The Electronic Cigarette has been around for a few years already and those within the e-cig community are beginning to develop an associated vocabulary which could baffle outsiders.

Slang is important in any community as it achieves identity and allows people to distinguish themselves from others.

It’s no wonder that e-smokers are already forming a tight-knit community – with their own vocabulary.


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


  • Advanced Personal Vaporizer (APV) – Also referred to as mods (or modified e-cigs), these units are larger, have replaceable batteries, and can either be mechanical, variable voltage, or variable wattage.
  • AFC – Air flow control. This refers to a small dial (sometimes a screw) found in atomizers and clearomizers/tanks to adjust the drag of an e-cig.
  • Airflow – The amount of air sucked into an atomizer or Looser airflow results in more vapor, while tighter airflow results in less vapor but more intense flavour.
  • Amps – Short for amperage, this is the flow of energy along a circuit. Batteries with higher amps can better handle atomizers with lower resistances without overheating.
  • Analog Cigarettes – used to refer to “old fashioned” cigarettes.
  • Atomizer – electronic component that turns the nicotine solution contained within the e-cigarette into vapour.
  • Atty – Abbreviation for atomizer.
  • Automatic – Electronic cigarettes which automatically activate the heating element when you inhale.


  • Battery – The main part of an e-cigarette, the term usually refers to vape pens and cig-a-likes that don’t have replaceable batteries. The two types are manual and automatic. Automatic batteries are switched on by inhaling, while manual batteries require the user to press a button found on the side. 2.) For users of PVs and mods, this refers to Li-ion batteries used to power their devices.
  • Bottom Coil Clearomizer (BCC) – A clearomizer where the atomiser and heating coil is located at the bottom of the clearomizer. Usually also filled from the bottom end of the clearomizer rather than from the top.
  • 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 clearomizer.
  • Bottom Feeder – Refers to clearomizers where the atomiser is at the bottom of the coil, rather than at the top.


  • Cartomizer – An atomizer and cartridge in one, cartomizers are longer than regular atomizers, hold more e-liquid and are disposable. These are also available as punched (for use in tanks), and with dual coils.
  • Carts – Abbreviation of cartridges, which contain the propylene glycol solution which give the vapour of an electronic cigarette.
  • Clearomizer – A combined cartridge and atomiser with clear walls, which allow the user to see how much e-liquid remains in the cartridge.
  • Clouds – A term that describes vapor production, i.e., “My current vape setup is capable of producing massive clouds!”
  • CASAA – Consumer Advocacy for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association ( Non-profit organisation campaigning on the behalf of electronic cigarette users.
  • Chain Vaping – constantly vaping. Also known as Pacifier Vaping.
  • Coil – A coil of wire which makes up part of the atomiser. The resistance of the coil determines how much heat and vapour is produced.
  • Cigalike – An electronic cigarette that closely resembles a tobacco cigarette.


  • Disposable E-Cigarette – Designed to be thrown away after its e-juice has dried up.
  • Dipping – Refers to dipping an atomiser into e-juice prior to smoking.
  • Dripping – Can refer to dripping a drop of e-juice on to an atomiser prior to smoking. Must be done with care to avoid damaging the atomiser.
  • Drip Tips – Were originally used to refer to a device used to drip several drops of e-liquid directly onto an atomiser. Now sometimes used to refer to the mouthpiece of an electronic cigarette.
  • Dry Burn – This refers to the firing of an atomizer, without any e-juice, until the coil glows red to burn off dried e-juice residue.
  • Dry Hit – A term that describes taking a drag off your e-cigarette that’s run out of e-juice.


  • ECA/ECASSOC – The Electronic Cigarette Association: An American industry association set up both represent the interests of and enforce certain standards on members. Now defunct.
  • ECITA – Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association: Represent the UK electronic cigarette industry. Members have to pay a monthly fee, adhere to strict standards and undergo strict twice-yearly audits. They also campaign for fair regulations on behalf of its member. Click here to access their website.
  • Electronic Cigar – similar to the electronic cigarette (see below) but with a cigar style and flavour.
  • 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’s comprised of a battery and atomizer, with e-juice added, from which vapor is created. Also known as the E-Cigarette, the E-Cig and even the E-Ciggy.
  • Electronic Cigarette Starter Kits – Complete kits which normally contain batteries, atomisers, chargers, a manual and cartridges.
  • E-Juice (E-Liquid) – The solution that’s vaporized to create vapor, e-juice comes in a variety of nicotine strengths and flavours. It is made from propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavouring, and nicotine (there are also some without nicotine).
  • 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.
  • E-Pipe – If you have read the other two you can probably work out what an E-Pipe is…
  • E-Smoking – Smoking with an electronic cigarette.


  • Filler Material – A material placed inside e-cigarette cartridges which soaks up and holds e-liquid.
  • Flooding – This is what happens when an atomizer is overfilled. A flooded atty is characterized by reduced vapor production accompanied by gurgling noises.


  • Hot Cigarette – Another term for an analog (traditional) cigarette.


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


  • Juice – A shorthand term for e-liquid.


  • Leaking – When e-juice leaks out of an atomizer/tank/cartomizer, etc. This can cause damage to e-cigarettes if the e-juice starts to leak into the battery.
  • LED – The light at the end of the cigarette. 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.


  • mAh – An abbreviation of milliampere-hour, this is the term used to describe a battery’s capacity to store energy. The higher the mAh, the longer its life before needing to be recharged.
  • Manual – Refers to electronic cigarettes with a button which, when depressed, fires up the battery. Used in contrast to automatic e-cigarettes.
  • mg – Stands for milligram strength per millilitre. This is used to determine the nicotine strength of e-liquid. For example, “6mg” means 6mg of nicotine per ml, or 0.6%.
  • Mini-Cigarette – Smaller than the average e-cigarette, the mini-cigarette is actually the same size as the average lookalike e-cigarette.
  • Mod – Name for an electronic cigarette which has been modified into a unique design.
  • Mouthpiece – replaces the butt of an analog.
  • Mouth-to-Lung Hit – Also called “French inhale,” this is the traditional way of inhaling smoke by cigarette smokers. For vapers, vapor is inhaled into the mouth, then inhaled to the lungs. While providing less vapor than direct lung inhalers, this method provides more flavour.


  • Nicotine – Also called “nic,” this is the substance found in cigarettes and some e-liquid to give smokers and vapors what is called a “nicotine high.” E-liquids have varying amounts of nicotine, ranging from 0% to 2.0%.


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


  • Pacifier Mode – When you remove the atomiser and/or e-liquid, but keep the electronic cigarette in your hand or mouth.
  • Pacifier Vaping – See chain vaping.
  • Pen-Style – A particular style of electronic cigarette, known for its resemblance to a ball point pen.
  • Passthrough – Device that plugs directly into a computer or USB charger so that users can vape without having to worry about recharging their electronic cigarette.
  • Primer Puff – When you take a short sharp drag on your e-cigarette to activate the atomiser. Not usually necessary unless your e-cigarette has been standing for a while and the atomiser is dry.
  • Priming – Before using a new atomizer, a few drops of liquid are added then made to sit for a few minutes to let the e-juice saturate the wick fully. The same holds true for newly filled tanks, cartomizers, and clearomizers.
  • Propylene Glycol – A colourless liquid that forms the majority of the solution in the Electronic Cigarette. PG is an over-the-counter substance used in many foodstuffs. The liquid has been extensively tested for safety.
  • Personal Vaporiser (or PV) – A alternative name for the electronic cigarette.


  • Resistance – Refers to the resistance of the coil in the atomiser (measured in Ohms). A lower resistance produces more heat and vapour.
  • Ruyyan Cigarette – The original electronic cigarette – usually has a coloured tip.


  • Second Generation E-cigarettes – Used by scientists to refer to tank systems, with cigalikes being first generation e-cigarettes.
  • Smoke-juice – 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.
  • Squonking – When a bottle is connected to an atomiser and then squeezed to deliver the e-liquid. e.g.. “I squonked the bottle to delivery juice to the atty.
  • Sweet Spot – What one achieves after tinkering to get the perfect vape. From getting the right resistance, the right e-juice and the right nicotine level, to getting the right wattage or voltage, to using the right PV or e-cig for your purpose.


  • Throat Kick/ Throat Hit – The definition seems to vary according to the e-smoker, but essentially the feeling when the vapor hits your throat. Positive reviews of electronic cigarettes often mention a good “Throat kick.”
  • THR or Tobacco Harm Reduction – Much of the scientific support for the electronic cigarette has come from scientists involved in tobacco harm reduction.
  • Topping – Topping up a cartridge with e-juice. Also known as topping off.


  • Wick – Usually made from silica, other materials used for wicks include stainless steel mesh, organic cotton and ceramic. The main purpose of the wick is to hold and deliver e-liquid to the heating element of an e-cig in a controlled manner so as to prevent flooding.


  • Vape – To inhale vapour an electronic cigarette.
  • Vaper – A person who vapes (uses an electronic cigarette).
  • Vaping – The habit/pastime of using electronic cigarettes.
  • Vaper’s Tongue – Refers to a loss of taste, from suddenly going off a flavour to losing all taste for flavours.
  • VV or Variable Voltage – Any type of e-cig or PV that allows users to adjust its voltage output according to taste, it is considered superior to regular PVs that have static voltage outputs.
  • VG or Vegetable Glycerine – Vegetable glycerine is a clear, colourless, odourless but very sweet liquid used as an alternative to propylene glycol by vapers who mix their own liquid. Vegetable Glycerol typically produces more vapor than Propylene Glycol (PG). Users who are allergic to PG often use 90% or 100% VG solutions.
  • VW or Variable Wattage – Variable Wattage devices allow users to adjust the wattage output of their PV. The PV adjusts power according to the set wattage, and is the main difference between VW and VV.
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