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An A to Z of Vaping Terminology

Posted on December 11 2018

An A to Z of Vaping Terminology

For the uninitiated, the world of vaping can get pretty overwhelming, with it’s strange terminology. Add to this the fact that the technology is continuously evolving with new products added on a regular basis and new trends coming and going. Knowing the difference between your PG and your VG, or what in the world squonking is, can be confusing to say the least.

So, we thought it high time that we put together a comprehensive glossary of vaping terms for your reference, so be sure to bookmark this one. We hope it comes in handy.


Parts of an Electronic cigarette.png

The atomizer is the part of an e-cigarette that heats the nicotine solution (e-liquid), and then turns it into vapour. Nowadays, this term is starting to fall off vapers’ vocabulary, as more and more people refer to it as “coil”.


An e-cigarette is powered by a battery, with most being the rechargeable type. It allows the atomiser to heat up and turn the e-liquid into vapour.

Some battery units are integrated into the e-cigarette, while others are removable. Also, the size of the battery will affect the device’s power, and consequently, how long you can use it. The type of rechargeable battery e-cigs use is called lithium-ion.


The original e-cigarettes were made up of three parts: the battery, a separate cartridge, and the atomiser. However, plenty of vapers complained of e-liquids leaking with this design.

Designers quickly came up with a solution. Instead of three separate parts, the atomiser and cartridge were combined—giving birth to cartomizers.

Cartomizers solved the leaking problem, held more e-liquid, and can easily screw on a battery. However, these typically do not have a clear pane, which means you can’t see how much e-liquid you have left.


Cartridges are containers pre-filled with the e-liquid of your choice. It is then attached to a closed system e-cigarette.

While you cannot refill a cartridge, these are more convenient to carry around than an entire bottle of e-liquid. You also won’t have to worry about leaks or spills.

Another good thing about the cartridge is that the mouthpiece is already attached to it. In case you want to change flavours, you won’t taste the previous flavour when you vape the new one (also known as flavour ghosting).


Clearomizers are the younger brothers of cartomizers. It also holds e-liquids, can be unscrewed from a battery and then refilled.

The main difference that they have with their predecessors is that clearomizers have a clear pane, which allows vapers to monitor their e-liquid.

Cloud Chasing

Cloud chasing is one of the activities that emerged from the vaping community. This is the art and science of exhaling voluminous clouds of vapour using a variety of techniques. It has become a huge part of vaping culture that competitions are held regularly.


Previously known as atomisers, the coil is what heats up the e-liquid to produce vapour. Most devices have a coil and wick system, with the former wrapped around the latter (like in an oil lamp).


Draw refers to the inhalation of vapour when using the e-cigarette. You can take either a long or short draw.

When it comes to inhaling, you can either choose to do a mouth hit or a lung hit. With mouth hits, you’ll draw and retain that vapour inside your mouth (which cloud chasers do to perform their tricks); with throat hits, you’ll draw until it goes directly to your lungs.


Dripping is the process of placing e-liquid drops directly on your device’s heating element. This is in stark contrast to devices that get their e-liquids via their tanks or cartridges.

Dripping uses a mod that does not have a tank. Then, you’ll place e-liquid drops to the atomiser. This, however, isn’t for beginners, as a working knowledge of e-liquid portions and maintenance of the device is required.

If done right, you’ll get bolder, richer flavours, thicker clouds, and stronger throat hits—a definite plus for enthusiasts.


Also referred to as e-juice, the e-liquid carries your vaping device’s nicotine content and flavour. Depending on your preferences, you can play around with various flavours, nicotine strength, as well the PG/VG ratio.

Flavour chasing

Flavour chasing is the process of getting the most flavour out of your vaping experience. It involves several techniques, including knowing the right equipment, the right PV/VG ratio, and temperature control, among others.

Those who prioritise flavour are called flavour chasers.


mAh is the milliamp-hour (1/1000th of an amp hour)—the amount of charge that is transferred at the rate of one amp every hour.

You would often see this on battery description labels, so you’ll get an idea of how powerful the battery is. A battery with a larger mAh will have a longer life but would recharge slower than one with a lower mAh.

Mechanical Mod

mechanical mod is an e-cigarette that you can personalise. You can choose to tweak its appearance or its power settings since it’s an unregulated device without a circuit board. As such, the battery would continuously supply it with power.

Given its complexity, mechanical mods would best fit the more advanced users.


“Mod” is the shorthand term for “modified device.” The term emerged when vapers experimented with flavours and device voltage by connecting flashlight batteries to their e-liquid tanks. Today, there are plenty of ready-to-use mods out in the market, including mech mods, box mods, and squonk mods.

Nicotine Strength

The nicotine content of an e-liquid bottle can be in percentage, millilitres, or milligrams. In the UK (following EU regulations), the max amount of nicotine in an e-liquid bottle is 20 milligrams per millilitre.


Ohm is the measuring unit of electrical resistance. In the vaping world, the lower the resistance, the hotter the coil, which would then affect a user’s vaping experience.

Open-System E-Cigarettes

Open-system e-cigs are made of a clearomizer, which you can then manually re-fill with e-liquid. This contrasts with closed-system e-cigs, which comes with a tank already filled with e-liquid (you cannot refill them) and is then screwed to the battery.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol (PG) is a tasteless and colourless organic compound used in e-liquids (most of the time in ratio with Vegetable Glycerin).

Due to its low viscosity, it can absorb flavours better than VG, gives a stronger throat hit (which current and ex-smokers prefer), and produces weak vapour. Do note that some vapers experience allergic reactions to PG. If this happens to you, switch to e-liquid with lower or no amount of PG.


RBA is the acronym for rebuildable atomisers. Under the RBA umbrella are rebuildable tank atomizers (RTAs) and rebuildable drip atomizers (RDAs).

Rebuildable devices would allow you to physically wrap a coil, attach it to the device, and then add a wick.


Squonking is the process of feeding e-juice directly to the atomiser by squeezing the bottle at the bottom of the device. This earned it its name as “bottom-feeder” mod.

With a squonk mod, you won’t have to manually drip anymore. You’ll also get bigger tanks and minimise leaking when you vape. You would, however, have a shorter battery life with limited design choices. Beginners would also have a challenging time using squonk mods given their unregulated nature.


Tanks are the top part of an e-cigarette, which contains the atomiser and e-liquid. Its mouthpiece can either be removable or fitted.

Throat Hit

Throat hit is the sensation at their throats that vapers experience when inhaling. The e-liquid nicotine level affects how strong or weak the throat hit is.

Vaper's Tongue

Vaper’s tongue is the dry sensation that users experience after vaping for a while. You’ll also experience this when vaping the same flavour for a long time. A cold glass of water or orange juice, sucking on a lemon, or taking a whiff of coffee beans can solve this.

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is also a tasteless, colourless organic compound used in e-liquids. However, it’s thicker than Propylene Glycol (PG), which means you can produce thicker clouds when the VG content is higher. VG also has a bit of sweet flavour, which could affect the e-liquid flavour.


The wick, together with the coil, helps heat up an e-cig. The wick would absorb and hold the e-liquid from the clearomizer. Its material is often fabric or cotton, while some have a percentage of silica in them.

As you progress in your vaping journey, you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with all these terms. If you need help finding your first device or e-liquid, give us a call on 01179 669309 or email us at