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Glossary of Terms

510 compatible battery connection

The 510 compatible battery connection is the most widely used fitting size in the vaping equipment market, and has become the nearest to a universal size fitting. It refers to the thread that screws the battery into the clearomiser, cartomiser and charger on a vape pen. Buying a piece of 510 type equipment means it's likely to be compatible with kit from different manufacturers.

Adjustable airflow

Most clearomisers have holes of varying size, usually two or three, drilled into their sides to allow airflow. Some have mechanisms to adjust the amount of airflow, most commonly a dial or a rotating ring. Adjusting the airflow allows the vaper to control the intensity and thickness of the vapour.

All day vape

All day vape refers to an e-liquid which the vaper finds is comfortable to vape throughout the day. All day vapes tend to be one of the more middle-of-the-road flavours and to have a throat hit that's not too strong.


APV stands for advanced personal vaporiser and they look like enlarged pens. These are vaping kits with a detachable, rechargeable battery, sometimes with voltage and/or wattage control, and a separate tank or clearomiser with a mouthpiece and an atomiser, the heating element that heats the e-liquid and turns it into vapour. Some APVs also have replaceable and rebuildable atomisers.


An atomiser is a small heating element with a wick that screws into and is powered by a battery. Once it is attached to the battery, the battery and atomiser are screwed into the clearomiser. When the battery is powered up, the atomiser heats the e-liquid in the clearomiser and turns it into vapour which can then be inhaled via the clearomiser's mouthpiece.


Batteries come in sizes ranging most commonly from 450 to 1200 mAh (milliAmp hour) and the higher the mAh number, the longer the battery will last between charges. Most batteries are user-controlled, and have activation buttons which you press as you puff. More advanced models also allow control of the level of power generated by the battery, which in turn dictates the intensity of the vapour produced. Batteries are charged via a USB plug and it's absolutely essential that you follow the battery manufacturer's instructions on charging, otherwise there's a real risk of fire.


A cartomiser is similar to clearomiser and has a tank for e-liquid, an atomiser and a mouthpiece. The term usually refers to a clearomiser that has an integral atomiser so that once the atomiser burns out, the whole cartomiser must be replaced. Some cartomisers come pre-filled with e-liquid and are not refillable, while others can be refilled.


A clearomiser is a refillable tank for e-liquid with a mouthpiece and an atomiser. They look like a short pen and are either entirely transparent or have windows so that e-liquid levels can be checked. Tank capacity is generally between 1.7 and 3ml. Some clearomisers have integral atomisers and these are disposable once the atomiser has burnt out. Others have replaceable atomisers which you can buy separately.


The coil is a short length of thin wire that is wrapped around the wick of an atomiser. It's the coil that heats up when the battery is activated and acts to vaporise the e-liquid in the tank. The coil can be of different thicknesses which vary its resistance measured in ohms. Ohm values are commonly 1.8, 2.2 and 2.4 and the lower the number, the more heat is generated.

Drip tip

A drip tip is a mouthpiece that fits on to the end of your clearomiser. There are two types of drip tip on the market, one that pushes into place and another that screws into the clearomiser. Drip tips are designed to minimise leakage and to give a good airflow when vaping.


eGo is a term for the second generation e-cigarettes which have a separate battery and clearomiser. eGo batteries are controlled by a button which activates the battery so that the atomiser in the clearomiser heats the e-liquid and turns it into vapour so that it can be inhaled. Some eGo clearomisers have integral atomisers which means they are disposable and must be replaced when the atomiser fails. Others have replaceable atomisers. Most eGo equipment comes with industry-standard 510 screw fittings so that batteries and clearomisers from different manufacturers are compatible with one another.


E-liquid, or e-juice as it's sometimes called, is the liquid in e-cigarettes that, when heated, produces the smoke-like vapour. E-liquids come in a huge variety of flavours and tend to be sold in small bottles with a capacity of between 10 and 30 millilitres. Three main ingredients are used in the preparation of e-liquids, plus flavourings, of which there may be more than one. The main three ingredients are propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG) and nicotine, except in the case of nicotine-free e-liquid.


Flooding is the term used to describe when e-liquid leaks into places it shouldn't, especially when you puff and get a mouthful of liquid. There are two main reasons for flooding. The first is overfilling the tank which means it can't function properly. The second is when you accidentally drip e-liquid down the hollow shaft at the centre of your clearomiser. This leads directly to the mouthpiece and means you will inhale e-liquid Avoid flooding by only filling your tank to its capacity and by making sure liquid only goes around the central column leading to the mouthpiece.

Low Resistance

The coil that heats up inside the atomiser to vaporise e-liquid is made of wire. This wire can vary in thickness and the thicker it is, the higher is the resistance. Resistance is measured in ohms with 1.8, 2.2 and 2.4 ohms being common values. The lower the number, the higher the resistance, with higher resistance generating more heat. Lower resistance leads to faster use of e-liquid, a hotter vape and thicker clouds of vapour.


A mod is a vaping set up that has been modified or purpose-built by the user. Mod is short for modification and some vapers customise battery packs, atomisers and clearomisers. In some cases, enthusiasts build their kits from scratch using basic components.


PG is an abbreviation for propylene glycol and it's a key ingredient in most e-liquids. E-liquids commonly contain four basic ingredients, PG, VG (vegetable glycerin), nicotine and flavourings, with zero nicotine liquids having only three ingredients. PG is a manmade, somewhat sticky liquid with no colour, a barely perceptible smell and a slightly sweet taste. It's commonly used in medical devices and in the food industry in products like fizzy drinks, salad dressings, and ice cream. PG-high e-liquids produce thinner vapour than VG-high ones, more throat hit than VG ones and are less likely to clog up your atomiser.


RBA stands for rebuildable atomiser. The atomiser is a small heating element with a wick that screws into and is powered by a battery, and sits inside the clearomiser. Rebuildable atomisers can be dismantled so that the coil, the length of wire that acts as a heating element to vaporise the e-liquid, and the wick can be both be replaced. If you have the time and skill, this is much more economic than simply throwing away and replacing burnt-out atomisers.

Starter Kits

Many equipment manufacturers sell starter kits. These can be anything from basic cigalike kits through to quite sophisticated second generation vaping set-ups. The second-generation ones will generally include a battery and sometimes a spare battery, a clearomiser and a USB charger. The clearomiser may be of the disposable kind or alternatively of the type where the atomiser can be replaced. Some sellers also include a free sample bottle of e-liquid.


A tank is sometimes used as an alternative term for clearomiser but strictly speaking it is the part of the clearomiser where e-liquid is stored. In second generation vaping equipment kits, tanks are refillable, either via a hole at the top when the mouthpiece is removed, or via a gap in the bottom where the tank screws into the atomiser and battery.

Throat Hit

Throat hit is the feeling you get at the back of your throat when vaping and is like a kind of gentle rasping sensation. It is a feeling familiar to conventional cigarette smokers, especially those who smoke high-tar cigarettes, and is prized by many vapers as it mimics the act of smoking when vaping. Throat hit can be increased by smoking higher nicotine e-liquids, e-liquids with high proportions of PG as opposed to VG, and by using atomisers with high resistance such as 1.8 ohm.

Variable voltage/wattage

Some batteries have controls so that you can vary their output by changing the voltage of the wattage produced by the battery. This allows advanced vapers to control the volume, thickness and heat of the vapour produced by their vaping kit.


VG is a shortened form for vegetable glycerin and is one of the ingredients of e-liquid. E-liquids commonly contain four basic ingredients, PG, VG (vegetable glycerin), nicotine and flavourings, with zero nicotine liquids having only three ingredients. VG is a colourless liquid with virtually no odour, and it is stickier and sweeter than PG. It's extracted from plants and also widely used in food production, as well as in cosmetics and toiletries. VG-high e-liquids produce thicker vapour than PG-high ones, less throat hit than PG ones, and are more likely to clog up your atomiser.


The wick is part of the atomiser and it is a piece of material that looks like fine string. It draws the e-liquid from the clearomiser tank so that it comes into direct contact with the atomiser coil, the wire that heats up when the battery is activated. By bringing the e-liquid into direct contact with the coil, the wick allows the liquid to be heated sufficiently to turn into vapour which can then be inhaled. Silica wick is the most commonly used