Electronic Cigarette 101 - Jargon and Terms Glossary
As with any new product, electronic cigarette market has coined many new terms. If you are new to the e-cig world, or even if you are a seasoned vaper, you need to know the jargon and terms being used on the scene. This blog will explore the many terms being used and explain them in easy to understand language.
While we'll try to be as complete as we can, this probably won't be an all-encompassing lexicon of terms. New terms are created all the time. We'll update this article as new things come up, please leave us a comment if there is something missing that you would like to see on here. As you get familiar with electronic cigaretts, be sure to check out Misthub's product line of e-cigarettes and accessories. Misthub offers wide variety of our e-cigarette products, and we pride ourselves on providing high quality products at competitive prices.
510 / 808 / 901 etc – These numbers refer to the thread pattern of an e-cigarette. Some numbers refer to the size or spacing of threads, while others seem completely made up. Essentially, it simply comes down to making sure the battery or device and the cartomizer have the same thread pattern for compatibility. There are also adapters available that will allow you to connect differently threaded pieces together.
AAnalog – A regular old fashioned cigarette. This is a play on the idea that e-cigs are the “digital” version of smoking, therefore the physical reaction of burning tobacco is an analog process.
Adjustable Airflow - A feature on tanks where airflow holes can be opened or closed, depending on user preference. Closing the holes creates stronger flavor, hotter vapor and less cloud. Opening the holes achieves the opposite effect.
ANTZ – Anti Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots. This is a derogatory label applied to individuals and groups focused on eliminating alternatives to tobacco products such as e-cigarettes.
APV – Advanced Personal Vaporizer. This term refers to devices that go beyond a typical e-cigarette or eGo functionality. Typically, these devices use removable and rechargeable batteries. APVs often have advanced features such as variable voltage, logging of your vaping habits, and PC based synchronization and reporting.
Atomizer – The heating coil used to convert e-liquid into vapor. An atomizer can be a specific piece of hardware used with an e-cigarette in combination with a cartridge, tank or direct dripping. Atomizer may also sometimes be used as a generic term referring to the heating coil part of an electronic cigarette.
Automatic Battery – Typically found in e-cigarettes that resemble tobacco cigarettes, these devices are activated when the user takes a puff and shut off when the user stops puffing. A vacuum switch or sound detecting circuit are generally the mechanisms used to activate the e-cigarette.
AVG (Mean) – This term is used in conjunction with Variable Voltage and PWM and is one of the methods used to calculate the frequency. It is generally believed that this method is less accurate at lower voltages producing actual voltages higher than the user selected.
BBlend - The ratio of PG/VG in an e-liquid.
Bottom Dual Coil (BDC) – A clearomizer equipped with two heating elements wired together. In a BDC the coils are fed at the bottom of the clearomizer allowing the user to vape all e-liquid easily.
Bottom Feeder – A specific type of APV which stores e-liquid in a bottle built into the device. The liquid is then pumped into the attached atomizer or cartomizer from the bottom. The V-MOD is one such example.
Box Mod – This was one of the original types of home-made (or mod) e-cigarettes. It was built from a battery box with an attached atomizer. More advanced modern examples exist such as MadVapes’ Variable Voltage Box Mod. The term can also be applied to factory-built devices that have a boxy shape such as the iTaste MVP.
Bridge – The part of an atomizer that transfers e-liquid directly to the heating coils inside the atomizer. Typically made of steel covered in steel wool or stainless steel mesh.
CCartomizer – A contraction of cartridge and atomizer. Also called a “carto” for short. These are self-contained units that both hold e-liquid and house the heating element. Most e-cigarettes use cartomizers.
Cartomizer Tank – A tank that has holes in the top and bottom to house a cartomizer. Holes or slots are made or built into the cartomizer to allow it to draw in e-liquid in the tank surrounding the cartomizer. This allows extended use without having to refill cartomizers.
Cartridge – Cartridges are mostly used with the older atomizer and cartridge system in a 3-piece e-cigarette. The cartridge houses e-liquid in some sort of medium or small tank that makes contact with the atomizer’s bridge to conduct fluid to the heating coil.
CE2 – A style of cartomizer, typically clear, that uses no filler material. Instead, the heating element is suspended at the top of the cartomizer in a ceramic cup while long wicks feed liquid to the heating coil from the bottom part of the cartomizer.
CE3 – Bottom coil variant of the CE2. These feature the heating element at the bottom of the cartomizer covered by a protective housing to keep liquid out. Liquid is transferred through holes in the cover via wicks. These styles of cartomizers never gained the popularity of CE2 or CE4 cartomizers.
CE4 – This is a new class of large cartomizers. Sharing some of the traits of a CE2 or CE3, these devices are mostly designed to fit eGo-style e-cigarettes and have a larger e-liquid capacity. Some versions have advanced features like replaceable heads or dual coils.
Cig-a-Like – Another common term to describe “stick style” vaping devices. These products try to replicate an actual cigarette in terms of size and appearance, often including a light that turns red with each inhalation in order to simulate burning.
Clearomizer – A term to describe clear or transparent cartomizer usually consisting of a tube, coil, and drip tip.
Cloud Chaser – A vaper who typically favors large clouds over flavor. Uses high VG e-liquids and powerful box mods for best results.
DDCT – Abbreviation for dual coil tank. (see cartomizer tank) While DCTs typically come with a pre-installed dual coil cartomizer, single coil cartomizers also work with these devices.
Direct to Lung (DTL) – Advanced vaping technique where the user inhales vapor straight into the lungs without allowing it to sit in the mouth.
DIY – Do it yourself. Typically associated with making your own e-liquid from unflavored nicotine base, flavors, and other ingredients. Sometimes used by bigger companies to describe advanced devices or refillable cartomizers.
Dripping / Direct Dripping – Applying e-liquid directly to an atomizer one drop at a time, as opposed to using a cartomizer or tank/cartridge and atomizer combination.
Drip Tip – Originally, a tip designed with a large hole to facilitate dripping. However, many users prefer to use drip tips because of the appearance or feel of the tip.
Dry Burn – To run a cartomizer once all e-liquid is removed, a technique used to burn built-up deposits on the heating coil.
Dry Hit – The burning sensation or flavor that accompanies using an e-cigarette where the heating doesn't have enough liquid to produce optimal vapor or has it's wicks severely burned.
Dual Coil Cartomizer (DCC) – A cartomizer equipped with two heating elements wired together. Given the right conditions dual coil cartomizers produce a more intense vapor.
EeGo – Originally designed and manufactured by JoyeTech™, the eGo is a mid-sized e-cigarette built for extended battery capacity. There are currently a range of eGo variants on the market made by many manufacturers.
Engine - The internal workings of a cartomizer, particularly a clearomizer. Generally contains the heating element and enclosure along with the air tube and battery connector.
FFiller – The absorbent material in cartomizers and cartridges used to hold e-liquid.
Filter – A term used by some e-cigarette companies in place of cartomizer to make the technology more accessible to new users.
Flavor Chaser – Prefers flavor over clouds. Often favors more discreet vaping, using juices higher in PG to minimize cloud production.
Freebase Nicotine – The most common form of nicotine, found in both cigarettes, vapes and nicotine replacement therapies. Initially invented by Marlboro, the nicotine is mixed with ammonia to make it more easily absorbed (bioavailable) and therefore more powerful (and addictive) in smaller doses.
IIMR – A type of lithium-ion battery technology that is also known as safe chemistry batteries. These batteries do not require electronics to protect the battery circuit from overload as they are not prone to catastrophic failure.
MmAh – Milliamp Hour. The rating of battery charge capacity. This is often confused with output voltage. Given the same voltage (typically 3.7 with ecigs) a battery with a larger mAh rating does not deliver any more power, it simply lasts longer.
Manual Battery – An all-in-one e-cigarette battery that has a manual activation switch the user must press to engage the power prior to taking a puff.
Mechanical Mod/PV – A device that uses a removable battery and relies on a switch that makes a physical connection using a spring or lever to complete the circuit, providing power to the heating coil.
Mod – A term commonly referring to an electronic cigarette that uses a removable battery. The term is beginning to lose favor to the term APV. Mod can also mean to modify an existing product.
Mouth to Lung (MTL) – Most common vaping method, similar to cigarettes, where vaper keeps the drag inside his/her mouth prior to inhaling into the lungs.
NNicotine – The addictive substance found in tobacco that causes chemical dependence to cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Nicotine Salts – A newer approach to e-liquid, nicotine salts are created by extracting the nicotine straight from the tobacco plant. It is designed exclusively for low wattage devices, such as vape pens. Nicotine salt juices contain more nicotine and provide a more satisfying “hit” than freebase. Ideal for heavy smokers who need high nicotine with cigarette-like smoothness.
No Nic – Nicotine-free e-liquid.
OOLED – Organic LED, a display technology that provides a brighter and higher resolution readout on devices featuring a display screen.
PPG – Propylene glycol, commonly the primary ingredient in e-liquid, it readily vaporizes and is commonly believed to produce good flavor and throat hit, but less vapor than vegetable glycerine.
PGA – Pure grain alcohol, more commonly used in DIY e-liquid and with vegetable glycerine, can also be useful in cleaning cartomizers and atomizers.
Priming – The process of preparing a new coil for use. Involves dripping a small amount of juice onto the cotton holes prior before attaching them to the tank. This helps begin the soaking process and prevent burning upon first use.
Protected Battery – A lithium-ion battery that features a built-in circuit board designed to disable the battery in the event of a failure. This is intended to prevent catastrophic failure that could include gas venting and fire.
PWM – Pulse-width modulation. Commonly used in variable voltage devices, PWM rapidly cycles power from the battery on and off to deliver a wave form approximating the desired output voltage.
Regulated Mod – A mod with a built-in safety system against overheating. A universal feature in modern, commercially produced mods.
Replaceable Head – Some tanks and cartomizers like the Vivi Nova have a modular heating coil section, or head, that can be unscrewed and replaced, reducing costs when a heating element stops working.
Resistance (ohms) – Resistance, measured in ohms is the restriction of flow of electrons. Resistance is what generates heat in e-cigarette heating coils. Lower resistance coils produce heat with lower voltage, while higher resistance coils require more voltage to produce the same amount of power.
SSteeping – Allowing freshly made e-liquid to sit and age for anywhere from overnight to several weeks. Steeping often improves the liquid’s flavor by allowing the ingredients to fully combine and reach their full potential.
Stick-style – A term used to describe electronic cigarettes that are designed to look like regular cigarettes.
TTemperature Control – A feature found on some box mods that allows users to adjust the heat settings, thereby giving control of the coil’s temperature. This offers more customizability in terms of vapor quantity and flavor.
Thread Pattern / Threading – The style of connector threads used on e-cigarettes and cartomizers. Most often, these are referred to by a series of letters and numbers such as KR808D-1 or 510.
Throat Hit – The mild irritation sensation one gets when inhaling vapor from an e-cigarette. Many feel this is what helps e-cigarettes replicate the sensation of smoking. There are a number of things that dictate throat hit, nicotine content being the primary factor. Other factors include the mix of PG and VG in the e-liquid as well as the hardware used and the power applied.
Tube Mod – A cross between a vape pen and a box mod. Consists of a large, cylindrical body to house the battery, with the tank directly threaded on top. Unlike pens, tube mods can use sub-ohm tanks, but typically lack the complex settings found in box mods.
UUnregulated Mod – A mod that does not contain the safety features associated with commercially produced mods. Should only be used by highly advanced vapers who fully understand the mechanics of modding.
VVape/Vaping/Vaper – Derivatives of the concept of smoking. If a smoker inhales the smoke from a cigarette, an e-cigarette user is a vaper. Vaping is the act of using an e-cigarette and vape is analog to the word “smoke.”
Vaper’s Tongue – A temporary reduction to sense of taste caused by consistent chain-vaping or vaping the same flavor for a long period of time.
Variable Voltage – A device that can adjust its power output across a range of voltages to allow the user to customize his or her experience based on personal preference and the cartomizer’s capabilities.
Variable Wattage – A device that automatically adjusts the voltage output according to the resistance of the attached cartomizer to the set power output in watts. This in theory, provides a consistent experience regardless of a particular cartomizer’s resistance.
VG – Vegetable glycerine. This can also be used as the main liquid component in e-liquid. VG is a thicker liquid that produces more vapor, but less flavor and throat hit than PG. Often PG and VG are combined in various ratios to provide balance between the properties of each type of liquid.
VRMS – A method used to determine the waveform to be generated in variable voltage or wattage e-cigarettes that use pulse-width modulation. VRMS is a fairly new trend in electronic cigarettes and is capable of providing more accurate power regulation, especially at lower voltages.
WWattage – The measurement of the actual amount of power delivered by the e-cigarette to the e-liquid. Wattage is the combination of the voltage output by the e-cigarette or APV and the resistance of the cartomizer.
Wick / Wicking – The medium that delivers e-liquid directly to the heating element to be vaporized. Most designs feature resistance wire like nichrome coiled around a wick of some type of varying length depending on the cartomizer or atomizer’s design. Wicking is the ability of the wick to deliver sufficient e-liquid to the coil