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Understanding Vaping Terms: Part One Device Terminology


Are you new to vaping? If so, the terminology can be a bit confusing. Here at Breazy, we want to give you as much information as we can in the simplest terms so you can throw out that vape-timidation.

If you’ve already made the switch from cigarettes to vaping, you’ve probably heard a few of these terms thrown around, but you may not have understood what they all meant. In part one of this terminology primer, let’s take a look at the most common terms involving your device.

Hardware Basics:

If you’ve purchased a vape mod, it’s a good idea to know the terminology and how everything works.



Atomizer: An atomizer is the heating element in your vape mod that houses the coil and the wick. Without the atomizer, your juice wouldn’t be heated, and there would be no vapor output.


Battery: Your vape’s battery is the power source for the device. Some batteries are internal and cannot be replaced, while others are external, usually in an 18650 form factor (18 mm wide and 650 mm tall - a little bigger than a common AA cell).


Box Mod: A box mod is simply a vape mod shaped like a box. These types of mods pack more power, which is one reason they’re bulkier. Generally, these require external, and replaceable batteries.


Cartomizer: Cartomizers are disposable cartridges with an atomizer built-in, along with a large quantity of wicking or a small tank to hold liquid. Commonly found on early (pre-2012) devices, these may be found on some revamped cigalike or “pod mod” devices.


Cartridge/Pod: A cartridge is a prefilled and disposable insert with e-juice for some vape pens - this is a more proper term for today’s cigalikes than cartomizer.


Cig-a-like: Shaped and sized similar to cigarettes, cig-a-likes are vaping devices meant for those who prefer mouth-to-lung inhales and a cigarette-like feel.


Coil: This is the metal heating element for your mod. Think of it as a conductor. These screw into your mod and connect with the atomizer to generate the heat needed to vaporize your e-liquid.A coil can simply be a round twisted wire connected to positive and negative electrical poles, or it can refer to the entire atomizer (coil, poles, and wicking) in a disposable-coil clearomizer.


Drip Tip: This is the removable mouthpiece that snaps (or sometimes screws) into your tank.


E-cigarette: When you hear someone say e-cigarette, they are referring to your vape. It simply means electronic cigarette. Many vapers choose to distance themselves from this term and the derivative “e-cig,” preferring other terms that clarify a vapor device is not in any way a tobacco cigarette.


E-liquid or E-Juice: Your e-liquid, or e-juice, is the liquid solution put in your tank that, when heated, turns to vapor.


Mechanical Mod: Mechanical mods—though you may not have to know this term unless you are a more experienced vaper—are vaping devices that lack a computer chip to control the mod - push the fire button and it connects a circuit, draining your battery as fast as the coil’s resistance (or your battery’s capacity) allows. These are dangerous in the hands of inexperienced users, in that a coil demanding too much power from a battery could cause thermal runaway, fires, and/or explosions.


Mod: A mod used to mean a modified or custom device, but as powerful manufactured devices became common the name stuck, and now refers to any vapor device more powerful than a cigalike.


Ohms: Ohms are measurements, or units, or resistance. Whenever you see measurements on your throwaway coil accompanied by an Omega symbol, those are indicating the amount of resistance your atomizer coil has. The lower a resistance, the higher the electrical current in watts or volts will be required to power the coil.


Tank: The tank is the attachment—usually glass—that holds your e-liquid and coil.


Voltage: Voltage is a measure of power applied to a coil by your battery.


Wattage: Wattage is another, more accurate measure of power than volts - it considers the amount of voltage being applied to a coil of certain resistance. If you crank up the wattage, your device is using more power.

Wick: Your wick, or wicking, is the material (typically cotton) used to soak up your e-liquid and pass it through to the coil to be heated and vaporized.

Okay, So What Are All Those Other Terms?

Check out Vaping Terms Part Two for more terms commonly used in the vaping community.