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Vaping Glossary

Joining the world of vaping requires an understanding of a wide range of terms. The jargon can understandably get confusing at the beginning, but the more you’re exposed to it, the better you can refine your vaping preferences.

To help ease you into this lifestyle, let’s start with the following terms:

Analog — A slang term that vapers use to refer to regular tobacco cigarettes.

Cartridge — A removable container that’s pre-filled with e-liquid for a user’s convenience; this is one part of a three-piece closed e-cigarette set with a plastic or metal mouthpiece attached to it.

Cloud chasing — Theart and science of exhaling huge amounts of vapour using techniques aimed to produce dense clouds, which will then form a variety of visually-stunning shapes.

Coil — A metal conductor that works together with the wick to heat up your e-liquid. Coils are also called atomisers.

Disposable — A small non-rechargeable e-cigarette that you will need to dispose of when the battery runs out or when the cartomiser is exhausted.

DIY — In the vaping context, this refers to any homemade modifications that a user does, whether to their device, e-liquid, or storage solutions. Note thatDIY solutions are not for beginners.

Draw — The process of inhaling vapour from your device.

Drip shield — An external cover used to catch e-liquid when it leaks to prevent damage to the device. This is an accessory made of a hollow metal tube and is used to cover an atomiser.

Drip tip — An alternative mouthpiece accessory that allows users to practice “dripping”. A drip tip is a hollow tube that can be screwed on the atomiser.

Dripping — An alternative way of vaping; this process lets users “drip” e-liquid drops directly on the device, resulting in a much more flavourful experience with denser vaping clouds.

Dry burn — This is a way of cleaning your device’s coil. The process involves removing any source of e-liquid, holding down the power button, and watching the coil reach red heat. You will then need to repeat the steps until the coil impurities are burned off.

Dry hit — The unpleasant experience of taking a draw off an e-cigarette with an unsaturated wick; often taken as a sign that you’re out of e-liquid. Also called dry puff, this results in a harsh dry taste.

Dual coil — These are cartomisers, clearomizers, or atomisers that have two coils. Some vapers prefer this setup as it gives more vapour. It, however, comes with the cost of having a reduced battery life.

E-cigarettes — A handheld device used for vaping, often as an alternative to traditional tobacco smoking. It involves heating up liquid, which then turns it into vapour. The most basic setup of an e-cigarette is an atomiser (or a coil to heat up the e-liquid) and a battery (to power up the device).

E-liquid — A liquid solution that contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavour, and nicotine. This is then vapourised using an e-cigarette. Vapers can modify their e-liquid content depending on their preferences; also called e-juice and smoker juice.

Leaking — A frustrating experience for vapers, this happens when e-liquid leaks out of the cartomiser, atomiser, or the tank. If left unchecked, the leak can reach the battery and cause the device to short circuit.

Lung hit — One of the two ways to inhale vapour (the other one being mouth hit), lung hit (also called direct-to-lung inhale, D2L, and direct inhale) refers to inhaling vapour directly to the lungs. This is a technique that cloud chasers often use. The device and e-liquid matters with this technique, as the appropriate e-cigarette for lung hits are those with low-resistance coils and high power. E-liquids, meanwhile, should have nicotine levels no greater than 3 mg, as high nicotine content can cause discomfort (e.g. nausea, coughing) when inhaled directly to the lungs.

Mods — These are devices composed of multiple parts which can all be separated from each other. The term “mods” traditionally referred to any device that’s modified by its users. Today, the term has evolved to refer to any vaping device that doesn’t look like a cigarette. Mods usually have longer battery lives and stronger vapour production, includingmech mods,box mods,squonk mods, and many more.

Mouth hit — One of the two ways to inhale vapour (the other one being lung hit), mouth hit (also called mouth-to-lung inhale, M2L, and indirect inhale) refers to collecting vapour in your mouth, letting it linger, then taking it inside your lungs. This process is similar to how smokers draw from cigarettes, which makes it popular among ex-smokers or those who alternate between vaping and smoking. You’ll also get to taste the e-liquid’s flavour better with this technique.

Nicotine salts — A recent trend that started gaining a huge following, nicotine salts is the product of nicotine (the base) reacting to an acidic element (in this case, benzoic acid). Nic salts were introduced to the market by JUUL in 2018, allowing vapers to experience less throat hits despite using a higher nicotine salt level, which makes vaping more enticing to tobacco smokers who wish to quit the habit.

Ohms — The measuring unit for the coil’s electrical resistance.

Pen style — These are e-cigarettes that are shaped like a pen, often included in starter kits.

Propylene Glycol (PG) — A tasteless and odourless organic compound which makes up one-fourth of an e-liquid’s content (alongside nicotine, flavour, and vegetable glycerin). Higher amounts of PG (relative to VG) will result in a stronger throat hit but weaker vapour.

Puff — A technique that involves taking quick short drags of vapour. Some devices are activated by puffing, instead of the user pressing on the power button.

Rebuildable atomisers (RBA)Rebuildable atomisers are devices that users can customise. It includes a build deck and a tank for the e-liquid. You will then need to build and wick your own coils. There are two types of RBAs, namelyrebuildable tank atomisers or RTA (which houses e-liquids in a separate tank) andrebuildable drip atomisers or RDA (which involves dripping e-liquid into the coil or wick).

Resistance — The rate at which electricity travels through the atomiser. An atomiser with high resistance (HR) produce less vapour, while an atomiser with lower resistance (LR) produces more vapour.

Rig — A term vapers user to refer to a complete e-cigarette setup.

Squonking — A style of vaping that involves squeezing the e-liquid bottle at the bottom of the device to feed the juice into the atomiser.Squonking evolved from RDAs, and is a more convenient way of vaping as you won’t need to manually drip e-liquid into the atomiser.

Sub-ohm vaping — This is a vaping style that uses a device with a coil resistance lower than 1 ohm. Depending on the setting,sub-ohm vaping can increase vapour or flavour production. This also requires a fundamental understanding of the principles of ohms and joules, and as such, more fitted to advanced users.

Tanks — The part of an e-cigarette which houses the e-liquid and atomiser.

Variable voltage (VV) — An e-cigarette’s feature that allows users to control the voltage output of their device.

Variable wattage (VW) — An e-cigarette’s feature that allows users to control the wattage output of their device.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG) — A tasteless and odourless organic compound which makes up

one-fourth of an e-liquid’s content (alongside nicotine, flavour, and propylene glycol). Higher amounts of VG (relative to PG) will result in thicker clouds. VG also has its own sweet taste, which may be noticeable to some vapers and get in the way of the e-liquid’s flavour.

Voltage — This refers to the amount of power or the electrical potential of your vaping device.

Watt — This refers to the power that the atomiser consumes. With higher wattage, you can expect more vapour. However, this comes at the cost of flavour and hotter vapour.

Wick — The absorbent material that soaks up the e-liquid for the coil to then heat up. Wicks are usually made from cotton, fabric, or silica.

As with any community, vaping jargon will continue to grow as the number of vapers increase and the technology evolves. If you need someone to show you the ropes and give you an idea which device is better suited for beginners, give us a call on 01179 669309 or email us at

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