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Glossary of E-cigarette Terms

Adjustable Airflow

Either a screw or dial that adjusts the airflow into a tank as the user inhales affecting both the amount of vapour and flavour.

AG - Aqueous Glycerine

AG is pharmaceutical grade VG (Vegetable Glycerine) which has been thinned using deionized water to make it a similar viscosity to PG (Propylene Glycol) and is used as a diluent when mixing your own liquid. AG produces more vapour than PG and adds a little sweetness to the mix.

AG - Amps

An amp (short for ampere) is simply a unit of measurement for an electrical current. E-Cig batteries are measured in milliamp hours (mAh). The higher the mAh rating of your battery, the longer it will last before it needs to be recharged.


A term vapers give to tradition tobacco cigarettes.


A generic term given to the part of the e-cig that heats the e-liquid and turns it into a vapour.

Atomizer Head

Unit that houses the heating coils and wicking material. Consumable that requires replacement between 1 and 6 weeks depending on the device.

AWG - American Wire Gauge

American Wire Gauge is a standardised wire gauge used in North America, whereas in Europe the diameter of the wire is expressed in millimetres. Resistance wire is used to make heating coils.


A battery supplies power to the atomizer and can be an integrated battery unit, where the battery is built in or a removable battery that can be removed from the e-cigarette to recharge or replace it.

BDC - Bottom Dual Coil

This atomizer head has two coils mounted in the base of a tank. The position means that the heating coils are permanently immersed in e-liquid, which prevents overheating the coils. The dual coil refers to two coils in parallel spreading the load delivering high performance and durability.


Occurs if the coil gets too hot without enough e-liquid. In certain circumstances, it can burn the wicking material delivering an acrid taste that is unpalatable. Once a coil is burnt it is unlikely to recover normal performance and usually needs replacing.


The mouthpiece part that contains fibre that holds the e-liquid, usually found in cig-a-like devices or pod e-cigs.


What vapers call the vape mist that’s produced during vaping.

Cloud Chasing

The activity of blowing massive clouds.


This is a coil of wire that acts as a heating element and is located in the Atomizer Head.

Contact Pin

Is usually the positive feed from the battery, it can be fixed or sprung and makes contact with the positive pin of the atomizer head.

DDA - Direct Drip Atomizer

Is an atomizer that has no e-liquid tank and requires regular topping up with e-liquid through a Drip Tip.


Diluents are liquids that are used to dilute your e-liquid mixes. The main diluents are PG and VG and mixed in different ratios can alter the vaping characteristics of the e-liquid.

Direct to lung

Direct to Lung vaping involves the vapour being inhaled straight into the lung without first being held in the mouth.

Disposable vape

A disposable vape is a throw-away e-cig. It is a pen style vape that is pre-filled with e-liquid and has a charged battery built inside. They are an extremely easy way to vape, with nothing to set up to maintain. Once the e-liquid or battery run out, you dispose of the e-cig and start a new one.

Drip Tip

Is a mouthpiece with a wide bore through which you can drop e-liquid to refresh the coil of a Direct Drip Atomizer.

Dry Hit

Occurs if the wicking material is dry or has dried out due to lack of e-liquid.

E-cig / E-cigarette

Words often used to abbreviate electronic cigarette.


The term used to describe the fluid used within electronic cigarettes. It can come with or without nicotine, in many strengths and flavours and either pre-mixed or mix your own.


The flavourings used in e-liquids, these are usually very concentrated food grade flavours and are available in thousands of different blends and tastes. Vapers who DIY (mix their own juices) can work to very precise recipes where different flavours are blended to give a huge variety of flavour profiles. Flavouring usually has a base of propylene glycol liquid.


Li-ion Cobalt Round cell refers to the chemical make-up of a battery. ICR’s can have a high-capacity rating (mAh) but deliver a lower current than an IMR. ICR batteries are recommended for atomizers with a resistance of 1.0Ω or above.


Li-ion Manganese Round cell refers to the chemical make-up of a battery. IMR’s generally have a lower capacity rating (mAh) but deliver a higher current than an ICR. IMR batteries are recommended for atomizers with a resistance below 1.0Ω.

Japanese Cotton

Japanese cotton is a natural wicking material that uses no chemicals or bleaches in its production and has good e-liquid retention properties but can burn at high temperatures.


Kanthal (FeCrAl) is a wire alloy containing iron, chrome and aluminium. It is used to make heating coils.

Mouth to lung

In mouth to lung vaping, the vapour is inhaled into the mouth and held there before being drawn down into the lung. This is the same technique as used in traditional cigarette smoking.


A milliamp is a unit used to measure current and is equal to one-thousandth of an Amp. 1000mA = 1A. This applies to the battery charging current, the higher the milliamps the faster a battery will charge. The charging rate should never be greater than the mAh rating of the battery.


A unit for measuring electric power over time. mAh is commonly used to describe the total amount of energy a battery can store at one time.

Micro USB

Most modern electronic cigarettes have a Micro USB port for charging the battery.


Mixing can refer to blending one or more flavoured e-liquids with each other. Advanced mixing can involve mixing a solution of diluent with concentrated flavouring and a solution that may or may not contain nicotine.

Mechanical Mod

A “Mod” originally meant “Modified” and referred to handmade components/devices that used converted household items such as flashlights or lozenge tins. Mechanical mods have no electronic switches, regulators or chips and rely on mechanical connections to operate.


A millilitre (that is milli and litre put together) is a very small amount of liquid. There are approx. 20 drops to one ml. With e-cigarettes, it is used to indicate the capacity of the tank and selling volume of e-liquid.

Ni (Nickel)

Nickel wire is a low resistance wire used to make heating coils and can be used with VT (Variable Temperature) devices. Pure nickel is used because there is a linear relationship between resistance and temperature. As the coil heats, the resistance changes and the algorithm built into the processing chip of the electronic cigarette can determine the temperature from the resistance it is measuring.


Nichrome is a popular resistance wire used to make heating coils, it is a nickel/chrome alloy.


Nicotine is an ingredient in cigarettes and some e-liquids – it’s what causes smokers to become addicted and crave that next cigarette. By itself, nicotine is only as harmless as caffeine, but when taken with the 1000s of harmful chemicals in cigarettes, it encourages a dangerous pastime. E-liquids have varying amounts of nicotine, ranging from 0% to 5.2%.

Nicotine Level

Different e-juices have different levels of nicotine. You can choose your flavours AND the amount of nicotine you want in your e-juice. You’ll see it measured in mg/mL.

Nicotine Salts

Nicotine salts are derived from the natural nicotine salts found in tobacco plants. Nicotine salts aim to reproduce the same nicotine hit that is felt when smoking a cigarette. The nicotine salts are absorbed into your bloodstream a lot faster than the usual nicotine found in traditional e-liquids on the market, meaning that a nicotine hit is felt quicker when vaping e-liquid which contains nicotine salts.

Nic Shots

Nic Shots are 10ml “shots” of high strength nicotine. They usually come in 18mg standard strengths or 20mg salt strengths and are primarily used by DIY E-liquid mixers or shortfall users.

Ohm (Ω)

The ohm is the SI unit of electrical resistance and is named for Georg Simon Ohm, the German physicist who created Ohms Law. On atomizer heads, it indicates the resistance measurement of the heating coil as a numerical value. E.g. 1.8ohm. A lower number indicates lower resistance and therefore creates faster heating. There’s a direct link between resistance and the amount of vapour a device can produce, and it is usually the lower the ohms the bigger the clouds, but if you are a smoker trying to make the switch or a vaping beginner then a device with 1.5 – 1.8 Ohm coils might be advisable to start with.


Sometimes referred to as 'vape pen', a tube-like e-cig that looks similar to a pen. Usually having no settings to adjust making them simple to use and ideal first e-cigarettes.

PG - Propylene Glycol

PG (Propylene Glycol) is pharmaceutical grade and is used as a diluent when mixing your own liquid. PG produces less vapour than VG and adds clarity to flavours.


A decorative collar of metal that is used on the outer thread of an e-cigarette battery to streamline the aesthetic appearance of the unit and add stability to a flat-based tank.

RCS - Replacement Coil System

Refers to the atomizer head being replaceable when the coil reaches the end of its natural life.


Refers to heating coils with an electrical resistance of less than 1.0Ω. Mainly it refers to resistances ranging from 0.5 Ohms and below. These can create higher temperatures and allow for a bigger quantity of e-liquid to get evaporated, thus making massive clouds of vapour (see Cloud-Chasing). The increased quantity of e-juice combined with the higher temperature can produce a warmer and more flavourful vape than in the case of standard resistances and some e-liquids are specially manufactured with cloud-chasing in mind by having a high VG content, which also helps to create the bigger vapour clouds.


Top of an e-cigarette which connects to the battery, houses the atomizer and e-liquid and has either a removable or fitted mouthpiece on top.

Throat Hit

Throat hit is the slightly harsh, burning, tingling feeling at the back of your throat when vaping. It is the sensation of nicotine at the back of the throat. Most vapers desire a decent throat hit because it emulates the effect of smoking cigarettes. The more nicotine in an e-liquid, the stronger the throat hit.

Ti (Titanium)

Titanium wire is a low resistance wire used to make heating coils and can be used with VT (Variable Temperature) devices. Pure titanium is used because there is a linear relationship between resistance and temperature. As the coil heats, the resistance changes and the algorithm built into the processing chip of the electronic cigarette can determine the temperature from the resistance it is measuring.

Vape Pod

A simple to use, all-in-one vaping device consisting of an in-built battery with a disposable 'closed system' cartridge/pod housing the atomizer head and e-liquid. You can view our range of vape pod kits here.


Inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette.


The steam created by the electronic cigarette, which is inhaled.

VG - Vegetable Glycerine

Totally Wicked's Vegetable Glycerine is pharmaceutical grade VG (Vegetable Glycerine). It is used as a diluent when mixing your own liquid. VG produces more vapour than PG and adds a little sweetness to the mix.

VV / VW / VT / Variable Voltage / Variable Wattage / Variable Temperature

These common terms refer to output measurements that vaping devices refer to, Variable Voltage (VV), Variable Wattage (VW) and Variable Temperature (VT). Variable Voltage refers to electromotive force being pushed through the atomizer whereas Variable Wattage refers to the power produced by that force. Put simply a Variable Wattage device detects the atomizer resistance and selects the correct voltage to deliver the desired output whereas a Variable Voltage device delivers the selected output irrespective of the atomizer resistance. Variable Temperature controlled devices enable you to pre-set a maximum temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit that the atomizer coil will be able to reach.

Wicking Material

Normally consists of cotton, which provides full flavour and vapour production whilst evenly absorbing e-liquid. Silica wick is less frequently used in some older e-cig models.

Zero Nicotine

E-Liquid or cartridges that contain no nicotine and so usually has a lower throat hit because of this.


This refers to the screw thread cut and is the most common thread pattern used on e-cigarettes which aids cross compatibility of components. It is also used to refer to the compatibility of mouthpieces and the connection at the top of the tank.

510 Mouthpiece

Available in a variety of colours and styles, tanks with a 510-fitting mouthpiece have the ability to swap with another 510-mouthpiece allowing for personalisation and customisation.
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