The great disposable pod-demic is hitting the United Kingdom as a lot of vapers appear to be opting to buy disposables, but what does this mean for the industry and vapers? We look at the impact on UK vape shops, the UK e-liquid industry, and what this could mean for vapers.
What is a disposable e-cig?
A disposable electronic cigarette is like a normal device except the tank section is sealed, containing around 1-1.5 millilitres of juice and the battery is not rechargeable. Once the battery runs out of power or the tank empties the entire unit is thrown away.
Are disposable ecigs budget devices?
Some disposable e-cigs (or pods) originate from the Far East and are built to a low specification and filled with cheap e-liquid. Some are produced by top quality brands such as SMOK and Aspire.
How much does a disposable vape cost?
The price can vary depending on the quality and where you buy it from. Typically, they can cost from as little as £1 or as much as £5-6.
Do any disposables contain premium vape liquid?
Some manufacturers like Aspire have partnered with leading UK Vape Liquid brands. Some popular UK vape juice producers such as Dinner Lady have branded their own disposables.
What are the advantages of using disposable vapes?
- Size: Due to the small volume of vape juice they contain and the small batteries they can be very small.
- Stealthy: They tend to produce little or no cloud. This, combined with the small size means that they can be unobtrusive and used in places where you might not want to use a larger and more powerful device.
- Assurance of quality: If you stick to the known brands, you can have confidence in the device and the e-liquid.
- Lifespan: Known brand products can achieve around 300 puffs.
- Cost: None of the products for sale are going to break the bank in the short term.
- Recharging: No worries about using the correct charging setup or carrying spare batteries.
- Convenience: No coiling or filling mess.
What are the disadvantages to using disposable vapes?
In many ways, the advantages are also disadvantages.
- Size: They are easy to lose.
- Quality: Even in name brands, quality can be variable, and the batteries can prove unreliable. Poor quality products from abroad offer a poor vaping experience.
- Lifespan: When it is dead, it’s dead. There is no indication of when this will happen, and you can find yourself stranded without a backup.
- Stealth: These products are not for you if you enjoy exhaling big clouds.
- Value: Quality of vape and cost per millilitre of e-liquid makes these types of products very poor value for money.
- Convenience: There is no opportunity to swap out the flavour for a different e-liquid or charge that battery for a long journey.
- Cost: For the price of four decent disposables, you could buy a good value and performing starter kit with e-liquid – and that would only incur an ongoing cost of coils and juice, working out much cheaper.
- The Environment: At a time when society is focussed more than ever on the plastic waste it produces, the manufacturers of disposables have swum against the tide and transformed a more environmentally friendly way of consuming nicotine into one that is 100% waste.
Are there any other ramifications to the boom in disposable vapes?
At some point, plastic and packaging waste will concern politicians worldwide. The UK has adopted a world-leading approach to the use of electronic cigarettes, but the growth of disposables could jeopardise this very quickly especially with the current climate crisis making headline news.
Also, the boom may appear to be supported by UK vape shops, but the profit margin they can make from each unit is far below that they earn from regular rechargeable devices and e-liquid. It is inevitable that if this fad continues, we will see the number of stores users can buy from close. Reducing the number of shops means a lack of competition – and this inexorably leads to an increase in prices across all products.
UPDATE JANUARY 2022:
Riot Squad have released a carbon-negative disposable vape called the Riot Q Bar. This has set a new standard as the disposable hype has continued longer than we all expected. The huge environmental damage caused by disposable vapes is concerning for everyone but its refreshing to see Riot Squad being so proactive in dealing with the issue while also meeting market demands.