Over the last two years, there’s no denying that disposable vapes have been all the rage, and the “in thing” within the vaping industry.
The sudden surge in popularity and usage of these brightly coloured devices has been nothing short of monumental, and they’ve dominated headlines in recent times, but unfortunately, not for the right reasons.
Youth vaping numbers in the UK have seen a surge, and disposable vapes have been at the forefront of this as the preferred vape device of choice amongst underage users, which has played a pivotal role in them now being banned in the UK within the next year.
Despite their popularity, and being seen in nearly every petrol station, supermarket and convenience store, there may still be some unanswered questions regarding what a disposable vape is and why people choose a disposable vape over a refillable vape device.
We tell you everything you need to know in our handy guide to disposable vapes. Looking at the characteristics of these single use vapes, what defines them as disposable, and why they are set to be banned from sale here in the United Kingdom in the not-so-distant future.
What Are Disposable Vapes?
Disposable vapes, also known as a puff bar, vape pen, or disposable e-cigarettes, are a pre-filled, pre-charged electronic vaping device. Unlike reusable vapes, which require refilling and maintenance, disposables offer a simple, no-fuss vaping experience. They come ready to use straight out of the box, requiring no assembly or upkeep.
Disposable vapes are small devices which are lightweight, and easy to use. A disposable vape is a great option for those who are new to vaping or for those who are looking for a more portable and discreet option.
One of the first vaping devices to ever hit the market way back in 2008 was a disposable vape pen but known as a “Cig-a-like” This device was a battery with a screw on tip that contained e-liquid and it was in the style and design of a cigarette, hence the name. The screw on tip was disposable after it was finished with, as was the battery once it ran flat, unless you happened to have a specialised charger. And now in the current day, there are so many different types of disposable vapes available on the market that the Cig-A-Like disposable vape kit has become a mere distant memory.
Disposable vapes typically come pre-filled with e-liquid and come in a variety of flavours and nicotine strengths. The simplicity and compact nature of disposable vapes make them a popular choice for those who are looking for a simplistic vaping experience. The usual components of a disposable vape are;
- Battery: Powers the device and heats the e-liquid.
- Atomizer: Houses the heating element (coil) that vaporizes the e-liquid.
- E-liquid: Contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavourings, as well as nicotine.
- Wick: Absorbs the e-liquid and delivers it to the coil for vaporization.
Another one of the benefits that disposable vapes offer is that they are often initially more affordable than traditional vaping devices, making them an attractive option for those who are looking to save money.
However, it is important to note that while disposable vapes provide a convenient and easy way to vape, they may not be the most cost-effective or environmentally friendly option in the long run. Since disposable vapes are designed for single-use and are also non-recyclable, they are are classed as electrical waste and it's reported that over 5 million used disposable devices are being dumped into landfill every week in England.
And because the lifespan of a disposable kit is relatively short if frequently used, they will need to be regularly replaced and the cost of constantly purchasing new devices can add up over time.
Some may find that the limited battery life and e-liquid capacity of disposable vapes are drawbacks, especially for those who vape frequently throughout the day and may hit the 600 puffs limit in a relatively quick time meaning a new disposable vape would then have to be purchased to continue satisfying cravings.
What E-Liquid Is In A Disposable Vape?
Nicotine salt e liquids differ from standard freebase nicotine vape juice by having a weak acid, normally benzoic acid, added in to neutralize the alkali pH levels of the nicotine making it smoother and not harsh on the throat, meaning the normal 20mg nicotine strength that disposable vapes come in will be as smooth and comfortable to vape as a 3mg or 6mg freebase e liquid.
As well as this, it also enhances the flavours of the concentrates used in the vape juice recipes, and Elf Bar and Lost Mary vape juices are renowned for being very flavoursome and moreish, which is what keeps bringing people back to using them.
Another advantage of nicotine salt e-liquid is that it is absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than traditional freebase nicotine, providing a faster and more satisfying nicotine hit, which is often preferred by heavy smokers or those looking to quit.
How Much Vape Juice is in a Disposable Vape?
The maximum amount of vape juice that a disposable vape can hold is 2ml. This is to adhere to the TPD regulations which were set out in 2016, that declared that any vape tank or device must not exceed a 2ml vape juice capacity.
Generally disposable vapes do contain the maximum amount of e-liquid of 2ml, but some disposable vapes on the market today will only put 1.2/1.5ml of vape juice inside, and with them being a fully sealed device, there's no way to tell this for yourself and you then may find that your disposable will run out of e-liquid a lot quicker.
On the other side of the coin, there's been a vast amount of illegal vapes being sold in shops such as convenience shops and not specific vape stores which has caused a never ending mountain of work for local trading standards authorities in the UK carrying out search and seize operations. These shops have been found to have a huge range of disposable vape products on sale, but on closer inspection, they are illegal to be sold due to the fact they will normally contain more than 2ml of vape juice or a high nicotine content such as 50mg which goes against the limitations of disposable vapes permitted to be sold in the UK.
This is why it's pivotal to always buy your vape supplies from a reputable vape shop that is a bricks and mortar store or an online vape shop from vape companies that you know you can trust and abides by the regulations that have been set out.
How Long Will The Battery in a Disposable Vape Last For?
The lifespan of a disposable vape will differ from person to person and how frequently it is used. The battery in a disposable vape is normal around 350mah, so not a huge amount of charge will be held in these small batteries.
If you were to frequently use a disposable vape throughout the day as your sole vape device, chances are that you will find that a single disposable vape will last you for only one day before either the vape juice runs out, or the battery runs flat.
This is something which makes disposable vapes a less affordable & a less cost-effective way to vape, as you could realistically be spending over £40 a week on disposable vapes. Other alternatives for vaping are available such as a refillable pod kit paired with 10ml disposable vape flavours such as Bar Salts.
Are Disposable Vapes Safe?
We all know that vaping is safer than what smoking is, as vaping poses a considerable lesser amount of risk than what smoking tobacco does. However, there are concerns about the safety of disposable vapes.
One of the main safety concerns with disposable vapes is the lack of regulation and oversight in the manufacturing process, alongside the fact that most manufacturers of popular disposable vapes are based in China and the devices are exported from there to be sold, and the regulatory market in China may not be as strict as what it is here in the UK.
What Are The Number of Puffs You Get From Disposable Vapes?
The way that disposable vapes work is explained in the following two points in more detail, but in short, each disposable vape will have a set amount of how many puffs you will get from your disposable vape device before the battery runs out or the vape juice runs out. Popular disposable brands like Elf Bar or Lost Mary boasts 600 puffs for their devices, and other brands use this as the benchmark amount of puffs that their disposable vapes also will produce.
It might sound like a lot, but a 600-puff disposable vape may likely only last you for one day before you'll need to replace it.
Are Disposable Vapes Refillable?
No, disposable vapes cannot be refilled. They are sealed self-contained devices that already have the vape juice prefilled in them and are ready to use straight out of the packet without needing to fill it up with vape juice.
Are Disposable Vapes Rechargeable?
No, disposable vapes are not rechargeable. The small lithium-ion battery that is used inside a disposable comes pre charged and cannot be recharged.
Not being able to be refilled or recharged are two of the key characteristics that constitute to the name “disposable”.
Why Are Disposable Vapes Being Banned in UK?
As mentioned, the popularity of disposable vapes has surged to unprecedented levels over the last few years, and people have been buying disposables by the millions each week in the UK. But not all users of disposables are those who are legally old enough to buy and use them.
Youth vaping numbers in the UK has seen an increase over the last few years, and this has been the cause of concern for the government, with calls from anti vaping groups urging the government to act and remove these tempting devices from sale and start cracking down on the numbers from rising any further.
Rishi Sunak laid out his government’s plans to ban disposable vapes during a conference in November 2023 and a public consultation was launched after it to gain the public’s views on whether they were for or against the proposals made including disposable vapes being banned.
And this week, news broke that the disposable vape ban would be going ahead after a resounding 70% of respondents were for a disposable vape ban in the UK.
The reason why the disposable vape ban is happening is to protect the youth in the UK from gaining access to nicotine-based products such as disposable vapes and a new generation of nicotine addicts from forming.
Alongside this, it will protect the environment from any further harm that disposables are causing, because you cannot recycle your disposable due to the battery housed inside each device, millions of used disposable vapes in the UK are being dumped in landfills every week, which is having a huge detrimental effect on our environment.
Best Alternative for Disposable Vapes
Despite being a hugely convenient way to vape, disposable vapes aren't the most efficient way to vape and they do come with their flaws such as not being refillable or rechargeable as well as the standout point that they will be banned from sale in the not-so-distant future, with a large uncertainty how much longer disposable vapes are available for. Meaning, if you are a user of disposables or someone who is considering using them, it’s probably worth while taking a looking at disposable vape alternatives that you can use to be able to vape in the most efficient way.
If you do want to vape, then we would recommend getting yourself a vape pod kit that is not only rechargeable, but also refillable with your preferred vape juice of choice. Your vape kit having both capabilities already outranks any disposable vape!
The Aspire R1 is a fantastic device that is a disposable like vape kit, but it is rechargeable via USB-C cable, and you can also refill it with vape juice too, making it one of the best vape kits on the market today when it comes to disposable vape alternatives. We are also offering an ultimate value bundle with one of these kits plus 7 of our £2 bar salt vape juices for only £15!
If you’re wanting something with a bit more power and a longer lasting battery life, we recommend the OXVA Xlim Pro. A sleek and slim design, with a low power output like a disposable vape that will give all day charge, supreme flavour and a great vape experience.
You can also enjoy the rich and delicious flavours of disposable vapes without having to use one, as there are many brands now available that offer disposable vape flavours in 10ml bottles!
Bar Salts is our own brand of 10ml nic salt e-liquids and this range of flavours have been inspired by popular disposable vape flavours, carefully picked after extensive market research.
Made using high quality raw materials, our premium quality nicotine salts offer a great alternative for disposable vapes as well as being much more affordable at £2 for 10ml of vape juice, compared to £6 for a disposable that only contains 2ml.
Alongside this, we also offer other disposable vape flavour brands such as ElfLiq, which are the same great flavours of Elf Bar vape juice as well as MaryLiq, the same great tasting Lost Mary vape juice, now available in 10ml bottles which can be used in refillable and rechargeable vape devices!