Definitive Definitions! An A-Z of vaping

Have you ever come across a vape term and not known what the heck it means? Well, instead of trawling through our guides to find it, we’ve condensed it all into one easy-to-find place! As a side note this list will updated from time to time as technology moves forward and new keywords arise. Without further ado, here it is:


Atomiser: Also referred to as “atty” for short, this is the part of an e-cig that houses the coil and which that is heated to produce vapour from e-liquid

Airflow: The amount of air sucked into an atomise or tank. Looser airflow results in more vapour while tighter airflow results in less vapour but more intense flavour.

AFC:  Air flow control, this refers to a small dial, ring or top cap found in atomisers, clearomisers and tanks to adjust how tight the draw is of an e-cig.

510: The most common and popular style of atomiser, its threading has become the industry standard with most atomisers, cartomisers, clearomisers and tanks using it.

18650: The most popular battery size for advanced e-cigs, these batteries give users decent power and battery life with less bulk than 26650’s. 

20700: The type of battery typically used with advanced box mods and some mech mods. With batteries, the notation of numbers comes from the diameter of the battery, followed by the length. In this case, the 20700 battery is 20mm in diameter and 70mm in length. These batteries offer a bigger storage capacity and amperage than the conventional 18650’s. 

26650: The largest sizes battery used in advanced e-cigarettes and box mods, these are usually used by sub-ohm vapers, or users who use atomisers with a resistance less than 1 ohm.

Amps/amperage: This is the flow of energy along a circuit. Batteries with higher amps can better handle atomisers with lower resistances without overheating.

Analogue:  The slang name for regular cigarettes.

Automatic/auto draw: A mode of e-cigarette wherein the battery automatically heats the atomiser without users having to press a button. This is activated by a sensor in an atomiser which detects when the user draws air from it.

Battery: The main part of an e-cigarette, the term refers to vape pens and cig-a-likes that don’t have replaceable batteries. The two types are manual and automatic; Manual batteries require the user to press a button found on the side of the device, while automatic batteries are activated by inhaling through the mouthpiece.

Carcinogen:  A chemical compound that appears during tobacco combustion or extreme e-liquid heating. Studies suggest that carcinogens might cause cancer and other disease when inhaled reguarly.

Cartomiser: An atomiser and cartridge in one, cartomisers are longer than regular atomisers, hold more e-liquid and are disposable. These are also available as punched (for use in tanks), and with dual coils.

Cig-a-like: A simple vaping device that fully resemble the look of a conventional cigarette.

Coil: The part of the atomiser used to heat or vaporise the liquid.

Connection: A term used to describe the type of threading your e-cigarette uses for atomisers, e.g. a 510 connection.

Cutoff: A safety feature in e-cigarettes, cutoff refers the the amount of time once can take a drag from an e-cig before it cuts off the power to prevent overheating. Cutoff times in regulated e-cigs typically range from 10-15 seconds.

Diacetyl: Diacetyl is a flavouring used in some e-liquid production for its buttery flavour. Can cause bronchitis obliterans, otherwise known as “Popcorn Lung”, if inhaled in large concentrations. Many e-liquid vendors have stopped using it.

Draw: A term to describe the act of inhaling vapour from the mouthpiece to your mouth.

Dry hit: A term that describes taking a drag off your e-cig that’s run out of juice, which burns the wick resulting in an unpleasant burnt cotton taste.

Dual coil:  Atomisers, cartomisers or clearomisers with two coils instead of one. This gives off more vapour at the expense of reduced battery life.

E-juice/e-liquid: The solution that’s vaporised to create vapour, e-juice comes in a variety of nicotine strengths and flavours. It is made from Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), flavourings and optionally nicotine.

E-cigarette: The name used to describe a device that gives smokers an alternative means to satisfy their nicotine cravings. At its most basic, it is comprised of a battery and atomiser, with e-liquid added, from which vapour is created.

E-cigarette starter kit: A kit that usually consists of a battery unit and an atomiser to the user buys all the necessary devices to start vaping within one box.

Inhale: The act of breathing vapour into your lungs or mouth. There are two kinds: lung inhale (DTL), and mouth-to-lung inhale (MTL). Lung inhaling is when the vapour goes straight to your lungs. This is often used by cloud chasers and high wattage users. Mouth-to-lung inhaling is when vapour is inhaled to the mouth, then to the lungs. This type is most common, and the same kind of inhale used by cigarette smoker. 

Leaking: When e-liquid leaks out of an atomiser/tank/cartomiser, etc. This can cause damage to e-cigs if the e-liquid starts to leak into the battery.

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

MAh: And abbreviation of milliampere-hour, this is the term used to describe a battery’s capacigty to store energy. The higher the mAh, the longer its life before needing to be recharged.

Mouthpiece: The end from which users inhale vapour. This can either be built-in or customisable using drip tips

Ohm: The unit of measurement used for electrical resistance. A lower ohm reading for coils means hotter and thicker vapour, while a higher ohm reading means cooler vapour

Priming: A technique to help prolong the life of your coils and reduce the likelihood of dry/burnt hits. It involves taking a new coil and adding a few drops to the centre and the outer wick slots, then letting sit for a minute or two. Then installing the coil, filling the tank and letting it sit for a few more minutes.

Resistance: Measured in ohms, resistance depends on the thickness of wire used in a coil, the number of coils, the circumference, and how tightly the coils are wound.

VV or Variable Voltage: Any type of e-cig or personal vaper 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 device. The device adjusts power according to the set wattage, and is the main difference between VV and VW.

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.

Box Mod: A type of device 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 (thus, more pocketable) length. Box mods are also more powerful than their tube counterparts, with power outputs ranging from 20 watts to 200 watts.

Clone: A copy of a branded e-cigarette. Many of the top brands now feature authenticity stickers.

Cloud Chasing: The pursuit of blowing massive clouds. People who fall into this category are known as ‘Cloud Chasers’.

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. Cutoff times in regulated e-cigs typically range from 10 to 15 seconds.

DNA Chipset: A brand of chipset that provides control and delivery of power to e-cigarettes. 

DNA Mod: A mod that uses the DNA chipset.

Dual Coil: Atomizers, cartomizers or clearomizers with two coils instead of one. This gives off more vapor at the expense of reduced battery life.

Flavour Chaser: A person who priorities flavour from his e-cig (often used in comparison with cloud chasing.)

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 potential battery failure.

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.

mAh: Milli amp hour (1/1000th of an amp hour)

Microcomputer/Microprocessor: A tiny microchip that contacts the battery to power the atomizer, allowing experience customization.

Mod: Originally the for an electronic cigarette which has been modified into a unique design. Now frequently used to describe mass manufactured box style e-cigarettes.

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.

Pass-through: When an e-cig model is described as having pass-through capabilities, 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 an adaptor, computer or power bank.

Priming: The process of soaking your new coil prior to use. This reduces the chances of dry burn and burnt out coils and is essential when using more powerful set ups.

Titanium coils: Alternative to nickel coils. Titanium is stiffer, offers higher resistance and is easier to work with. However, there is some controversy over titanium, with some vapers questioning the safety.

Triple Coil: Seen in cartomizers and in rebuildables, triple coils produce massive amounts of vapor, though battery life is reduced because of the added draw on power.

Vaper’s Tongue: A sensation felt when a user uses too much of one flavour, causing the tongue to become desensitized. It can also refer to the tickling sensation on the tongue after a long vape session.

Vent holes: Designed as a safety feature in batteries, these allow gases to be expelled from the battery.

Venting: When gases are released via the vent holes from an e-cig battery.

Clapton coil: Round wire wrapped with a higher gauge wire to resemble a guitar string.

Fused Clapton coil: A Clapton with more than one core

Staggered Fused Clapton coil: Spaced Claptons fused together by filling ‘empty’ spaces with the secondary wrap.

Helix coil: Twisted round wire with higher gauge wire in the grooves.

Staple coil: 10 pieces of ribbon wire stacked together, then Clapton’d with high gauge wire.

Framed Staple coil: A variation on the staple coil. The key difference is the core having a section of round wire on each side, or the ‘Frame’. 

Tiger coil: A round wire build twisted with ribbon wire.

Juggernaut coil: A multi-cored wire that have been wrapped in ribbon wire.

Zipper coil: Two strands of opposingly twisted wire in parallel. The twisted wire can also be replaced with micro-claptons, or flattened and polished for effect. Each pair can also be separated with another strand of plain or Clapton’d wire.

Alien wire: Very similar to the Fused Clapton, but the outer wrap is comprised of wire removed from the outer wrap of a previously made Clapton, stretched and then re-wrapped creating an interleaved effect.

That’s all for now, like I mentioned before we’ll be updating the list from time to time, so make sure to check back for new terms!

Vape On!!


Previous article The EU CBD Market - Will it be knee-capped?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

Open drop down