Your Guide to Vaping Terminology Explained

The vaping world can seem like a foreign country at first. Weird vaping terminology and acronyms thrown about in such a blasé manor, it can be a lonely place for the uninitiated…. But fear not noobs! I’m here to give you the insight you need to make it in the vaping scene. You’ll be saying sentences like “Mad beard bruh, where do you put the batteries?” in no time. Of course, that makes no sense, and doesn’t really relate to vaping but I like to ramble some real shit at times to see if anybody notices. You past the first test, well done young padawan.

Now on to the A-Z of vaping terminology:

AIO – This vaping terminology means All in one. A hardware package, often a starter kit, that comes with mod, tank, battery and coil(s) usually.

AtomizerThis vaping terminology is the part of your e-cigarette that sits on top of the battery and turns the e-liquid into vapor when heated.

ADV – This vaping terminology means all day vape. An e-liquid you can vape all day long without getting sick of it.

Box Mod – A box mod is the part of the e-cigarette that houses the batteries, usually shaped like a box and if it’s not shaped like a box… It’s not a box mod.

Boss ShotAn e-liquid recipe in the bottom of a large bottle, leaving enough space for VG, PG and nicotine also known as a bottle shot.

CBD – This vaping terminology means Cannabidiol. A substance derived from the cannabis plant which is taking the vaping world by storm. Said to cure everything from headaches to cancer. Personally, I think it’s utter tosh. It hasn’t cured my shinyitus, in fact, if anything, it’s made it worse.

Cig-a-like – Cheap e-cigarettes that look a bit like real cigarettes. Usually disposable.

Clone – A piece of hardware or e-liquid made cheaply, to copy more expensive hardware or e-liquid. Often manufactured in china.

CoilThe part of the e-cigarette that heats the e-liquid. It sits inside the atomiser and is usually fed by wicking material such as cotton.

Coil Killer – This vaping terminology means e-liquid that is usually high in sweeteners, causing your coils to burn out quickly.

CottonSee wick.

Drip tip – The part of the e-cigarette that touches your lips. Usually comes in one of two sizes – 510 and 810 although some atomisers use proprietary tips just to be awkward.

Dry hit – This vaping terminology is NOT an enjoyable experience. When there is not enough juice being fed to the coil. Essentially burns the wicking material slightly, which doesn’t taste nice when inhaled.

DTL – This vaping terminology means direct to lung.A style of vaping where you take the vapor directly into your lungs as opposed to into your mouth first (like a cigarette). For those mad clouds bruh!

E-cigarette – If you don’t know what this is, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.

E-liquidUsually made up of four parts (although the nicotine is optional): Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Nicotine and flavourings/additives.

Hybrid – Usually refers to Mechanical mods/RDAs that are built specifically to work with each other. They don’t have a 510 connection. The atomiser is directly connected to the battery which allows for a better power transfer and a harder/faster hit.

Kanthal – A metal alloy material, used to make coils.

Lipo/Li-ion – Lithium Polymer or Lithium Ion battery chemistry. That which powers our clouds.

Mech Mod – An e-cigarette mod that doesn’t contain any safety features or electronics. Often just a metal tube with a 510 or hybrid connector and firing button.

Mg – Milligram. 1 thousandth of a gram. The unit of measurement we use for potency of nicotine or CBD in e-liquid.

Mod – The part of the e-cigarette that holds the batteries. Referred to as a mod because when vaping was in its infancy people used to modify torches and other household items to turn them into e-cigarettes.

MTL – This vaping terminology means mouth to lung. A style of vaping where you take the vapour into your mouth before inhaling into your lungs (like a cigarette).

Nic Salts – A relatively new trend in vaping. Nic salts are a type of nicotine that have an acid introduced to them to lower their ph. This intern makes them smoother and faster acting.

Nic Shot – A 10ml bottle of (usually) 18mg nicotine with no flavourings added. Intended to be added to shortfills or DIY E-liquid.

NI80 – This vaping terminology is A metal alloy material, composed of nickel (80%) and chromium (20%). Used to make coils.

Ohms – An ohm is a unit of electrical resistance.

Ohms Law – Ohms law defines the relationship between power, voltage, current and resistance. Pretty important to know if you are using mechanical devices. Not so important for regulated devices. Some simple examples of ohms law calculations are: Voltage x Voltage ÷ Resistance = Watts or Voltage ÷ Resistance = Amps.

One Shot – Flavour concentrates combined in exact proportions for the end user to mix and create their own e-liquid from. Essentially an e-liquid recipe in a bottle.

O-Ring – The little rubber seals that keep your tank from leaking.

PG This vaping terminology means Propylene Glycol. The ingredient in e-liquid that’s responsible for carrying the majority of the flavour and throat hit.

Pod Mod – A recent trend in vaping. Pod devices use disposable or refillable cartridges (known as pods). They tend to be very small, lightweight and quite cheap but generally don’t have the same sort of power or flavour abilities as larger devices.

RBA – This vaping terminology means a rebuildable atomiser.

RDA – This vaping terminology means a rebuildable dripping atomiser.

RDTA – Rebuildable dripping tank atomiser.Used to be called Genesis atomisers. Doesn’t really need its own acronym. It’s an RTA really.

Regulated ModAn e-cigarette mod that’s regulated by a chip. Usually has safety features and the ability to change settings.

Resistance – Vive le resistance! Nope. Resistance is the measure of the opposition to current flow in an electrical circuit.

RTA – This vaping terminology means a rebuildable tank atomiser.

S and V – This vaping terminology means Shake and vape. The term for e-liquid that doesn’t require steeping.

Shinyitus – An ailment, not limited to vaping, that causes people to buy shiny new things all the time.

ShortfillAn E-liquid bottle which has been “short filled” to leave enough space for a nicotine shot.

Squonking An atomiser that’s fed by a bottle attached to the 510 connection.

SS – Stainless Steel. Often used as coil material. Also used to make mods and atomisers out of.

Steeping – Leaving freshly mixed e-liquid to mature to its optimum tastiness.

Stock coils – This vaping terminology means coils that are bought rather than built by the end users.

Sub-ohm – This vaping terminology means vaping using coils with a resistance of less than 1 ohm. Nowadays most coils are bellow 1 ohm in resistance but years ago, when mechanical mods where the best way to get a high powered hit from vaping, coils were often built much higher than 1 ohm and gradually as vapers looked for more power, the resistance was dropped lower and lower.

Sub-ohm Tank – This vaping terminology means a DTL tank (usually) that requires stock coils.

TC – Temperature control. Some mods have the ability to set the exact temperature you would like to vape at. A bit gimmicky if you ask me.

TPD or TRPR – The Tobacco Products Directive or Tobacco and Related Products Regulations. These are the ridiculous laws imposed on us by the EU, that state that we can’t have nicotine containing e-liquid in larger than 10ml bottles or higher than 20mg nicotine content. My favourite law is that hardware has to have a “this product contains nicotine” warning on, despite the fact it usually doesn’t contain nicotine at the point of sale. Crazy bastards. Isn’t that false advertising?

Vaper’s Tongue – This vaping terminology is an ailment often brought on by vaping the same flavour for long periods of time. Your taste buds begin to get used to it and you can no longer taste anything. Switching flavours to strong menthol, using mouthwash, keeping hydrated and eating and drinking strong flavours will all work towards curing vaper’s tongue.

VG This vaping terminology means Vegetable Glycerin. The part of the e-liquid responsible for the clouds. Usually makes up the majority of the e-liquid.

Vooping – When vaping and pooing come together in glorious harmony. Many of us do it. Shh, it’s fine.

Watts – This vaping terminology means a unit of power.

Wick – The material used to carry e-liquid to your coil. Usually made of cotton, in the past we have used stainless steel and silica also.

18650 – The most common battery used in vaping currently. 18mm diameter by 65mm tall.

510 – This vaping terminology is the name of the little protruding connector that comes from the base of the atomiser and screws onto the mod. Called a 510 because it is 5mm long and has 5 threads on the atomiser (male end) and 5 threads on the mod (female end). 510 can also refer to drip tip size.

810 – This vaping terminology is a wide bore drip tip size, currently very common with RDAs and RTAs.

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