E-cigarettes have been around for a while now (1), and like every technology there have been trends that come and go. A few years ago it was large vapourisers which produced a lot of vapour, but recently a new trend has appeared, one that claims to be the easiest version yet of e-cigarettes. That would of course be the disposable e-cigarette.
Disposable vapes are marketed as the most convenient way to get nicotine, but is that really true?
Today we are going to be looking at the new trend in E-Cigarettes and vaping and assessing if disposable e-cigarettes are as easy and convenient as they claim to be.
WHAT ARE DISPOSABLE E-CIGARETTES?
If you are new to e-cigarettes though it might be hard to tell what the difference between all the different types of e-cigarettes. At their core all e-cigarettes do the same thing, that is they turn e-liquid from a liquid into a vapour that you breathe in (2).
E-liquid is what contains the nicotine (as well as the flavour) that smokers need to move away from cigarettes. The amount of nicotine depends on the e-liquid, as you can go for a 2% all the way down to zero nicotine.
The E-liquid in the e-cigarette is the most important part then, as that is what will be entering into your body as vapour. Finding e-liquid you like the taste of, and is safe to use, is perhaps the most important part of making the switch to e-cigarettes, and something we at SMOKO take seriously.
That’s why we are so proud of our UK made e-liquids. We make sure that all the e-liquids in our vapes have been tested above and beyond the current laws, in line with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) (3). Not only does that mean we know the e-liquids are safe to use, but taste great too.
There are only 4 ingredients in our E-liquid, including the nicotine, and all 4 of them have been tested by and independent laboratory to make sure that they are safe to use.
As all e-cigarettes contain E-liquid, how we separate the different types of vapes is by the hardware.
The disposable E-cigarette is meant to be as easy to use as possible. As the names says it is 100% disposable, with the E-liquid pre-filled into the device and the battery built in too. Once you have used all the e-liquid in the disposable you just throw it away. If you ignore the environmental damage this causes, it can at least seem easy.
The disposable e-cigarette’s main competitor is the pod system. While being pre-filled like the disposable (so there is no filling or mess) the pod is separate from the battery. This seemingly simple difference means the world when it comes to convenience!
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 (4). This 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!
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT A DISPOSABLE E-CIGARETTE BATTERY?
Though the e-liquid quite rightly gets most of the attention when you are choosing an e-cigarette, many people forget about the battery. As the power source to the e-cigarette the battery is vitally important, as without it nothing works!
With a disposable e-cigarette the battery has been charged and is built into the device. That means it is ready to go when you buy it, but once it loses the charge, the disposable is finished. The idea behind this is (like everything else with disposables) is that it is meant to be easy as possible.
The Pod system on the other hand has the battery as a separate part, and that battery is re-chargeable. With a POD battery you don’t just throw it away when it runs out of electricity, instead you re-charge the battery and put the Pod back on. Or if you have a second battery you just transfer the pod to a second battery and keep puffing away while the 1st battery is on charge.
And switching batteries is extremely easy too. At SMOKO, our pods are magnetically connected to the battery, so putting a pod onto a battery is as easy as slotting it into a hole.
By making the batteries re-usable you are firstly not throwing away dozens of batteries into the landfill, which has become an ever-growing problem for waste and recycling centres (5) as disposable vapes are thrown away in the casing, making them hard to separate from general waste. It also means you always know that you can use your POD E-Cigarette. After all, if the battery is out of charge you just re-charge it.
Compare that to a disposable vape. If the battery dies halfway through the day you are out of luck, even if there is e-liquid left in the disposable, there is no way to use it.
If you are going out for a whole day then your choices with a disposable is to bring a new disposable along just in case, or take a chance.
Convenience means having what you want, when you want it. With a POD you can have all the extra batteries you want, while with a disposable you are reliant on one battery that might or might not last you.
HOW DOES A VAPE POD COMPARE WITH DISPOSABLE VAPES?
Another difference between PODs and disposable e-cigarettes is the ability to swap PODs (and, therefore, flavours) on the fly.
As disposable vapes are sealed units, the flavour and strength you bought is the one you will be using until it is finished. If you do want another flavour or strength, then you will need to buy another disposable.
The POD on the other hand offers the ability to swap out flavours and strengths in literally seconds. Just take the POD out of the battery and put the new POD in, and you suddenly have a new flavour or strength.
For those who like the idea of having a higher strength vape in the morning, and then switching to a lower strength at night, or just prefer to change up the flavour, you will need to have several disposable vapes to hand.
At best, disposable users who want multiple flavours or strengths will have to have multiple disposable e-cigarettes going at the same time. At worst they throw away the disposable halfway through to use a new one.
But lets say you only like one flavour and one strength. Like the battery issue before, as a disposable user going out for the day you have a choice of taking a risk or bringing along another disposable in case the first runs out.
This is because with many of the biggest brands of disposable e-cigarettes you can’t see into the disposable, which means you are never quite sure about how much you have left.
Again you are left with the choice of either carrying around multiple around just in case, or carefully counting how many puffs you have used of your disposable to make sure you have enough.
Here at SMOKO we made sure that one of the design choices we made with the POD was that you can see inside the refill.
What is more convenient then, carrying around multiple disposables just in case or being able to check how much e-liquid you have left in a POD and just carrying around the 1 pod e-cigarette all day?
ARE DISPOSABLE E-CIGARETTES LESS CONVENIENT THAN PODS?
To put this in perspective then, the main selling point of a disposable e-cigarette is that you can just buy one from the shop and use it.
While it is true that you can do this, once you have bought the disposable the inconvenience starts. As a single unit you have no way to change, check or adjust anything. You either have to have multiple disposable e-cigarettes on hand (which kind of defeats the purpose of the convenient disposable if you have to plan for multiple different situations) or risk being without your nicotine for the day.
The POD though gives you everything that the disposable can, and more. With PODs you can check the e-liquid inside (so you are never caught off guard) and batteries you can re-charge, meaning you will always be able to leave the house for the day safe in the knowledge that your nicotine is covered.
This doesn’t even cover the fact that disposable e-cigarettes are more expansive than POD systems. Due to the fact you aren’t buying the whole device every time like a disposable, PODs work out much cheaper!
As you are only buying the pods, not the batteries each time. We wrote a whole article on how the pod system is cheaper than disposables, but on average a disposable user will spend over £240 MORE than a pod user.
Lastly, we mentioned it before, but the shear amount of plastic and metals you are throwing into the landfill by using disposable e-cigarettes (6). With the Pod though, as the battery is separate from the pods, both can be recycled.
If you want to try a device that gives you: flexibility in what flavours and strengths you use, lets you see how much liquid you have left and lets you swap out batteries without stopping then the Vape POD might be right for you!
Try a Vape POD Starter Kit for yourself today and see if you too make the switch!
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.