What is a Disposable Vape?

by Theo Wilson

What is a Disposable Vape?

Disposable vapes have become an increasingly popular choice over the past year or so. Longtime vape users have warmed to them as practical backup devices for on-the-go use, whilst their straightforward design has made them an ideal vape starter kit for new users looking to quit smoking. But what exactly is a disposable vape, and how does it work?

Disposable vape pens are as straightforward as regular vape kits —if not more so —and it’s partly this ease of use which has made them such a popular choice for old and new vape users alike. Nevertheless, there are a few key differences one should be aware of before choosing a disposable e-cig.

This blog aims to provide a broad overview that answers all of the questions vape users typically ask regarding disposables; we’ll take you through how they work and how to use them, cover technical queries such as safety and product lifespan, and provide a brief comparison of their pros and cons relative to other vape kits. In this way, you’ll have all the necessary knowledge to decide whether a disposable e-cigarette can be the right tool to help you get started on your quit smoking journey.

How do disposable vapes work?

Disposable vapes work essentially the same way as standard vape kits. They consist of a battery, a tank, and a coil. The coil is housed inside the tank, which also contains the vape juice, or e-liquid. The battery sends a current to the coil, heating it, and allowing the e-liquid to vaporise, ready for inhalation.

The key difference between disposables and conventional vape kits is that disposables require no initial setup. Whereas normal vape kits require (re)charging and come with empty tanks to be filled by the user, disposables are sold ready to use; the battery charged, and the tank filled. While this means convenience and more immediate usage, the design of disposables prevents any recharging or refilling.

Thus the “disposable” aspect; once a disposable vape is empty, it cannot be reused in any way and is to be disposed of responsibly.Now that you know how they work, let’s look at how to use them.

How do I use disposable vapes?

At the most simple level, you use disposable vapes by puffing on them. Bring the device to your lips, and take a drag. The device will then automatically activate. Make sure your draws are at a moderate strength; too weak and the device may not register them, too strong and you risk an unpleasant taste if the coil gets too warm. Then, simply exhale.

Disposable vapes are sold in a ready-to-use condition. This makes them exceedingly simple and convenient to use. Further aiding their convenience, whereas standard vape kits are button-operated (to varying levels of complexity), all disposable vapes are draw-activated.

That is, simply putting the mouthpiece to your lips and taking a drag will activate it, and it will automatically switch itself off after a period of inactivity. A disposable e-cigarette is ready for use straight from the packet. So, all you need to do is find your flavour, and start puffing. Now that you’re familiar with how disposable vapes operate, it’s time to look at their safety.

Are disposable vapes safe?

The short answer is: yes. Assuming a disposable vape is genuine, and purchased from a reputable retailer, it is completely safe to use. All disposable vape products sold in the UK are subject to approval by two regulatory bodies, TPD and MHRA. Firstly, the European Tobacco Products Directive(TPD) regulates the sale of all tobacco products for the UK and for EU member states.

The key points of the TPD as they pertain to vape kits are these:

●A maximum tank capacity of 2ml
●A maximum nicotine strength of 20mg/ml (i.e., 2% nicotine)
●All products must carry relevant warnings and information
●All products must be submitted to the MHRA to be approved for sale

The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approves the ingredients in any given vape product to ensure that all of its ingredients are safe for consumption; their database tool allows you to verify the approved status of your vape products. See this page for general government guidance in regards to e-cigarette regulations.

Disposable vapes, or any other kind of vapes, should not be used by non-smokers, pregnant women, or anyone under the age of 18. For a more in-depth look at technical safety in regards to disposable vaping, please see our blog Are Geek Bars Safe?, as well as our handy guide, How to Spot Fake Disposables, which will help you avoid counterfeit devices and get the most out of your vaping experience.

What is the point of disposable vapes?

A commonly asked question is “what is the point of disposable vapes?” which may be better rephrased as “why choose a disposable vape?” There are certain benefits to choosing a disposable e-cigarette over a standard vape kit, yet there are a couple of points worth noting. To be clear, the following points listed relate solely to a comparison between disposable vapes and conventional vape kits:

Pros Vs Conventional Vape

  • Cheaper
  • Convenient
  • Portable
  • User-friendly
  • Ready to use; no setup required
  • Lower commitment

Cons Vs Conventional Vape

  • Shorter product lifespan
  • No customisation
  • No refilling or recharging
  • More expensive in the long run

Most of the pros and cons of disposable vapes intersect; the same reasons they’re a good choice for certain users may be the same reasons they’re a worse choice for other users. Overall, their lower cost and shorter lifespan compared to refillable vape kits makes them less of a commitment for new users, allowing them to test the waters to decide if vaping is right for them.

This same low cost, combined with increased convenience and portability, is what has made them such a popular choice as backup devices for advanced vape users to enjoy on the go. However, advanced or heavy vape users will find it more economical in the long run to not rely on a disposable as their primary vape kit.

On the other hand, for new users looking to quit smoking, there are essentially no downsides to switching to a disposable vape; as well as being far less damaging to your health than cigarettes, they are also far cheaper. They are a streamlined, straightforward option for transitioning to vaping. In essence, a disposable e-cig is a tool for smoking cessation. Whether you choose to later “move up” to a more advanced vape kit, or stick with a disposable as your primary nicotine delivery system, or simply use one as a stepping-stone toward going completely nicotine-free, is of course entirely up to what works best for you and your goals.

With that in mind, let's look at how long you can expect a disposable e-cig to last you.

How long do disposable vapes last?

The lifespan of any given disposable e-cigarette is usually given through its puff count —how many hits you get from it. The puff count is a combined result based on two factors: battery strength, and tank capacity. Let’s look at two popular examples:

Beco Puff Bar -

●Battery: 280mAh
●Capacity: 1.3ml
●Approx. 300 puffs
●Equivalent to 15 cigarettes

Geek Bar -

●Battery: 500mAh
●Capacity: 2ml
●Approx. 575 puffs
●Equivalent to 28-30 cigarettes

The length of time covered by a given number of puffs depends of course on how frequently or heavily you vape. For new users looking to quit smoking, a common comparison is how a disposable e-cig stacks up relative to cigarettes; as a general rule of thumb, 400 puffs is considered equivalent to 20 cigarettes. Using this loose rule should help ensure that you find a device that adequately meets your requirements.

If you wish to get a better sense of which disposable e-cig, and what kind of puff count, best suits your lifestyle, please consult our blog: Best Quit Smoking Disposable Vape. For a more direct review of how leading brands stack up against each other in terms of puff count (and in other aspects), take a look at our disposable comparison blogs, such as Puff Bar vs Geek Bar and Dinner Lady vs Nasty AirFix.

Disposable Vapes at myCigara

At myCigara, we exist to make the UK smoke-free. That’s why we offer vaping as a safe, reliable, and effective alternative, to help you take back control and quit smoking.

To get you set off in the right direction, we recommend heading over to New to Vaping, which will also lead you to our full range of tips & guides. Now that you’ve read this blog, if you feel you’re ready to start getting more into the specific product sides of things, you may want to get a sense of which flavour options are available to you.

We’ve got an overall roundup of the top 5 disposable vape flavours, as well as dedicated blogs for popular brands such as Geek Bar, Elf Bar, and Beco Puff Bar. We pride ourselves on our commitment to customer service, and our wide range of blogs, tips and guides aims to give you the best possible vaping experience.

You can also get in touch with us if you have any questions, or head into your nearest myCigara Vape Shop for a friendly chat with our expert store staff.