Vaping Glossary

In order to help those who are new to e-cigs and vaping in general or to brush up on your vaping knowledge and vocabulary, we present the first part of our Vaping 101 entries; The Glossary. As always, if you think of something we need to add or feel our definition is incomplete or missing key elements drop us a line!  This glossary is a constant work-in-progress, and at no point is it probably complete!


All Day Vape – A phrase meaning a flavor or e-liquid that you can vape regularly, without getting tired of it or desiring something different.

Analog – Sometime spelled “Analogue” Used to describe “real” cigarettes containing tobacco and rolled in paper.

Atomizer – This is a term for any device that reduces liquid to a fine spray, but further explanation is needed in the case of vaping. Typically, this is the core device of your e-cig, mod, or eGo that heats the e-liquid up enough to produce a cloud of vapor. It usually consists of some sort of wire-coil that when connected and activated to a battery, warms up when electricity is passed through it. Some Atomizers are only coil-based, meaning the e-liquid is dripped directly on the coils to produce vapor, while others usually have a wick made of cotton to pull the e-liquid into the atomizer from a tank, and through the coils. Atomizers can have many coils and wicks. They are also the first device that generally goes bad and needs replacing after so much use.

Atty – Slang, see “Atomizer”.

Automatic – Typically describes e-cigarettes that have no button for activation, usually relying on sensing the draw, or pull of air as you puff to activate the battery and heat the atomizer.

Batt. – Shorter terminology for “Battery”

Cart – Shorter term for “Cartridge”

Carto – Shorter term for “Cartomizer”

Cartridge – A metal or plastic cylinder usually packed with cotton for wicking e-liquid towards an atomizer.

Cartomizer – Upon first inspection, it looks like a cartridge, except it usually includes the atomizer inside it as well. Typically seen in the traditional cigalikes.

Cigalike – Also seen as “cig-alike”. This is used in vaping terms to describe the traditional model of e-cigarettes, usually closely resembling a real cigarette. These types of e-cigs are generally what new people into vaping start with because of the small sizes and typically feel of holding a real cigarette. It’s generally considered an entry-level point for vaping, though many people choose to use this type exclusively.

Clearomizer – Much like the cartomizer, except the liquid seeps in through holes in the cylinder, or very short wicks, and straight into the atomizer. They are generally made of plastic or glass clear tanks so you can see the liquid.

Cloud – Another term used for “vapor”, but more often used to describe the vapor post-exhalation.

Coil – The wire inside atomizers, usually coiled in a spiral, that heats up and vaporizes the e-liquid.

Drip Tip – An apparatus that is used to make it simpler and less messy to drop liquid directly on the atomizer for what most consider cleaner vaping.

Disposable – These are e-cigs produced to be used and then thrown away. Some people do attempt to refill them, often because the battery lasts longer than the liquid.

eGO– While this has a rather loose definition now, most use it to describe the “pen” type personal vaporizer, which usually includes a larger cylindrical battery, a tank for the e-liquid, and an atomizer or clearomizer. Originally it was adopted as a name for the 510 style threading of batteries, but has grown into more of a descriptive term, such as “eGO style”, meaning not so much the threading, but the bigger, pen style e-cigs.

E-juice – Also called “e-liquid” or “smoke juice”, this is the fluid made to be atomized and inhaled in electronic cigarettes. It typically comes in a 50% Propylene Glychol and 50% Vegetable Glycering formula, with flavorings added, but may be found in other ratios. Some companies allow you to create your own flavoring and ratio mixes.

Impedance – See “Ohm”

mAh – This is an abbreviation for “Milliamepere-hour”. Taking it further, a milliamp is 1/1000th of 1 Amp or .001 Amps, so 1 mAh is using 1 milliamp each hour. Batteries are often gauged with this measurement. For instance, if your coil burns runs a current of 100 mA and your battery is rated 1000mAh, then your battery should last 10 hours of continuous use. Keep in mind though that batteries weaken over time and as used. There are a lot of variables involved, but the important thing to keep in mind is that the higher this number is, the longer your battery should last, but usually at the cost of a bigger size as well.

Manual – Usually used descriptively (e.g. Manual battery), meaning that you have to activate the device with a button to heat the element and produce vapor. Though more inconvenient for some, the result is usually a better puff and more vapor.

Mouthpiece – The part of the e-cig that is puffed on by the user, and where vapor leaves the device and enters the mouth. It’s usually made of either plastic or stainless steel, but sometimes rubber for a softer feel.

Nicotine – Nicotine is alkaloid chemical found in tobacco. It’s been proven very addictive, and is considered a toxin to the human body. However, though how harmful it is in small doses are still being disputed even today, it’s often considered a relaxant. Out of the thousands of harmful chemicals inhaled from the smoke of a real analog cigarette, Nicotine is the ONLY one that is purposefully injected into e-juices. Most e-juices offer options of nicotine levels between zero and 48 mg per milliliter of juice. Often this is expressed as a percentage instead of a measure.

Ohm – Symbolized as “Ω”. An “ohm” is a measure of resistance to electric current. Most coils and atomizers state their resistance in this measure, with a lesser number meaning lesser resistance, and therefore, more current and heat. However, “ohms” can also be a measure of impedance, which is a combination of physical resistance to current, and electro-magnetic resistance caused by being a coil, but this only applies in alternating current situations, of which batteries do not produce.

Passthrough – (Passthru) – If a battery allows Passthrough, then you can plug the battery into a USB port or charger and use it like normal without draining the battery. Some batteries also charge while using this feature.
Pen (or Pen-style) – A term referring mostly to eGO type personal vaping devices. Much bigger than cig-a-likes, but not as huge as mod-style ones. Typically resembles a big writing pen, therefore the reference. Also sometimes called “e-cigars”.

Personal Vaporizer – Used to describe any e-cig or vaping device in general.

Propylene Glycol – Often abbreviated “PG”, this is one of the two main ingredients used in current e-juices.

Puff – Other terms include “draw”, “hit”, “pull” and “vape”. This is the way of sucking in on a mouthpiece to pull vapor from the device, into your mouth. Puffers-Post.com rates e-cigs for the “Draw”, as many people consider the amount of airflow and resistance to the puff to be important and typically want it to be as much like a real cigarette as possible.

Smoke Juice – See “E-juice”

Starter Kit – A package deal sold by e-cig companies that generally include one vaping device with batteries, usually a flavor or two, and chargers. In general, a complete kit to get you started vaping.

Tank – Usually a plastic or metal and glass cylinder-like tube able to hold a lot more e-liquid then your typical cartomizer. Usually used in pen-style or eGO e-cigs.

Throat Hit – Something most vapers, especially those coming from smoking analog cigarettes, really crave. It’s much like the small but pleasurable burn you feel when drinking carbonated drinks or smoking an analog cigarette. This is a category we rate in our reviews of juices and devices.

Toot – A term becoming more popular with the vaping community. It has the same meaning as “Puff”.

Vaper – A descriptive term for someone who uses personal vaping devices.

Vegetable Glycerin – Often abbreviated “VG” and often also called “Vegetable Glycerol”.  A clear, odorless, somewhat viscous liquid produced often from palm oil, soy, or coconut oil.  Though typically used in foods, moisturizer or makeup, it has a variety of uses, including being an ingredient in most e-juices.  Typically USP grade, or at least 99% pure kosher vegetable glycerin is used in e-juices.  It’s properties, when vaped, often include thicker vaper clouds and increased sweetness of the juice.  It has been labeled “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA, though certainly the action of inhaling it regularly is still being studied.  There are more e-juice companies now using larger ratios of VG in their juices (sometimes 100%) as propylene glycol has been known to case allergic reactions in some people.  However, because of the thicker and viscous nature of VG, it often kills atomizers way before they should see their end.

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