Vaping Glossary

If you're new to vaping and just starting to explore the wide world of devices and methods, you may be overwhelmed by all of the various vaping terms and abbreviations online.

Most blogs are aimed at experienced vapers who are already familiar with the lingo, but this vaping glossary is designed to get you up to speed and serve as a handy reference manual whenever you come across unfamiliar vaping terminology.


Functionally, the atomizer is the single most important part of your vaporizer. It is usually a small tube that includes a positive and negative lead connected by a coil. When power is applied to the atomizer, the coil heats up and converts your e-liquid into vapor.


Batteries come in two main categories: built-in and external. Built-in batteries are sold as a part of your vaporizer device and usually come with a dedicated charging cable specifically for the device.

External batteries are those which can be purchased separately and interchanged at will. Batteries are rated in several different ways, but milli-amp hours (mAh) is the rating most often used by vapers. The mAh rating tells you how long the battery will last at any given power rating, so you can shop around for higher-rated batteries.


Dripping is a popular form of vaping where the vape user manually drips e-liquid into the atomizer every few hits instead of filling a large tank with liquid. This style of vaping offers more control over how e-liquid is used.

Box Mods

While the name suggests that the vape device is a modification of an earlier vaporizer, most of today's box mods are simply designed with advanced features already in place so there is less DIY work on your end. Vaporizers generally either come in box-style cases or in cylindrical pen-style cases.

Propylene Glycol

Usually abbreviated as PG, Propylene Glycol is one of the two base liquids used to carry nicotine and flavor in your e-liquid. Propylene glycol is used in the medical field to carry medical inhalants for asthma and other breathing treatments, and has been deemed generally safe for consumption by the public. Some people find that they have mild allergic reactions to PG that leaves them with a scratchy throat.

Vegetable Glycerin

Abbreviated to VG, Vegetable Glycerin is the other base material used in e-liquids. It is derived from naturally occurring plant oils and has a slightly sweet taste. More and more e-liquid manufacturers are using high VG blends or "Max VG" blends to reach vapers who do not like propylene glycol.

All-Day Vape

A favorite term among reviewers of e-liquid flavors, All-Day Vapes are flavors that provide a great experience for an extended period of time. Many vapers find that really pronounced flavors either cause their taste buds to become desensitized over time, or they get burnt out on super sweet flavors quickly. Most All-Day Vapes are mellow vanilla, caramel, tobacco or light fruit flavors that don't overwhelm the senses.

Sub-Ohm Vaping

Sub-ohm vaping was borne out of a desire to produce more vapor with the same device. By increasing current flowing through a device and decreasing the resistance of the coil wire, it is possible to achieve less than 1 ohm of resistance in the entire circuit. This creates more heat, and more consistency, which leads to more vapor.

Temperature Control

In an effort to better control the way your vape tastes and how much vapor is produced, many manufacturers of advanced vaporizers have added temperature control features. Temperature control allows you to manually set the heat produced at your coil, and the device adjusts the wattage and current accordingly to hit the target. Most temperature control devices also come with preset options depending on the type of coils you are using and the style of vape you prefer.

Rebuildable Tank Atomizers and Rebuildable Drip Atomizers

These are actually two separate styles of devices, but it is easy to tell them apart. Abbreviated to RTAs and RBAs, these are atomizers that allow the user to disassemble the parts, change coils, clean them and put them back together.

Older devices used disposable sealed cartomizers that were thrown away when they stopped working.

Rebuildable atomizers are meant to last a long time with routine maintenance. The difference between RTAs and RDAs is simply that one has a large tank, while the other only has a small well for dripping.

Adjustable Airflow

In order for vapor to be produced and inhaled efficiently, atomizers must include some form of porting for air to flow through the device and into your mouth and lungs. Many of today's devices include adjustable airflow in the form of small rotating sleeves that open up to allow for more airflow. This feature makes it easier to inhale and produces more vapor.

There are dozens of other terms commonly in use in vape forums around the web, but these are some of the most popular vaping terminologies that you will need to get started today.

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