Disposables and Underage Vaping

by Jemma Wolfe
Disposables and Dangers of Underage Vaping

Disposables and Dangers of Underage Vaping

If you’ve spent time scrolling through TikTok or strolling along British high streets, you’re probably aware of the disposable vaping trend sweeping the nation. Available in most local corner shops, the colourful packaging, portable design and fruity flavours are proving popular among young people. With more teenagers than ever admitting to being addicted to disposable vapes, are they really as harmless as they seem?

In response to the growing ‘vaping epidemic’ in the US, where 1 in 4 teens confess to using an e-cigarette on a regular basis, the UK government has tightened regulations surrounding the sale of such products. But despite introducing a ban on devices containing more than 2% nicotine, many retailers still stock the illegal vape products, putting them directly into the hands of the younger generation.

WIth more and more teens taking to social media to expose the negative side effects of these unregulated devices, this seemingly innocent craze is quickly becoming a cause for concern. As the long term effects of ingredients used in unregulated products are largely unknown, nosebleeds and headaches might just be the tip of the iceberg.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s at stake if you choose to vape before you turn 18.

What Will Happen If You Vape Underage?

What Will Happen If You Vape Underage?

In the UK, you can’t legally buy vaping equipment—this includes liquids and devices—if you’re under the age of 18. While there are no legal consequences for the underage buyer, they’re still breaking the law, and so is the person that sold them the product. If a retailer is caught selling vaping products to someone underage, they could be faced with a £2,500 fine and risk losing their licence.

But it doesn’t end there. If you use disposable vape sat a young age, you run the risk of becoming addicted, which comes with its own set of consequences. And with nicotine being among the most addictive substances known to man, it’s only a matter of time before your “it’s just a one-off” vaping habit becomes a full-fledged addiction. 

Even though you may look and feel like an adult at 16 or 17, your brain is still developing until you reach 25, making it extremely sensitive to substances. Until then, you’re far more susceptible to nicotine addiction and the adverse effects that come along with it. Addiction can take a toll on your attention span, making it difficult to remain focused. You could soon find yourself distracted in class or experiencing ‘brain fog’ when asked a question or trying to study for a test.

On that note, it’s time to take a closer look at how disposable vapes are affecting young people.

Concerns Around Underage Disposables Use

Concerns Around Underage Disposables Use

Disposable vapes are particularly appealing to young people. The simplicity of the devices makes them easy to use, and even easier to hide from parents and teachers. With colourful branding and an array of openly tempting flavours such as cotton candy and cherry cola, it’s easy to see why teenagers are attracted to them. But at what cost?

Many young people simply aren’t aware of what they’re putting into their bodies every time they reach for a disposable vape. Even moderate users are exposing themselves to substantial levels of nicotine.

A single Geek Bar or Elf Bar gives approximately 600 puffs; while this is equivalent to around 40 cigarettes, most users will typically spread out their consumption over the course of several days. While this is convenient for ex-smokers and those trying to quit smoking, it’s not good news for teenagers who have never smoked cigarettes before.

Disposable vapes are designed specifically for adults who are pre-existing smokers, and who thus already have some tolerance for nicotine and an idea of their own limits. However, a teen picking up a disposable vape for the first time is subjecting themselves to massive, immediate exposure to an addictive chemical to which they’re not yet accustomed. If that isn’t worrying enough, just imagine how much more nicotine the stronger, unregulated disposables are exposing them to.

Aside from addiction and nicotine exposure, disposable vapes pose another challenge to teens—the high price tag. Whilst within budget for adults in full-time work, for young people, it’s an expensive habit to feed—and with devices averaging out at £5 a piece, it’s sure to make a huge dent in your pocket money.

Unless done for the correct reasons, i.e. for using as a quit smoking aid, spending money on vape products isn’t a smart move. In the end, all you’ll have to show for it are a bunch of empty devices and possibly a life-long dependence on nicotine. Prices of disposable vapes are only going to continue rising as time goes on, so why not put that money aside for some driving lessons or festival tickets instead? Trust us, quit while you’re ahead. No habit or passing craze is worth going broke for.

Now that you know the dangers, let’s find out how you can keep yourself safe.

How Can I Stay Safe?

How Can I Stay Safe?

Undeniably, the easiest and best way to keep yourself safe is to never start vaping in the first place. We understand that this is often easier said than done, especially now that vaping has become somewhat of a social activity,and you may notice some of your friends taking up the habit. But it’s important to remember that disposable vapes aren’t toys, nor fashion accessories—they’re merely aids to help people quit smoking. These are adult products that come with real consequences.

If you decide to use a disposable vape, make sure to purchase it from a reputable retailer. However, even this isn't always enough, as unregulated products and fake disposables are still finding their way onto the shelves of local shops to meet demand.

That's why it's crucial to double-check the labelling on your disposable vapes to check they're legal in the UK, containing no more than 20mg of nicotine per ml of liquid (2%). If this information is missing from your disposable vapes, throw them out. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re finding it difficult to stop vaping and think you may be struggling with addiction, we recommend reaching out to someone you trust, such as an adult relative, teacher, or counsellor. It’s never too late to seek support, and your GP may be able to help with the transition by offering further advice

Safe Disposable Vaping at myCigara

At myCigara, we exist to make the UK smoke-free. We provide vaping advice and products to our consumers in the genuine belief that vaping is a viable method for quitting smoking. We adopt the 'Challenge 25' policy in all of our retail stores to ensure that no one under the age of 18 can buy vaping products.

Additionally, you will be asked to complete 1account age verification before we can dispatch your goods if you order from us online. We take both our duty as a vaping retailer and the topic of underage vaping very seriously.

Our primary mission is to support people in the UK along their quit smoking journey and improve their quality of life.