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What is an Electronic Cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes (or more commonly referred to as e-cigs) have over the past few years enjoyed much popularity and attracted attention, good and bad. No doubt you’ve heard of them by now but if you still haven’t been given the low down then this guide should help clear the mist.

E-Cigs are portable battery powered devices designed to substitute the act of smoking with a device which delivers nicotine to your lungs. The Nicotine is delivered to your lungs by the act of inhalation, similar to how a smoker takes a puff on a cigarette. E-Cigs achieve this by heating up a liquid containing Nicotine as you inhale. This causes the liquid to begin evaporating producing a vapor which is then inhaled by the user. It is this vapor that has given rise to the new verb “vape”.

According to Google, the definition of vape is:
inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.

Diagram of a Cartridge Electronic Cigaratte
Cartridge E-Cig Diagram
Diagram of a Refillable / Tank Electronic Cigaratte
Tank / Refillable E-Cig Diagram

Types of Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes fall into a handful of broad types:

Matchless develop and stock all the above types of E-Cigs. You can read more about these in our other Guides.

A guide to using E-Cigarattes

This guide on using e-cigarettes covers the general aspects of using e-cigs of all types. The first thing you’ll need to do if you’ve got yourself a rechargeable device is to make sure the battery is charged. Most devices come with a little charge so you should be ready to screw in the cartridge or the battery and place the tip of the mouth piece between your lips and take your first draw.

It is generally safe to hold your e-cig in any position comfortable for you during inhalation. However in some older devices the E-Liquid may leak therefore the e-cig should ideally be held in a raised horizontal position.

What are E-Liquids?

If you’re purchasing one of your refillable tanks kits or variable voltage e-cigarettes, they’ll come together with e-liquids. E-Liquids are the liquids which contain the Nicotine to be heated up by the device and delivered as a vapor to your lungs as you inhale through the mouth piece. E-Liquids are used to fill and refill your tank piece before vaping and this is done by gently dripping the liquid from the bottle into the tank piece until the desired level has been reached. If you’re a smoker, think "flavoured smoke" but rather than smoke, it’s a liquid vapour containing Nicotine.

Different strengths of Nicotine in E-Liquids

E-Liquids are available in various strengths. These strengths indicate the concentration of Nicotine that will be present with each draw. The concentration of nicotine in your e-liquid is measured in either mg or ml. The higher the Nicotine concentration the stronger the dose will be. Heavy smokers often use higher strength e-liquids when switching over to e-cigs and then gradually come down to medium or low strength, while some come all the way down to zero strength e-liquids which contain no Nicotine at all.

The strength of Nicotine in the e-liquid you use will be a matter of personal preference and your smoking habit and brand of cigarettes you smoked before you switched to vaping.


While E-liquids are used to manually refill tanks kits, Cartridges provide the convenience of simply screwing in a cartridge which already contains an e-liquid, into your device. Using cartridges eliminates the need to manually refill your tanks. Our range of cartridges are available in the same flavours and strengths as our e-liquids; they must however be used with our range Matchless Rechargeable E-Cig Kits only.

If you’re not quite sure whether you should use e-liquids or cartridges then check our excellent little guide which compares e-liquids to cartridges.


All e-cig devices are powered by batteries. Some can be recharged and some cannot. Disposable E-Cigs can’t be recharged, so once the batteries are out so is the whole e-cig! Hence the name disposable. Disposables are much cheaper than the rechargeable e-cigs and they come with the added benefit of being ready to vape straight out of the pack. However if you’re planning to stick to vaping for a while you may want to consider investing in a rechargeable version, they’re not much more expensive and also save you more in the long term.

Rechargeable E-Cigs on the other hand can be recharged once the battery starts to run out. You’ll know the battery is running out when the tip light starts to flash as you inhale. You’ll also notice the amount of vapour being produced starts to diminish and produces a weaker hit. You can recharge your e-cig by plugging it into a Mains, USB or car charger. All our rechargeable e-cigarettes come with a charger. Charger accessories can also be purchased individually from our Accessories section.

Like all Batteries, e-cigarette batteries also have a limited life. The lifespan of your battery will depend on several factors such as how much and often you vape, which liquids you use, the condition of your clearomiser and even the temperature of your surroundings. After a battery has reached the end of it’s lifespan it will no longer hold any charge. You will need to replace the battery section of your e-cigarette (known as the cartomiser). You can find replacement cartomisers in our accessories section.