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“Do You Wind Your Coils in Bunny Ears or Roller Coasters?” A Guide to E-Cigarette Speech


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Bad news for e-cigs doesn’t kink their style.

E-cigarettes are all over the news lately, and not because they’re glamorous.

A bartender in an East London bar was burnt when an e-cigarette exploded in her face while its battery was being recharged. An old lady in a Manchester hospital was “engulfed in flames” when an e-cigarette ignited her oxygen supply.

Also exploding are reports of kids being poisoned after swallowing nicotine-rich e-cig liquid and adults complaining of respiratory problems, nicotine toxicity and cardiovascular issues.

A report by Democrats in the US Congress documented how e-cig makers are pitching their product to minor using tactics that are illegal for traditional cigarette makers.

On the science front, a study comparing the carcinogenic effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke in lab-grown human lung cells found that both types of cigarettes caused mutations associated with cancer.

This barrage of bad news comes in advance of the FDA’s releasing its long-awaited plan to regulate e-cigarettes using the same authority if has over the tobacco market.

One in five smokers puffs electronically. There are hundreds of brands available. Industry sales have surpassed $1.5 billion. No matter how the media hates on cigarettes, they are clearly here to stay.

And so is the specialized vocabulary e-cigarettes have introduced into popular usage—and that can make a news story or overheard conversation almost impossible to decipher to the untrained ear.

Here is a list of the most common new technical and slang words translated into English for intrepid travelers in the land of e-cigarettes.

Atomizer (abbreviated as atty): the part that heats the juice to the point of vaping.

Battery (abbreviated as batt): the part that powers the atomizer when vaping; typically rechargeable; sometimes explodes.

Bunny ears: the heating coil can be shaped to look like this.

Cartomizer (abbreviated as carto): a combination cartridge and atomizer.

Cartridge (abbreviated as carts): the part that stores the flavored nicotine liquid, it contains the wick and sits in the mouthpiece.

Condoms: the rubber sleeves on the ends of carts.

Dripping: a method of juicing the atomizer by dripping a few drops onto the bridge before vaping.

Filler material (abbreviated as filler): the absorbent material inside the cartridge that delivers the juice to the atty.

Flooding: overjuicing the atomizer causing a decrease in vapor and flavor.

Hot Cigarette: a traditional tobacco cigarette; also known as analog.

Juice: the liquid that is vaporized; also known as e-liquid, e-juice or smoke juice.

Mod: a modifications to a device to customize its function or design, such as making it stronger or prettier.

Pooling: when the juice pools at the bottom of the cart and does not soak into the filler; also when the juice creates a “pool” on top of the cart, causing a leak.

Priming: taking a deep inhalation to prime the battery and produce maximum vapor.

Propylene Glycol (abbreviated as PG): the most commonly used base carrier for nicotine and flavor solutions.

Roller coaster. see bunny ears.

Throat hit (abbreviated as TH): the tingling sensation when the nicotine in the vapor hits the back of the throat.

Vape or vaping: smoking an e-cigarette.

Vape meet: a gathering of vapors.

Vapor: The smoke-like vapor produced when the juice is heated by the atty.

Vapors: the preferred name of smokers who smoke e-cigarettes but hate to use the words smoke, smoker, smokes, smoking and smoked because they are associated with the stigmatized activity of using traditional tobacco cigarettes.