Although the e-cigarette community is warm and welcoming to newcomers, the sheer volume of e-cigarette terms and acronyms that you’ll see when browsing e-smoking websites can make your head spin. Although I’ve explained a great deal of e-cigarette lingo in the full-length articles on this website, I thought it might be useful for new e-smokers to have the most important of those definitions available in one place. This is my e-cigarette glossary. By the time you finish reading it, you’ll be able to discuss e-cigarettes with anyone in terms you’ll both understand.
2-Part, 2-Piece: A two-part e-cigarette consisting of a battery and cartomizer.
3-Part, 3-Piece: A three-part e-cigarette consisting of a battery, an atomizer and a disposable cartridge. (Read more: E-Cigarette Cartridges vs. Cartomizers)
306: A three-part e-cigarette design, popular primarily for its atomizer which is commonly used for dripping.
510: One of the oldest e-cigarette models in existence and still among the most popular. Because the batteries operate at 3.7 volts, the 510 often produces a little less vapor than the KR-808. However, it is also smaller. (Read more: 510 E-Cigarette)
Analog: Slang term for a tobacco cigarette.
Atomizer, Atty: Reusable component of a three-part e-cigarette that produces vapor in conjunction with a liquid-filled disposable cartridge. (Read more: E-Cigarette Atomizer Types)
Automatic Battery: An e-cigarette battery with a puff sensor or flexible membrane. Generates vapor automatically when the user puffs on the e-cigarette.
Bottom Feeder: An e-cigarette mod with a built-in e-liquid tank that feeds e-liquid through the bottom of the atomizer or cartomizer, keeping it wet without the need to constantly refill.
Bridge: Steel mesh component, shaped like a reverse “U,” at the top of an atomizer. Draws e-liquid from the cartridge to the heating coil. Some remove this component because it has little use for dripping.
Cartomizer, Carto: E-cigarette component containing both e-liquid and the heating coil needed to vaporize it. Portmanteau of the words “cartridge” and “atomizer” for the two components it combines. (Read more: Types of Cartomizers)
CASAA: Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (casaa.org). Nonprofit organization in favor of government regulators creating a new “reduced harm” product category for e-cigarettes.
Clearomizer, Clearo: Cartomizer with a clear plastic or glass shell.
Coil: Wire in an e-cigarette atomizer or cartomizer that heats rapidly, vaporizing e-liquid.
Cut-Off: Function in an e-cigarette battery or mod that shuts the device off after several consecutive seconds of use to avoid overheating.
Dipping: Wetting the atomizer of an e-cigarette by dipping it into a pool of e-liquid before use. Declined in popularity when drip tips became commonly available.
Dripping: Placing a hollow tip over an e-cigarette atomizer and dripping e-liquid through the hole before using the e-cigarette. Requires constant addition of e-liquid to keep the atomizer coil wet but produces a great deal of vapor. (Read more: How to Drip With an E-Cigarette)
Drip Well: A deep recess around the threading of an e-cigarette, intended to catch excess e-liquid that leaks out of the atomizer or cartomizer.
Dry Hit: The harsh, unpleasant sensation experienced when puffing on an e-cigarette nearly exhausted of e-liquid.
Dual Coil: A cartomizer with two heating coils rather than one. Theoretically produces up to double the vapor of a standard cartomizer.
eGo: An extremely popular e-cigarette model largely due to its high-capacity battery, often rated at 1000 mAh or more. Supports a wide variety of third-party atomizers and cartomizers. (Read more: eGo E-Cigarette)
E-Hookah, Hookah Pen: Term used by some e-cigarette sellers in an attempt to divert regulatory attention. May also refer to actual e-hookahs.
E-Liquid, E-Juice, Smoke Juice: Various terms for the flavored nicotine liquid vaporized by an e-cigarette. (Read more: What is E-Liquid?)
Flooding: Adding more e-liquid to an atomizer or cartomizer than its reservoir or filler material can hold, causing excess e-liquid to leak out the bottom. (Read more: E-Cigarette Leaking)
KR-808: Popular small e-cigarette model. While slightly larger than the 510 e-cigarette, the KR-808 generally uses 4.2-volt batteries resulting in slightly more vapor. (Read more: KR-808 E-Cigarette)
L88, L88B: One of the first e-cigarette models to gain a foothold with smokers due to its size, which is the same as a standard cigarette. Tends to lag a bit in vapor production and battery life. (Read more: L88 E-Cigarette)
mAh: Milliampere hour. Measures the total capacity of a battery on a full charge. For standard e-cigarette batteries, you can expect approximately one puff for every two mAh. (Read more: E-Cigarette mAh)
Manual Battery: An e-cigarette battery with a button for activation. The button must be held down when puffing on the e-cigarette. Some find that this results in better vapor production.
MG: The amount of nicotine contained in each ML of e-liquid. Also measured as a percentage; an e-liquid containing 18 MG of nicotine per ML contains 1.8% of total nicotine.
Mod: An e-cigarette with a shape other than that of a tobacco cigarette. Standard mod shapes include boxes and wide tubes. (Read more: USA-Made E-Cigarettes)
Ohms: Measures resistance, or the amount of current restricted by an atomizer or cartomizer. If everything else is equal, a lower-resistance atomizer or cartomizer produces a greater amount of power in watts than a higher-resistance attachment, thus generating more vapor. (Read more: Atomizer and Cartomizer Resistance)
Pass-Through: An e-cigarette battery that can be used while charging, usually by drawing power from a USB port.
PCC: Portable charging case. An e-cigarette carrying case with an internal battery for charging dead e-cigarette batteries without a power source. (Read more: E-Cigarette PCC)
Primer Fluid: E-liquid, usually propylene glycol and containing no flavors or nicotine, added to an atomizer before shipping to ensure the coil is never used dry.
Propylene Glycol, PG: Commonly used as a base liquid for e-liquids as well as in cosmetics and foods. (Read more: PG vs. VG)
PV: Personal vaporizer. Often used by people who feel the term “e-cigarette” inaccurately associates e-cigarettes with tobacco products.
Rebuildable Atomizer, RBA: An e-cigarette atomizer with components designed to be replaced by the user. For advanced e-smokers only.
Resistance: See Ohms.
Stacking: Using multiple batteries in an e-cigarette mod to achieve a higher total voltage. Evidence suggests this can be potentially dangerous.
Steeping: Allowing a bottle of e-liquid to remain unused for days or weeks after receiving it. Some believe this results in better flavor development.
Throat Hit, TH: The feeling of slight irritation in the throat and lungs derived from inhaling nicotine. (Read more: Throat Hit)
Tobacco Harm Reduction, THR: Products or actions intended to lower the risks associated with using tobacco. (Read more: Wikipedia)
TVECA: Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (tveca.com). E-cigarette industry association founded with the goal of ensuring that governments do not regulate e-cigarettes without knowing the facts derived from scientific studies.
Vape, Vaping: Slang term for the use of e-cigarettes, similar to “smoking.”
Variable-Voltage, VV: An e-cigarette with the ability to adjust its vapor production by changing voltage. Variable-wattage e-cigarettes are also available. The VaporFi VOX II is one well-known example.
Vegetable Glycerin, VG: Base liquid used in conjunction with, or instead of, propylene glycol in e-liquids.