Jargon Buster

The electronic cigarette industry moves at an incredible pace. It's difficult sometimes, to keep your finger on the pulse of all of the exciting innovation, let alone the myriad of terms used. To that effect, what follows is a glossary of those terms, a jargon buster so to speak.
Of course, this list is by no means all encompassing and definitive due to the speed in which the industry moves, but will be updated on a regular basis; especially if a new term arrives in the vaping community on the back of remarkable metamorphosis, like ‘Sperring Gale Tremulator’ for example. Ok. That one we made up.


Article 20
A EU Tobacco Products Directive, introduced in 2014 that wants to see electronic cigarettes treated with the same stringent rules as tobacco. See TPD. Conspiracy theorists abound. Big Pharma tobacco money talks.

ADV/All Day Vape
An e-liquid which tickles your taste buds so much without you getting tired of its fulsome flavour, therefore is suitable for vaping all day.

APV (Advanced Personal Vaporizer)
There are such luminaries  in the vaping community that opine that the use of the term ‘electronic cigarette’, is somewhat ill advised, with its obvious connotations with smoking. Advanced Personal Vaporizer is just one of a number of terms used as an alternative for more modern electronic cigarettes. (Damn! Used the term ‘electronic cigarette’ again!).

Short for ampere, a measure of electrical current. E-Cig batteries are measured in milliamp hours (1/1000 of an ampere-1/1000 of 1 amp is .001 amp or 1 milliamp).

Analog Cigarette
Used to refer to traditional combustible cigarettes. As in ‘ fill your lungs full of tar and carcinogens’-oooh...Feel sick…..yuck. Disgusting things.

Atomiser (US: Atomizer)
Electronic component that turns the e-liquid solution contained within the APV into vapour through a heating and wicking process. The word ‘Coil’ is much easier to say, so most people do.

Abbreviation for atomiser. Or ‘Scouse’ for the tiny room at the top of the house with all the junk stored in it.

Automatic Switches
Some e-cigarettes have automatic switches where the air pressure created when you start drawing (sucking in) triggers the electronics in the device. Most e-cigarettes are manual versions and have a button which is pressed to start the heating.


Bottom Coil Clearomizer (BCC)
A clearomiser where the atomiser and heating coil is located at the bottom of the clearomiser.

Bottom Dual Coil Clearomizer (BDC)
A bottom coil clearomizer with two coils. Provides more vapour and a stronger throat hit, but uses up batteries quicker than a single coil clearomiser. Increasingly being replaced by vertical coil clearomizers. You might find some on sale somewhere.

Bottom Vertical Coil Clearomizer (BVC)
A bottom coil clearomizer with a single coil in vertical configuration, allowing improved airflow. Available in clearomizers such as the Aspire Atlantis and Aspire Nautilus Mini and many, many more.

Box Mod
Originally coined for the bigger, more powerful e-cigarette devices suitable for pushing more wattage and therefore capable of firing Sub Ohm tanks and drippers that utilise low ohms. Technology and advancement now means that most mods are anything but ‘Box’ resembling.

Vapers who prefer box mods. Also the preference for airy and loose fitting undercrackers as opposed to budgie smugglers.


Cartomiser (US: Cartomizer)
The first e-cig devices were made up of a battery with a separate cartridge and atomiser. These evolved into cartomizers, which combined the separate cartridge and atomiser into a single package. A cartomiser is a version of a tank or container. It contains the wicks and coil and atomiser, and also an absorbent gauze-wadding where the e-liquid is stored.  They can be empty (so you will need to fill them, even from new) or pre-filled (duh..obviously you don't need to fill those)
The great thing about carts (yes we have just shortened ‘cartomizer’) is the convenience.  Everything is done for you – you just screw the cart onto your battery and you are good to go.  The downside is that the flavour and throat hit is somewhat muted compared to a tank set-up….and yes..we are being generous here.

A cartomizer is usually referred to as a cartridge for cig-a-like e cigarettes.

CASAA: Consumer Advocacy for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA.org).
Non-profit organisation campaigning on the behalf of electronic cigarette users.

Ceramic coils
A type of coil advertised as having a longer life span and creating a cleaner flavour profile.

Clearomiser (US: Clearomizer)
A combined cartridge and atomizer, generally with clear or coloured opaque walls, which allow the user to see how much e-liquid remains in the cartridge. Often not refillable.

An electronic cigarette that closely resembles a tobacco cigarette. Often found in garage forecourt shops, misleading people into believing that that is what electronic cigarettes have to offer. Utter trash. Yours respectfully, proper devices.

A coil is the part of the e-cig that contains wires of differing elements (depending on the coil and its ability to be used in temp control or wattage mode) that ultimately heats e-liquid and turns it into vapour. In simple terms the coil is the heating element within an atomizer.

A type of coil configuration. A clapton coil has a thin wire wrapped around a thicker wire that forms the main coil to offer more surface area to the wick. Also a guitarist and singer known to his adoring faithful as ‘God’:(actually named due to its similarity to a guitar string).

A copy of a branded e-cigarette. Many of the top brands now feature authenticity stickers to make sure you are getting a bona fide product.

Cloud Chasing
The pursuit of blowing/chucking massive clouds. (Person: Cloud Chaser). Obstructs the telly but it's good fun!

Custom Mod
A mod that has been customised by the user. Not available to purchase off the shelf, and like all industries, there will always be ‘Steve in his bills’ making custom mods in his shed at the bottom of the garden. Some are rather nice though, without wishing to sound condescending or disparaging in any way. Some are true works of art and you need a custom invite via facebook and often a barrow full of cash to afford one. WEFYB.

A cut-off or automatic shutdown can happen if you take too long a puff from your e cigarette. It’s a safety device built into the chip of the device and can happen after a *5-15 second puff and will prevent the atomizer from overheating.*variable from manufacturer-some mods have an adjustable cut-off.


The part of a tank/receptacle that takes coils-pre wrapped or wrapped by user from certain wire types. Utilised on drippers and some sub ohm tanks(some sub ohm tanks come with a separate deck so you can buy pre made coils to fit or make your own to fit in the supplied deck).

A harmful compound which has been found in some early generation e-juices, (most are now advertised as ‘Diacetyl Free’) although generally far below levels found in cigarette smoke. If you are worried, ensure you only buy e-liquid from companies which test their e-liquid.

Disposable E-Cigarette
Designed to be used once and then disposed of after e-liquid has run out. As in….what?

DNA Chipset
A brand of chipset made by Evolve that provides control and delivery of power to e-cigarette. Various DNA chipsets.

A mod that uses a DNA chipset.

Refers to dipping an atomiser into e-juice prior to vaping. Also soldiers into a runny boiled egg.

Direct to lung
Vapour is inhaled straight to the lungs before being exhaled. Generally needing a sub ohm tank or dripper with a mod capable of firing those lower ohms resistances.
The complete opposite to ‘Mouth to lung’ where the vapour is held in the mouth first, mimicking the throat hit received from an analog cigarette.

A receptacle with a deck (posts that hold the coils and also containing a juice well) that coils are affixed into and wicked by user rather than purchasing a premade coil head for other tanks/receptacles.

Where e-liquid is dripped directly onto the coil. Funnily enough, used with drippers and not with bread.

Dry Burn
The effect you get when you heat your coil with no or insufficient e-liquid. Usually done by accident, some vapers do this on purpose in order to remove residue build up on the coils or to make sure their coils are firing evenly in a deck, from the inside out.Can lead to the cotton catching fire if left in on deck type builds and ruining the coil (due to the burnt wick) on pre mades. Scientists have advised against this. They have also advised against giving your brother a chinese burn,which is also not very pleasant.

Dry Hit
The feeling you get when you vape, as or after the coil burns out or cotton burns due to insufficient liquid or poor wicking.

Drip tip
Referring to the often interchangeable mouthpiece of the tank/receptacle/clearomizer etc.


eGo (also written as ego or EGO)
Originally an electronic cigarette model produced by JoyeTech. Ego is now used to refer to the type of fitting of a clearomiser or cartomiser. Ego or 510 connection (the connection threading from the container to the device).

Electronic Cigarette
A cigarette where an atomizer vaporizes the e-liquid, which is then inhaled as vapour as compared to the smoke inhaled from an analog cigarette.

A liquid solution. Usually contains nicotine, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, although some e-liquids contain zero nicotine, and some have higher proportions of either PG or VG depending on the end use. Higher PG applications are thinner and therefore mainly used for mouth to lung type vaping, whereas VG is thicker and a higher ratio of VG to PG is therefore more viscous and generally used in sub ohm vaping.

E-Liquid Chamber
That part of the tank where the e-liquid is stored. Sometimes made of plastic but more commonly pyrex glass, which is more adept at handling the higher temperatures associated with the type of vaping that requires it-normally sub ohm style. Even mouth to lung tanks often use glass nowadays.

ENDs: Electronic Nicotine Devices
Another term for electronic cigarettes. Frequently used in scientific papers on e-cigarettes. Some vapers like the term as it suggests the END of smoking.

For those people that desperately want to kick the dirty unhealthy habit, yet still want to sit in a big armchair, close to a roaring fire,sipping the finest malt whiskey whilst wearing a smoking jacket made of velour and unicorn hide.

Smoking with an electronic cigarette.


Often refers to the material used to pack a cartomiser. It is an extension of the wick, and absorbs e-liquid that is supplied to the coil. Can also be called wadding or filler.

Flavour Chaser
A person who would rather experience superb flavour over vapour production (both can be had now quite easily). The opposite to a cloud chaser. 

Occurs when e-juice floods into the atomiser. Often caused by overfilling with e-juice and can make a strange gurgling sound-which in most things is usually the portent for trouble.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
A branch of the United States government that oversees regulations pertaining to the safety of food and drug products sold in the USA. They’ve caused some controversy around e cigarettes and have a large say in their future in the USA. Currently absolutely and unequivocally smashed the American industry to pieces. Also being sued by various American vaping affiliates. Watch this space…


Genesis atomiser –or now, genesis style
A style of RBA that consists of a tank below the coil deck. A wick (originally stainless steel mesh) is fed through a hole into the tank and through the coil on the deck (genesis style atomisers now utiles normal cotton wicking).

A clearomizer that uses glass rather than plastic for the tank.


Han Li (commonly known in the west as Hon Lik)
Inventor of the modern e-cigarette.

Hookah pen
Also known as shisha pens. Popular at one time, these were a style of e-cigarette, generally long and thin, and often available with flavours similar to those provided in hookah pens. Not to be confused with the writing implement used by a lady of the night to ‘fill in’ her diary.

Hot spots
On clearomiser coils, refers to a hot spot on the coil which can cause burning or bad taste. Some regulated mods have features to avoid this.

A mechanical mod designed without standard ego or 510 connection. The tank is essentially screwed directly onto the battery. Make sure you use a tank/atomiser/receptacle/dripper etc that has a protruding pin if you use a hybrid mod. Also, Hybrid is a term for a Cat crossed with a Giraffe (for example).



A device used by enthusiasts that make their own coils from wire. It makes rebuilding coils much easier. Also a dance of joy. Commonly performed by the older generation after consuming too much special juice.

A measure of energy. Can be described as the work required to produce one watt of power for one second.


Kanthal wire
Trademarked name for a family of alloy used in resistance wires.


The light at the end of the cigarette (light emitting diode). This lights up when the user inhales, resembling an analog. Depending on the model, the LED may convey information to the user about the battery, i.e. flashing when the battery is running out or glowing green to show it is fully charged. Etc etc.

Lithium Ion Batteries (Li-Ion)
Considered the most powerful batteries in the electronic cigarette market. Used in regulated box mods and with differing mAh’s depending on manufacturer.


Abbreviation for low resistance. See resistances.


mAh: Milliamp hour (1/1000th of an amp hour).
Used to describe amount of charge a battery can hold before it needs recharging.

Mech Mod: (Mechanical Mod)
A mechanical mod is a device which has a battery and a switch with no adjustment or protection.

Originally the term for an electronic cigarette which has been modified into a unique design. Now frequently used to describe mass manufactured box style e-cigarettes. Also those blokes who zip around on scooters adorned with a trillion mismatched mirrors, whilst wearing their Dad's old fishtailed coat.

MTL Mouth to lung
In mouth to lung vaping the vapour is inhaled into the mouth and held there before being drawn into the lung and subsequently exhaled.


Nichrome/Nickel Wire:
Nickel Chrome or nichrome wire can be used to measure the temperature of the coil in temperature control mods.


A measure of electronic resistance. Used to measure the resistance of heating coils in atomisers.

Organic Cotton
Organic cotton, especially Japanese, is favoured by many vapers for use in e-cig wicks.


A particular style of electronic cigarette, known for its resemblance to a ball point pen. Don't try and write with it.

Device with the capability to be charged by usb whilst still being utilised to vape.

The process of soaking your new coil prior to use. This reduces the chances of dry burn and burnt out coils.

Primer Puff
A primer puff is a quick puff (suck) to start the wicking process before the actual draw and heating of the element.

Propylene Glycol
A colourless liquid that forms the majority of the solution in the Electronic Cigarette. Propylene Glycol, is an organic compound used in food processing as the E-number E1520. It’s a main ingredient in the production of e-liquid.

Personal Vaporizer (or PV)
An alternative name for the electronic cigarette.



Rebuildable Atomiser

Rebuildable Dripping Atomiser

Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomiser

A container that holds something. Another word for tank, clearomizer etc.

Refers to the resistance of the coil in the atomiser (measured in Ohms). A lower resistance produces more heat and vapour and requires more wattage/volts to power successfully.


Second Generation E-Cigarettes

Used by scientists to refer to tank systems, with cigalikes being first generation e-cigarettes.

A type of wicking material that has largely been replaced by cotton and ceramic

Another phrase for E-juice.

Smokeless Cigarette
Alternative phrase for electronic cigarette. Not commonly used by vapers, but often used in media stories about electronic cigarettes.

Refers to the action of the squeezing a bottle of e-liquid which is directly attached to the coil in your mod. Means you don't have to constantly fill your tank or drip eliquid into a dripper.

Stainless Steel Wire
Available in various element incarnations used for coils. Can be used in temperature control and in wattage (power) mode.

Starter Kit
A kit that contains everything you need to start vaping. Most starter kits come with one or more atomizers, one or more batteries and a charger.

Stealth Vaping
Deliberately vaping in a way that is designed to minimise attention. Typically stealth vapers used certain techniques to minimise the amount of visible vaper exhaled and may use smaller, more discreet devices. Sometimes used by vapers in confined public spaces. You will often find them under the table in a restaurant/pub/likewise.

Allowing your e liquid to sit either open to the air, or in a sealed container. This is generally not necessary for e-liquids that are high in PG. Most off the shelf e-liquids come fully steeped. Steeping allows the flavours to develop more evenly.

Sub Ohming
Vaping with a coil with a resistance set below one ohm. Generally for direct to lung applications.


The container used to store the e liquid.

TC (Temperature Control)
When you set the temperature you want your atomiser to to run at rather than the voltage or wattage. Only certain coil head or wires types can be used in temperature control.

Throat Kick/ Throat Hit
The definition seems to vary according to the vaper, but essentially the feeling when the vapor hits your throat. Most of the throat hit is down to the level of nicotine in the e-juice. Consensus is that a higher nicotine level produces a stronger throat hit-commonly anything between 6-24mg nicotine in mouth to lung applications., although PG as a carrier (i.e-liquids high in PG) will produce more of a throat hit regardless of the nicotine levels over VG. 3-6mg nicotine is normally used in sub ohming applications.

THR (Tobacco Harm Reduction)
A great deal of the largely irrefutable evidence concerning the scientific support for the electronic cigarette has come from scientists involved in tobacco harm reduction.

Titanium coils/Wire
Alternative to nickel coils. Titanium is stiffer, offers higher resistance and is easier to work with. Can be used only in temperature control.

Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)
Article 21 of the TPD puts into places major restrictions on e-cigs. Navigation currently unclear with Britain’s escape of the European Union.



To inhale vapour from an electronic cigarette.

A person who vapes.


The habit/pastime of using electronic cigarettes.

When you celebrate the day you switched from smoking to vaping.

Vape Porn
Traditionally refers to pictures of e-cigs and e-juice. The proliferation of scantily clad young women in the vape industry may be leading to an evolution of this term, although that is somewhat debatable.

Vaper’s Tongue
Refers to a loss of taste; from suddenly disliking a flavour to losing all taste for flavours completely. Knocks you for six and leaves you crying for your mummy. A common solution is to switch to a menthol e liquid for a period of time until you get your desensitised taste buds back.

Vent holes
Designed as a safety feature in batteries, these allow possible buildup of gases in a confined area to be expelled from the battery in a safe manner.

When gases are released via the vent holes from an e-cig battery. Also the ultimate explosion when someone has had quite enough of your sh**.

VG: Vegetable Glycerine

VG stands for Vegetable Glycerine and is a basic ingredient in all e liquids. It is a simple polyol (sugar alcohol) compound which is colourless, odourless and widely used in pharmaceutical formulations.


A measure for units of power. 1 Watt = 1 Joule per second

A small piece of fabric or cotton which is found in the cartridge. The wick absorbs the e-liquid and holds it until is vaped. Different wicks and coil setups behave differently.

A single revolution of a wire when building a coil.




Zero Nic 

E-Liquid or cartridges that contain no nicotine.

Vapourmate Ltd