Vaping has been called the healthier cousin of smoking, but unlike the fatal pursuit, vaping involves a bit of a learning curve that everyone making their first forays into this world needs to go through.
Whether it’s familiarising yourself with the range of e-cig devices available to you, exploring the plethora of vape flavours on offer, picking the ideal nicotine strength for you or orienting yourself with the anatomy of an e-cigarette and the various components that go into it, there’s plenty to learn!
What’s for sure, though, is that the learning curve is never complete without picking up on the vaping lingo. This is a distinct niche unto itself, and it comes with its own set of diction; most general names, but with a meaning specially adapted for this pastime.
The good thing is that the more proverbial miles you rack up as a vaper, the more commonplace these terms become; and it’s only a matter of time until they become part of your daily vocab.
We took it upon ourselves to compile these vaping terms to save you the hassle (you’re welcome). So then, let’s run you through some of the most commonly used ones you need to acquaint yourself with!
510 – It’s a number you’ll see often when shopping for atomisers and batteries. It denotes the threads on a vape battery and atomiser. The 510 is also referred to as a male thread and is extremely popular because it’s the most common style of e-cig threading that marries with the vast majority of e-cigarettes on the market.
Atomiser – Speaking of atomiser, this is one of the main components of an electronic cigarette where vaporisation occurs (e-liquid is converted into vapour). It is made up the coil and wick.
Adapter – A device that comes in dual threading to allow for the attachment of various types of atomisers onto a range of different batteries.
All day vape (ADV) – An e-liquid that you delight in so much that you can vape it morning to evening, Monday to Sunday.
Analogue – A term used to refer to conventional cigarettes, aka combustibles or stinkies.
Ass juice – Cheap, terribly tasting e-liquid.
Breathing – Leaving your e-liquid bottles open in order to introduce the element of air, the whole point being to enhance flavour. It’s a type of steeping e-juice (see steeping below).
Batt – Slang for battery.
Cartridge – Designed to attach to the battery, the cartridge is a disposable component in some devices where vape juice is held.
Coil – The wire in the atomiser that heats up e-liquid by creating an electrical circuit without which vaporisation would not be possible. Also known simply as a wire in some circles, two of the most popular coil materials include Kanthal and Nicochrome.
Cig-a-like – The first generation of e-cigarettes. They bear an uncanny resemblance to a regular cigarette.
Cloud chasing – The act of blowing huge plumes of vapour. It is made possible by a powerful e-cig device known as a mod or sub-ohm paired with a high VG juice.
Disposable – A type of e-cigarette designed to be used and discarded when it runs out of juice. No refills needed.
DL – or DTL. Abbreviation for direct to lung vaping (see lung hit).
Dry burn – Purposely firing a coil without e-liquid in the tank. It’s a way of testing a temperature-controlled (TC) device to confirm it’s regulating the temperature optimally.
Dry hit – When you inhale from a device that contains little to no e-liquid. This burns the wicking material, resulting in a dry, harsh and repelling taste.
E-liquid – aka e-juice or vape juice. It is typically made up propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavouring, water and in some cases, nicotine.
Flooding – Occurs when too much e-liquid ends up in the atomiser.
Gurgling – A sound that is a tell-tale sign that your device is flooded.
Kick – See throat hit below.
Leaking – When e-liquid is seeping out of your e-cig. It’s not necessarily due to overfilling your tank, but that’s one reason. Leaking can also be caused by improper storage, changes in pressure or can be a sign of a damaged device.
Lung hit – An inhalation technique that involves drawing vapour straight to the lungs without holding it in the mouth. It’s done with a device specially designed for this (direct lung or DL device); otherwise it could spark a coughing fit.
Mouth hit – Aka mouth to lung (MTL) hit. Drawing vapour and holding it momentarily in the mouth before inhaling it in the lungs.
Mg strength – Unit of measuring amount of nicotine in a vape juice per millilitre. For example, 6mg (or 6mg/mL in full) means 6 milligrams of nicotine per millilitre (or 0.6%).
MTL – Mouth to lung vaping (see mouth hit).
Mod – Short for ‘modification’. An advanced form of e-cigarette also known as an APV (advanced personal vaporiser). It’s the most powerful type of e-cig device and includes mech mods (the earliest version), box mods (more modern version), and sub-ohms (a term that can also be used interchangeably).
Nicotine salts – Aka nic salts or sal nics. A type of e-liquid that mirrors the experience of a combustible in terms of throat hit (see below) and satisfaction, as well as nicotine delivery into the body. Ideal for ex-smokers.
NRT – Nicotine replacement therapy.
Ohm – A measure of electrical resistance.
P.E.N.I.S. – [My] personal electronic nicotine inhalation system.
PG and VG – Two of the most commonly used abbreviations in vaping. They stand for propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine respectively. Collectively, they constitute approx. 80% of e-liquid components.
Pod kit – The latest category of electronic devices. Small and compact in nature, initial pod kits (or pod systems) only carried nicotine salts and were not refillable. That has since changed with advancements in the industry.
Pod mod – A more powerful pod system used for sub-ohming. It’s the miniature version of a mod, but just as powerful.
Priming – Saturating the wicking material inside the atomiser prior to using your vape device in order to prevent coil damage and avoid dry hits.
Starter kit – Everything you need to get started on your vaping journey. Advanced starter kits are used to make a step up into the world of sub-ohming.
Steeping – The act of ageing e-liquid or letting it sit for a period of time, a process that allows the ingredients to amalgamate harmoniously, resulting in fuller-tasting e-liquids.
Squonking – An innovative vaping style used by a section of pro vapers.
Sub-ohm – The noun implies the device but the verb is used to mean the act of vaping with a mod or sub-ohm kit. This style of vaping employs coils with a resistance of less than 1.0 Ohms (hence the name). It is characterised by huge clouds and sub-ohm vapes are more flavourful, although not suited for beginners.
Tank – The reservoir that holds e-liquid.
Throat hit (TH) – The feeling at the back of the throat when you draw on an e-cig device. Juices higher in propylene glycol (PG) have better throat hit compared to VG-based juices.
Vlirting – Vaping and flirting.
Vooping non-vaper – Vaping on the toilet.
Wattage – Amount of raw heat needed by the coil to vaporise e-liquid.
Wick – A material that wraps around the coil. Since it’s in direct contact with the e-liquid in the tank, it absorbs the vape juice for heating by the coil. Common wicking materials include cotton, silica cord, steel mesh, ceramic materials and fiberglass.