid.




Rebuildable Atomizer: An atomizer which can be rebuilt by the user. Using coil and wick the user can manage the amount of flavour and vapour produced




RTA: Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. RTA’s are similar to RDA’s in a sense that they can be rebuilt, but the difference is that they have a tank sitting on top of them. Rebuildable Tank Atomizers are a combination of the tank and the RDA.


RDA: A typical RDA will have a metal wire (coil), which heats up e-liquid that has been poured onto cotton. The user creates the coil, inserts the cotton and drips e-liquid onto the cotton. Once the device is powered up vapor is produced. As the taste begins to dissipate, its time to drip some juice back onto the cotton.


Resistance: Measured in Ohms and relating to the coils. The lower the resistance, the lower the voltage needed to heat the coil.




Squonk: A device with a built in bottle which you can squeeze to wick eliquid into your atomizer


Squonking: When you vape with a squonk mod, it is called squonking.


Short: An unintended electrical connection. It can cause the device to fail. Many e-cigarettes have safety features to protect users from dangerous outcomes of short circuits.


Steeping: Steeping is the process in which an E-Liquid is left to ‘age’ to get the best flavour. Similar to wine. For some E-Liquids steeping is necessary and would typically need to be steeped for 1-2 weeks at least.


Sub-Ohm Vaping: Sub-Ohming refers to vaping on a device with a resistance level of less than 1.0 Ohms. All beginner style coils operate at more than 1.0 ohms. However, some coils are capable of going below this point, those that do are called ‘sub-ohm’.


Sub-Ohm Tank: A tank which is capable of using low-resistance coils which in turn require more battery power to be used. A step up from beginner tanks which offers more flavour and vapour.




Throat Hit: The feeling that smoking a traditional cigarette gives. A slightly harsh feeling in the throat which smokers become accustomed too. A good throat hit in an E-Liquid mimics this. Rather than feeling as if you’re inhaling nothing, you feel a little kick.




Vape: Your E-Cigarette. Or to use your e-cigarette. As in: “to vape”.


Vaper: A user of e-cigarettes. “I am a Vaper”.


Vaping: The act of using your e-cigarette. As in “I am vaping”


VV: Variable Voltage


VW: Variable Wattage


VG: Vegetable Glycerin




Wick:  Any material used to adsorb e-liquid and deliver it to the coil for vaporizing.

Author: Taz Dean

Taz Dean has had a ten year career in the vaping industry. He has helped build business', develop products and create e-liquid lines globally. As an ex smoker, avid vaper and vaping advocate, he has years of knowledge and experience on aspects of the vaping industry, from the shop floor all the way to distribution . This unique insight helps with his unique perspective and engaging informational content.

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