IS BUYING DISPOSABLE VAPES CHEAPER?
Disposable vapes on their own seem cheap when compared to re-fillable devices and pre-filled rechargeable options. The reality is that buying a rechargeable vape and using pre-filled cartridges or even a refillable vape will be cheaper over time. Other drawbacks for disposables include the use of Chinese made e-liquid, battery failure could result in wasted e-liquid, and the sealed nature of disposables mean they will, most likely, end up in landfill.
We all make the switch from cigarettes to E-Cigarettes for different reasons, whether it’s for health, quality of life or to save tons of money.
ARE DISPOSABLE E-CIGARETTES THE ANSWER?
In today’s economy, we are all looking for ways to stretch our hard-earned cash further - and getting rid of the cigarettes can be a great way to do it. However, when people first start looking into making the switch, disposable E-Cigarettes may seem like a convenient and cheap option, but that is rarely ever the case.
This week, then, we are looking at the real cost of disposable E-Cigarettes and vapes seeing what truly saves you the most amount of money.
WHAT ARE E-CIGARETTES?
Before we go any further, we need to explain what exactly we mean when we say E-Cigarettes and why over 4 million adult smokers in the UK have already made the switch to vaping (1).
At their core, E-Cigarettes (also called Vapes, Cig-a-likes or Vape pods), are very simple yet lifechanging products. They are small battery-powered devices that vaporise a flavoured liquid with nicotine (known as e-liquid), to produce a smoke-like vapour that you inhale, which mimics the smoking sensation and nicotine hit of a traditional cigarette.
HOW DO E-CIGARETTES WORK?
By delivering a satisfying nicotine hit without the tobacco, an e-cig removes a huge amount of the danger of smoking. One traditional cigarette contains at least 4000 chemicals and 50 carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals). (2)
Instead of thousands of harmful chemicals in cigarettes, E-liquids only have 4 ingredients in. The two main ingredients, Propylene glycol (known as PG) and Vegetable glycerine (known as VG) have been used and consumed by people for years now and are shown to be safe. The other two ingredients are the flavouring (so it tastes of something but air) – and, of course, nicotine.
By only having 4 ingredients and getting rid of the 4000 chemicals (like tar, formaldehyde and arsenic) and the carcinogens from the equation, E-Cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than tobacco. That’s why Public Health England (the independent health agency for England) advocates for them, as well as the Royal Collage of Physicians and even Cancer Research UK as well.
Within this simple premise lies a whole host of different types and styles of Vapes, from refillable vapourisers, to Vape pods and the dreaded disposables.
For today we are going to look at the pre-filled options, the disposables and the pods.
WHAT ARE DISPOSABLE VAPES?
Pre-filled means that the nicotine infused e-liquid has already been added in, which is great for those who want a hassle-free and convenient experience. Both types are designed for smokers who want to be able to pick up their device and puff away, without thinking about re-filling or replacing coils or tanks.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VAPE PODS AND DISPOSABLE VAPES?
Where vape pods and disposable vapes differ is the battery. A disposable is exactly what the name describes, a product that you throw away as soon as you are done. The e-liquid and the battery are all one device, and as soon as you are finished with the disposable e-cigarette, you throw the whole device away.
If you get bored with a flavour, you will have to get a whole new disposable with that flavour in.
The VAPE POD type has a re-chargeable battery that you put a vape pod onto. This means you replace just the pod, not the whole device. With Pod styles the battery is kept and reused for 3 to 12 months, and only the finished pod is single use, and can even be recycled.
IS IT EASY TO SWAP FLAVOURS AND STRENGTHS WITH VAPE PODS?
As vape pods are interchangeable, you can swap flavours or strengths whenever the feeling takes you, and then swap back to the original vape pod later if you want!
HOW DO DISPOSABLE VAPES COMPARE TO CIGARETTES IN PRICE?
Whichever type you go for, making the switch to disposable E-Cigarettes will always save you money compared to smoking cigarettes!
To work out how much the average smoker can save we will need to do some maths. Firstly, we need to get some averages to work with, and we will be as conservative as we can so you can see truly how much money the average smoker spends.
In the UK the average smoker goes through 14 cigarettes a day. To make this easier, we will say for our hypothetical smoker averages 15 cigarettes a day.
For a pack of 20 cigarettes the price can range from £9.50 to £14.50, so we will again be very conservative and say our average smoker buys their packs for £12 each.
Based on those numbers, an average smoker will spend £9 every day, up to £270 a month and over £3,285 each year to keep their smoking habit up.
Now let’s look at the price of a disposable vape. A disposable E-cigarette goes for around £5. Inside the disposable vape, there will be approximately 2ml of e-liquid inside (or there is meant to be (3)), which is about 50 - 60 cigarettes worth of nicotine.
Our average smoker then will use 1 disposable vape in 3-4 days, making the daily price around £1.66.
Over a month on disposable E-Cigarettes, the average ex-smoker will spend £50, and upwards of £605 a year.
HOW TO VAPE PODS COMPARE TO CIGARETTES IN PRICE?
Before you think about getting a disposable E-Cigarette though, there is still one more price comparison to make, and that’s between the Vape Pod style and the disposable.
A Vape POD starter kit and 1 box of Vape PODs from SMOKO will be £19.99. This is a slightly higher start up cost than the disposable, but as you will soon see, that doesn’t make much difference.
Each Vape POD holds the same amount of e-liquid that the disposable does (2ml) and so in each Pod there is also 50 - 60 cigarettes worth of nicotine.
There are 3 Vape pods in each pack, which means that in the starter kit and pack deal, there is already the same amount of liquid as 3 disposables. In reality then, you are spending £19.99 for 3 Vape Pods (and the battery and charger), where with the disposables you get 4 for the same price. Or to put it another way, the Pod style was £5 more expensive.
WHAT IS THE REAL PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VAPE PODS AND DISPOSABLE VAPES?
But the real price difference comes in when our smoker starts re-ordering the Vape Pods. A box of 3 Vape Pods is around £10/pack but you can get this down to £9 a pack when buying some of our great vape weekly deals. This means the cost of a vape pod can be as little as £3 each.
Like the disposable, our average smoker will use a pod in about 3-4 days. So, the average smoker switching to vape pods could be spending as little as £1/day. This is a massive £8 daily saving compared to smoking 15 cigarettes.
Over a month our smoker will use roughly 10 pods, which is just a little over 3 packs of VAPE Pods. This would mean an average smoker switching to vaping could be spending as little as £30 a month or £365 annually.
For our average smoker who was spending £3,285 each year on a 15 cigarette a day habit, they could save over £2,900 a year by swapping to the SMOKO VAPE POD!
Comparing the VAPE Pod to a disposable vape user, using the VAPE POD will be £240 cheaper a year.
These numbers are of course averages, many people smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day and would be happy to only spend £12 on a pack of cigarettes! For some heavier smokers the saving can shoot up, with some of our customers saving well over £3,500 a year by switching to the VAPE Pod.
And this isn’t even considering the health benefits of getting away from cigarettes. As we said before, E-Cigarettes are much less harmful to you than cigarettes, and in that first year off cigarettes your body will have started to heal the damage tobacco has done to you over the years.
WHAT OTHER FACTORS SHOULD YOU CONSIDER WHEN USING A VAPE POD?
As we have shown, using a SMOKO VAPE Pod is cheaper than using a disposable vape, but there are other reasons to choose a pod system as well.
From an environmental point of view – disposable vapes are perhaps one of the worst choices you can make. Not only are you throwing away plastic every time you finish a disposable, but a lithium battery too. With batteries being so hard to recycle anyway, a disposable with all the extras on top will more than likely be put into the landfill. That's where the real trouble begins: fires in bin lorries and recycling centres are on the rise due (4) to disposable vapes containing a lithium battery in the sealed unit, making them hard to separate. If the trend continues, this could lead to increased council tax as waste disposal companies install new technology to try and prevent these fires.
Here at SMOKO we are a carbon negative brand, and we also provide a VAPE Pod and E-Cigarette Refills Recycling Program - so our customers can send back their used pods and refills to us so we can minimize how much waste ends up in landfill.
Added to that, as the batteries on the pod system aren’t as mired in extra plastic and electronics like the disposable is, you can recycle them like any other battery - at your local battery recycling.
But if recycling isn’t at the top of your mind, what about the quality of the product itself?
CAN YOU TRUST SMOKO VAPE PODS AND DISPOSABLE E-CIGARETTE REFILLS?
At SMOKO we pride ourselves on our high-quality e-liquids that are made in the UK which we use in all of our VAPE Pods and e-cigarette refills. Many of the disposable vape brands use Chinese-made ingredients, so if you want the highest quality product, many of our satisfied customers choose UK made every time!
Unfortunately, many of the disposable vape brands have only just come on to the market and there have been countless issues with unregulated and illegal disposable vapes being sold in the UK, as well as disposable vapes ending up in the hands of under 18's (5).
SMOKO on the other hand, has been helping people to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes and vapes since 2012. During that time, we have prevented over 350m cigarettes from being smoked and our customers have saved over £140m of their hard-earned money from literally going up in smoke! We comply with all UK and EU regulations and work closely with the MHRA to ensure the highest quality and standards are met with our entire product range.
So, if you are concerned about cost, the environmental impact and choosing products that exceed all quality standards and have a 10 year track-record, then maybe buying cheap disposable vapes at your local mobile phone shop isn’t the best choice!
2024 UPDATE - ARE DISPOSABLE VAPES BEING BANNED UK?
It was announced on the 28th January 2024 that disposable vapes are being banned in the UK (6). This disposable vape ban is part of government plans to tackle the rise in youth vaping. Exactly when this disposable vape ban will come in to force is not yet known, but users of disposables will need to look elsewhere to get their nicotine - so consider SMOKO E-Cigarettes!
BUYING DISPOSABLE E-CIGARETTES - THE REAL BREAKDOWN OF WHAT THEY COST - CONCLUSION
The question between choosing a Vape Pod or a disposable vape might seem, on the surface, a hard one to someone who is looking to make the switch. When you look at the overall costs and environmental impact, it becomes clear that SMOKO VAPE Pods and E-Cigarettes are a better choice.
If saving money is your primary concern when making the switch to E-Cigarettes, disposables are not the way to go!
The SMOKO VAPE Pods are cheaper and easier to use long term. With the Vape Pod you can have multiple batteries and different flavours refills to make sure you never run out during the day, and of course you won’t be adding to landfill with more plastic!
If you want to give the SMOKO Vape Pod a try and see if you can save £1000’s every year then check out our great vape pod starter kit deal here!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Written by Jonny Shaw
Jonny Shaw – Is a former smoker of 7 years before becoming a client of SMOKO E-Cigarettes. He started working with SMOKO 10 years ago after successfully quitting with our cigalike and now heads up our Customer Service. Jonny helps countless people every day to find the right solutions to quit smoking cigarettes using our range of vape and electronic cigarette products.