Let's Talk Terminology!

Terminology has been a huge issue lately with the discussions that policymakers and our federal, state, and local governments are having a hard time grasping.

This article will break down all of the terminology. Let's go right into it!

The most used word is "e-cigarette." According to Oxford, an e-cigarette is "A cigarette-shaped device containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco."

The next most used word is "vape." A vape is a device that contains a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking.

Let's break down the types of vapes.

1. Closed-pod vape. A closed-pod vape is a vape that is not refillable. That means the cartridge (which hold the e-liquid) is pre-filled from a company. When the cartridge is empty, it is thrown away, and a new pre-filled cartridge is purchased. An example of this device is the JUUL.

2. Open-pod vape. An open-pod vape is a vape that has a cartridge that can be refilled buy purchasing a bottle of e-liquid. This allows for a variety of flavors and nicotine ranges. An example of this device is the Smok Novo.

a) Cartridge and pod are terms that can be interchanged.

3. Ego Device. An ego device is a simple 510 threaded battery, that can support a tank (which holds the e-liquid). The battery is usually charged with either a 510 threaded charger, or a micro-USB. The tank has either internal or external 510 threads to make a connection to the battery. An example of this device is the Kangertech Top Evod Kit.

4. All-in-One Device. An all-in-one device, more commonly known as an AIO device, is a device that is all one piece. This means that there is no variation in tank, battery, or mouth piece. An example of this device is the Aspire PockeX.

5. Built in battery stick devices. These devices are usually a larger battery, that have a sub-ohm tank on top. An example of this device is the Smok Prince Stick.

6. Built in battery box mod. The built in battery box mod typically has a screen that tells you the wattage, the battery life, the ohms and the voltage. These devices become handy as they give you more information on when to charge your batteries and allow you to control how much vapor you are receiving by adjusting the watts. An example of this device is the VooPoo Mojo.

7. Single battery box mod. These devices can take several types of batteries, but the most common battery is a lithium-ion 18650 battery. The external battery allows for charging on an external charger instead of micro-USB. These devices can be charged micro-USB as well. They typically have a screen to show you battery life, watts, volts and ohms.

8. Dual battery box mod. Similar to the single battery box mod, these devices take two lithium-ion 18650 batteries. These devices cannot be charged via micro-USB due to the off-balance charging. Dual battery box mods typically run high wattage (at least 100 watts or more) but most users vape at 40 watts to 80 watts.

9. Three or more battery box mod. These devices take three or more lithium-ion 18650 batteries and cannot be charged via micro-USB. They too run high wattage.

10. Mechanical mod. A mechanical mod is a device that has no screen, no wiring (or very minimal) and is considered "unregulated" or "unprotected." These devices require a RDA (Rebuildable Drip Atomizer) and knowledge of Ohm's Law. THESE DEVICES ARE FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY.

Keep in mind, what we have just discussed are the "bottoms" of a vape. These are the batteries only, not what hold e-liquid.

Now that we've gotten through the devices, let's dive into tanks, RDAs, RDTAs, RTAs and coils. These devices are what allow a user to place e-liquid into their respective "top" piece, and vape their e-liquid.

1. Tank. A tank is a chamber that holds e-liquid. The tank consists of a base, a coil (also known as atomizer), a pyrex or plastic tube, and a mouth piece (also known as drip tip). Tanks can be filled various ways, such as by unscrewing the top portion, or unscrewing the bottom portion. Usually tanks have a pre-built coil that is replaced.

2. Rebuildable Drip Atomizer. These are commonly referred to as a RDA, the user create their own coils, put their own organic cotton into, and the e-liquid is dripped directly onto the cotton and coils to create vapor.

3. Rebuildable Drip Tank Atomizer. These are usually discussed as a RDTA, where the user still creates their own coils and puts their own organic cotton into, but there is a chamber of some sort to hold e-liquid, so that the user does not have to drip directly onto the coils and cotton.

4. Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. These are more known as RTAs, where the chamber looks like a tank, but still requires coils to be built and organic cotton to be used.

5. Coils. A coil is a piece of metal that is heated by the mod (battery) to create vapor. Coils come in all sorts of ways. If you are using a tank, each company has their own set of pre-made coils that are to be replaced. Coils typically last for two weeks before needing changed. When a coil needs changed, it normally has a "burnt" taste to it, and may cause slight irritation to the throat. If a coil needs replaced, the coils will either pull out or unscrew from the base, and a new coil will be put in. Tank coils cannot be washed, rebuilt, or preserved.

When using a RDA/RDTA/RTA, the coils are either pre-built by a company or created by the user themselves. These coils look a bit different than tank coils, but work the same way. When one of these coils goes bad, the user must put new coils into their RDA/RDTA/RTA and new cotton. The coils for these devices can be cleansed once the cotton has been removed, by running the coils under warm water and using an old toothbrush to scrape the coils. RDA/RDTA/RTA DEVICES SHOULD ONLY BE USED BY ADVANCED USERS WITH KNOWLEDGE OF OHM'S LAW.

6. Drip tips. The drip tip is the piece where you mouth goes. Each tank comes with a drip tip, but sometimes these items get lost. It's important to note what size your drip tip is. If it's a small opening, it's usually 510. If it seems larger than other tanks, it may be an 810 drip tip. Ask your local vape shop what size you have.

As you can see so far, there is a LOT of terminology, yet our government tends to lump it all together as "e-cigarette." That is not the case at all, and disappointing to see vapes and tanks lumped in with products that are truly e-cigarettes. They are different.

Questions? Comments? Let me know!

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