Vaping Glossary

An entirely new lexicon has been cobbled together in the past ten years comprised of new terms exclusive to the vaping business. Understanding a website well enough to buy anything means sitting down with a glossary of terms specific to the industry. That way you can be a discerning and efficient shopper who doesn’t get scared off or ripped off.

Some E Cig Words

Have you ever heard of vaping or vapers? What about cigalikes? What is an atty? If something has pass-through capacity, is it just temporary, passing through?

There are drip tips, cartomizers, clearomizers, glassomizers, mods: those are some of the many terms you will encounter. Besides new words, there are familiar words which adopt new meanings when you are talking about e cigs.

You know what a coil is or what it means to coil-up, like a snake. An atomizer coil is a thing in and of itself, both the right shape and also a “thing.”

Vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol (VG and PG) have been in use for decades, but you probably didn’t notice them or know that what you were consuming contained either one. Now, with e-liquid, you are probably vaping at least one if not both.

There are APVs and Mechanical Mods; VVs and the eGo ones. It’s a descriptive obstacle course.

V2 Electronic CigaretteStarting with Cigalikes

The first thing a new vaper picks up is often a cigalike. This word is the contraction of two words: “cigarette” and “like” as in “like a cigarette.”

These are the e cig pens sold by V2 Cigs, Green Smoke, 777, Eversmoke, and others; small products that are similar in weight, size, and dimensions to analog cigarettes. Going with cigalikes presents the option of getting either a refillable or disposable type.

And there’s the word “analog.” Another use for this word is to describe electronics controlled by a dial as opposed to digital technology. In this case, real cigarettes are analogs; low tech versions of the e cig.

I mentioned “vaper” above as opposed to “vapor.” A vaper is the noun referring to someone who vapes, which means he inhales vapor from an electronic device, a vaporizer. Already you have covered 4 words in the new e cig dictionary.

Containers for E-Liquid

Each e cig is fitted with a battery, which capacity is usually measured in terms of mAh, and a container that holds e liquid. Almost all cigalikes are now two-piece devices with a battery and an atomized cartridge. Another contraction is used here: “cartomizer,” a blend of “cartridge” and “atomizer.” The atomizer heats e-liquid and is powered by a battery.

Cartomizers are not usually transparent, though some of them have a viewing window built into one side. When a cartomizer, is clear it is referred to as a clearomizer. If the clearomizer is made of glass, it will often be termed a “glassomizer.”

Passing Through

A pass-through battery is an ingenious device that allows one to vape while a battery either charges or draws power directly from a USB power source. It’s that simple. Batteries usually screw on a USB port, but some companies produce USB batteries with built in cables or with a port in the bottom to allow one to charge at the computer and still vape.


There are lots of names for the liquid in your clearomizer, cartomizer, or glassomizer. You call it e-liquid, vape juice, nicotine juice, smoke juice, nicotine e-juice: they all amount to the same thing. E-liquid usually consists of 4 ingredients or types of ingredients. These are propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavoring.

Nicotine is usually an option but there are a lot of nicotine-free choices too. PG, responsible for throat hit, is used to create fog at concerts and in movies. VG is a carrier associated with many foods. Most people have consumed both at one time or another.

Drip Tips

These are like the filters you see on cigarettes. They are used to cool vapor before it gets to a person’s lips because it gets fairly hot and there isn’t any room for the vapor to cool before it reaches the tip. Drip tips can be added to any vaping device and there are plenty of styles.

Mechanical Mods and APVs

A mechanical mod is a mechanical cigarette relying on battery power but the battery is separate and the tank or atomizer is not included. This device relies on mechanical changes to air holes or center pins to accept different battery sizes or increase ventilation.

APVs, however, incorporate circuitry so the user can set voltage and read voltage on the display. Egos, unlike either of these, work much like cigalike batteries without anything more than a button to get the atomizer working. Their primary difference from cigalike batteries is in their size: at least double, often more like 5 times the power of a mini e cig battery.

Now you are ready to navigate the e cig market online. There might still be some words that stump you now and again, but the words above give those terms context you can understand.