The ABCs of Vaping: Common Terms Every Vaper Should Know

One of the difficulties that people who are new to vaping face is getting accustomed to the terms and lingo of vaping. It’s definitely a bit difficult to keep track of every term and memorize it for later reference, but if you learn a few basic ones, they will serve you a long way in your vaping journey.

Vaping is one of the things that has low barriers to entry, but if you are new to it, you should expect a learning curve. Of course, you can always grab a vape, pop it out of the box, and start using it. But if you want to make the best out of your vaping experience, and upgrade it at different stages of your quitting journey, then it is important to study and learn the common terms and the general lingo around vaping.

In this blog, we will discuss some basic terms that relate to e-liquids, vaping gear and the vaping process in general, and help the users get to know the ABCs of vaping.

Common Terms Related to E-Liquids That You Should Know


VG or vegetable glycerin is one of the major ingredients of e-liquids. It is viscous in texture and is generally found in many food and cosmetic products. VG is used in e-liquids in order to generate thicker clouds and vapour. It is safe to ingest and is derived from plant-based sources.


PG or propylene glycol is another major ingredient in e-liquids. It has a thinner consistency and is derived by the direct hydrolysis of propylene oxide with water for food-based uses. PG is used in e-liquids in order to generate throat hits and to give them a higher flavour concentration. It is completely safe to ingest and is commonly used in many commercially manufactured food items.


Priming is a method of dripping e-liquid in a new coil to let the cotton soak in the e-liquid for a few minutes. It is a quintessential step to take when using a new coil. Every premade coil head comes with cotton inside. Since the coil head is closed off besides the juice holes in the side, it takes time for the juice to sip in and wet all the cotton.

If you start using the vape while some portions of the cotton are still dry, those portions will burn, that’s why you prime the coil heads initially before you start using them. Priming the coil usually takes 10-15 minutes.


The nicotine strength of your e-liquid is generally specified as mg/ml. Mg/ml reflects the milligram strength per millilitre of nicotine in your e-juice. You may also commonly see nicotine strength expressed as a cumulative percentage. It shows the amount of nicotine as a percentage in total.

Nicotine salts

Nicotine salts, commonly known as nic salts, contain synthetic nicotine that is treated with benzoic acid in order to reduce the PH level of nicotine and deliver smoother hits. Nicotine salts are known for better absorption rates and are capable of delivering higher nicotine concentrations into your system.

ShortFill E-Liquids

Shortfill e-liquids generally do not contain nicotine and come in bigger bottles so users can add nicotine shots to them. This allows people to curb their nicotine intake and customize their vaping experience by choosing their own level of nicotine.

Freebase E-Liquids

Freebase e-liquids contain nicotine in its pure form and have higher PH levels than nicotine salts. Freebase e-liquids produce stronger throat hits and have higher flavour concentrations.

Common Terms Related to Vaping Gear That You Should Know


An atomizer is a part of a vape that refers to the wick and coil of the vape. It helps vapourise the e-liquid and turn it into vapour. The atomizer consists of a heating coil that vaporizes the juice and generally consists of a simple filament and wicking metal mesh or silica wick to draw the liquid in.


Tank is the part of the vape device that stores the e-liquid


The coil is the part of the vape device that heats the e-liquid. For the sake of simplicity, coils come in different diameters, materials and resistances and one must check the compatibility of coils with the vape device before purchasing them.


Wattage explains how much electricity or power your device supplies to the atomizer for it to vapourise the e-liquid.


Resistance is a measurement of the difficulty of passing an electrical current through a conductor (the coil.) The more wire there is on the coil, the less resistance there is, as it allows more current to flow without resisting it.

Pod Mod

Pod mod is a type of vaping device that uses cartridges (coil, wick, and tank) in a proprietary form factor.

Box Mod

A box mod is a powerful vaping device, generally used by advanced vapers, with one or more large batteries, typically square in shape and bigger in size.


A prototypical vaping device that looks like a traditional cigarette. Cig-a-like vape were pretty common in use before the inception of modern-day vape devices.

Sub-Ohm Vaping Device

A type of vaping device with atomizer coils that have a resistance of less than one ohm. Typically used for blowing large clouds by cloud chasers.

Common Terms Related to The Vaping Process That You Should Know

Throat Hit

The throat hit or throat kick refers to the tingling sensation you get at the back of your throat when you inhale vapour using your vape device.


Draw or drawing refers to the act of inhaling the vapour using the mouthpiece of your vape device.

Dry Hit

Dry hits refer to the unpleasant or bitter taste you get when you inhale the vapour from your vape device in case the cotton or other wicking material in your device is not completely soaked with e-liquid.

French Hit

French hit refers to a vaping technique in which you vape out of the mouth, and then re-inhale the vapour through the nose.

MTL (Mouth-To-Lung)

MTL is a vaping style/technique in which you draw vapour into your mouth, and then inhale it into your lungs.

DTL (Direct-To-Lung)

DTL is a vaping style/technique in which you inhale vapour straight into the lungs, without keeping it in your mouth.

Vaper’s Tongue

Vaper’s tongue refers to the phenomenon where you lose the ability to detect or taste the flavour of e-liquid. It typically occurs after you’ve been vaping the same flavour for a long time and your taste buds get desensitized.


Steeping is a method that allows the e-liquid to age well. It is generally applied to those e-liquids that are recently manufactured and packed. When you steep an e-liquid, you place it in a closed environment, away from sunlight, at room temperature or lower, for a few days, so the components adequately settle in and give their best result.

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