Glossary of electronic cigarette terms and phrases

An explanation of the terms used in the world of ecigs and vaping

Electronic Cigarette close up

Here you will find all the lingo you need to know to talk the talk in the world of electronic cigarettes. Hope it helps!


A device which allows vapers to use cartridges and other parts not originally intended for their e-cigarette device.


Slang term for a standard tobacco cigarette.

Atomizer(or atty)

This is a component of an electronic cigarette which screws into the battery and connects to the nicotine cartridge. An atomizer generally includes a coil and a wick (referred also as a bridge). The coil in the atomizer is heated by the battery, and the wick delivers a steady flow of e-liquid from the cartridge to the heated coil, which turns into the vapour you inhale.

Atomizer Resistances

This refers to the resistance of the atomizer which is measured in ohm’s (quite confusing – see ohm’s law). It refers to the amount of electric current it can handle. Atomizers which are classed as high resistance (HR) can resist more electrical current and in turn produce/output less power. Low resistance (LR) are the opposite. LR atomizers are typically between 1.5 and 2.0 ohms. LR and HR atomizers are made to be used at specific voltages. LR atties are usually used with batteries operating at 3.7v or less. HR atties may be used at voltages greater than 7 depending on the type. Different resistances produce different levels of heat which result in varying levels of throat hit.

Atomiser Types

There are different types of atomizers such as exposed-bridge atties such as the 306; then the 901 and 510 models. Larger 801 is also a classic. And eGo, of course.

Atomiser Wick

Like a candle wick which delivers a steady flow of the e-liquid to the coil.


Slang for an atomiser.

Automatic Battery

This is a battery which automatically powers when you inhale.

Automatic E-Cig

An ecig which is powered through an automatic battery.

Base liquid

There are two general types of base e-liquid; propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG). This is the liquid that the nicotine and flavoring is added too.

Base Mix

Ths is the a mix which include the base liquid and nicotine. Its good to go for adding flavour.


This is what powers the light at the tip of the ecig and more importantly the atomizer. A battery can be automatic or manual where a button is pressed to activate.


Simply black cartridges that you can fill with eliquid ..


Another name for the atomiser wick which is like a candle wick which delivers eliquid to the coil.


Generally what people refer to when they have taken a drag on an empty cartridge.


Slang for a cartridge.


Slang term for a cartomiser.


This is a component which combines the atomizer and nicotine cartridge.


This is what holds the e-liquid.


Im sure you can figure this out.


Part of the atomizer which is heated by the battery and turns e-liquid into vapour.


The dilution of e-liquid to get your preferred nicotine level.


This is where e-liquid is dripped directly onto the atomizer. Often done via a ‘drip tip’

Disposable E-Cigarette

A one piece ecig, which has a pre-charged battery and non refillable cartridge.


Another word for drag

Drip Tips

The modification accessory which replaces a cartridge and allows e-liquid to be directly dripped onto the atomizer.

Dry Burn

This is vaping without a cartridge……a waste of time and it will damage your atomizer.


Another word for electronic cigarette.


As above.


The liquid which is turned into vapour when heated by the coil in the atomizer. Generally made up of either propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerine (VG). Nicotine and flavouring are then added.


An acronym for the UK-based Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association.

Electronic Cigarette Starter Kits

This is a kit which includes everything you need to start vaping. Generally included are batteries, a personal charging case, cartridges, atomizer or cartomizers, a mains charger and a user manual.


An acronym for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


This is what is added to give e-liquid a specific taste. And there is a lot!


This is where an atomizer is flooded with e-liquid and therefore cannot get hot enough.


Generally is the base liquid in cartridges.

High Resistance (HR)

A type of atomizer with a high resistance to an electric current. It.


If you don’t know what this is, your either too young to be on this site, or on the wrong site.


Shortened abbreviation for e-liquid


Stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode’. Typically used on electronic cigarettes to simulate the burning tip of a cigarette. Also used often on PCC’s to demonstrate battery life.


Abbreviation for lithium ion batteries, which are most common in the ecig world.

Low Resistance/ Low Voltage (LR/LV)

Refers to low-voltage atomisers


Means milliampere/hour; refers to a baterry’s capacity. i.e how long it will last before a re-charge is needed.

Manual Battery

A battery of which to activate requires a button to be depressed. These are an alternative to automatic batteries which activate upon rather inhalation.


Mint flavouring used in e-liquid.


A component of an ecig which is made of mesh material which covers the bridge on the atomiser.


An acronym for milligrams; this is used to state what level of nicotine is contained in 1 ml of e-liquid.

Mg / ml

Just a ratio for the previous.

Micro ecig

These are the smallest sized ecigs which normally measure between 50mm to 99mm long. I call them the weenerburgers. Ideal for stealth vaping!

Mini e-cig

Slightly larger than a micro ecig, normally about the same size as a king sized traditional fag.


Refers to ‘millilitre’ which is generally how e-liquid is measured.


Modification. People getting crazy with their homemade stuff.


Somebody whose seriously into modifying ecigs.


This is the tip at the end of an ecig, that the user inhales through.


The addictive bit in traditional tobacco.

Nicotine Level

This refers to how nicotine is measured. Normally in mg’s.


An acronym for Nicotine Replacement Therapy.


A clever little device that charges your ecig battery direct through a USB computer socket.


Refers to Polyethylene Glycol which is one of the most common ingredients in e-liquid.

Pen Style ecig

These are ecigs which look like a pen. A strange concept.

Personal Vapouriser

A common name for an ecig.


Acronym for propylene glycol; used as an ingredient in e-liquid.


Personal Charging Case. This is some kind of portable device which can charge your ecig battery. It typically holds cartridges and atomizers also.


An acronym for Personal Vaporizer.


Refers to how much electrical resistance an atomiser can handle. More often than not, the more resistance means more powerful throat hit.


Many rumours about how this vanilla and caramel tobacco flavoured e-liquid came about. Some say it was originally made by Chang Ning Dekang Biological Technology Co. for Ruyan Group Limited. Others say it was developed by a rogue chemist in a cave in China.


Refers to Screwdriver; which is a fat ecig battery.

Smokeless Cigarette

Just another name for an electronic cigarette.


This is a component of an ecig which holds e-liquid. There are specific tank style ecigs.

Three Piece E-Cigarette

An electronic cigarette which is made up of three parts; a battery, atomiser and cartridge.

Throat-Hit / Throat Kick

That feeling you get at the back of the throat when you inhale.

Topping Off

Topping up a cartridge with a few drops of e-liquid.

Two Piece E-Cigarette

An ecig with two parts; the battery and a cartomizer which is an atomizer and a nicotine cartridge in one.

USB Passthrough

Refers to a device which connects to computer through the USB port which allows charging to take place.

Vaping / Vape

This refers to the use of electronic cigarettes. i.e Put that in your ecig and ‘vape’ it!


This refers to someone who use ecigs.

Vapour / Vapor

This is the imitation smoke that comes out of an electronic cigarette.


An acronym for vegetable glycerine; a common component of e-liquid.


Means variable voltage. Some ecigs allow the user to change what voltage is used.


This is like a candle stick wick, which is within a cartridge and touches the e-liquid to help it flow to the coil which then heats it up and turns it into vapour.


Written by Rob Patrick

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