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All About Disposable Vapes

January 12, 2022

All About Disposable Vapes

Disposables Make Vaping Easy

Most adult vapers are looking for an easy to use vape that delivers satisfaction and great flavor. Disposable vapes are growing in popularity because they check all three of these boxes.

Refillable vape pods are very easy to use but they are still not as user-friendly as a disposable vape. With a disposable, all you need to do is open the packaging, remove a pair of stoppers, and inhale. There are no buttons, no filling, and usually no charging. Disposables are draw activated and portable.

 

Why Adult Vapers Prefer Disposable Vapes

Disposables are great for adult vapers on the go because there is no lag time. You don’t need to wait. It can be used the moment it is unwrapped. Compared to even a combustible tobacco product, a disposable requires less labor.

Another big feature of disposable vapes is that they are still available in the sweet fruit and beverage vape juice flavors that adult vapers prefer. Due to a federal ban, prefilled pods are now only sold in tobacco flavor.

This gives disposables the edge in convenience, flavor options and price as well. The typical disposable vape costs less milliliter per milliliter than a prefilled vape pod. Refillable devices are still the least expensive option by far.

What Are Disposable Vapes?

Disposable vapes are a closed electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDs). This means they cannot be refilled. Disposables are vaping stripped to its most basic elements.

A disposable vape pen is little more than a pre-charged battery, a heating element or atomizer that creates vapor, a draw activation mechanism that is triggered by inhalation on the mouthpiece, and a cotton polyfill soaked with e-liquid.

 

Evolution of Disposable Vapes

Cigalike disposable vapes were some of the first commercially available vapes on the market. Crack one open and the design would look quite like a modern disposable. Closed systems have always been popular with Big Tobacco and their subsidiaries because it is the most profitable approach. It takes 17 Vuse Alto pods to equal the volume of a 30ml nic salt bottle.

Disposables have flipped this on its head a bit, offering longer lasting disposables with huge e-liquid volumes and a corresponding discount.

 

Cigalikes

Disposables vapes vary greatly in size, form factor and e-liquid capacity. The original disposable e-cigarettes from a decade ago were meant to resemble combustible tobacco products and were available in only tobacco flavors. Much has changed since these small cigalikes dominated brick and mortar vape sales.

On the outside, the first generation of disposable vapes looked like ridiculous plastic combustible tobacco products or aluminum combustibles. Inside, these early disposables were loaded with tobacco or menthol flavored freebase nicotine. 

The nicotine strengths of these early disposables could reach 36mg, shy of a modern nic salt disposable’s 50mg but still impressive. The sweet flavors adult vapers prefer weren’t available and the vapor could be quite harsh.

 

Nicotine Salt

When salt nicotine became commercially available, it was inevitable that it would find its way into disposable vapes. Nicotine salts can enhance an otherwise underpowered device. They have a lower pH so more salt nic can be added into a given e-liquid without making the vapor too harsh to tolerate.

 

Salt Nic Disposable Vapes

When companies began adding nic salts to disposable vapes, they also updated the exteriors. Gone were the foolish white, brown, and yellow tinged color schemes that were meant to look like filters. The odd light at the end that was supposed to look like an ember has also been nixed. There is still a light to signal activation on modern disposables, but it is not so blatantly cig-like.

 

Stick Bar Disposables

The style of design most closely associated with disposable vaping in 2022 is the stick or bar style disposable. The original Puff Bar is a perfect example. Sleek and industrial, stick bar disposables adopt the same form factor as the popular Juul.

The first generation of Posh was very similar to a Fuma disposable under the hood but also used this rectangular design rather than a ludicrous fake combustible tobacco product appearance.

 

Disposable Vape Pods

During the first wave of salt nic disposables, there was a rival design style. The the thumb shaped 1.0ml Stig used a plastic tank full of e-liquid in place of an e-juice soaked polyfill.

Manufacturers dubbed this style the disposable vape pods. The eliquid was technically being stored in a small plastic pod hidden in the plastic chassis but the pod could not be replaced. The 270mAh battery was one-time use only.

Apart from the Stig, the first Myle and Mojo disposables are great example of this design type. But it turns out that adult vapers valued long-lasting performance over a super compact size. The tradeoff in e-liquid capacity was too great. Improvements in leak resistant stoppers made the main benefit of an enclosed e-juice tank irrelevant.

 

Cylindrical Disposable Vapes

As the demand for disposables has increased, ever larger designs are being made. The demand for long-lasting disposables can be traced to the fact that many adult vapers use them as their primary device. Gone are the days when a disposable was a device used for travel or in a pinch.

Manufacturers of stick bar disposables like Puff Bar, Posh and others was now offered cylindrical disposables of varying sizes.  Cylinders are cheap to manufacture and machine. A cylindrical shape greatly increases the interior volume of the disposable design, but without a corresponding increase in length.

Ranging from 2ml to 8ml, these cylindrical disposables are essentially like butcher’s shop sausages cut to the length needed. Would anyone be surprised to see a disposable the size of a mag-lite powered by an 18650 battery?

Rechargeable Disposable Vapes

The most recent development in disposable vapes is a switch to batteries that can be recharged. This is a logical response to the arms race in e-liquid capacity.

A larger battery cuts into e-liquid volume. It is easier to offer a longer-lasting disposable with a smaller battery. The bonus is that the danger of a one-time use battery giving up the ghost before all the e-liquid is consumed has been removed from the equation. Hyde, Air Stix, and other popular designs can be recharged although not refilled.

 

Disposable Vape Flavors

A study conducted by Dr. Farsalino illustrates what is always biggest driver of change in modern society: Consumer preference.

He demonstrated definitively that most adult vapers greatly prefer to purchase vaping products with "characterizing" flavors inspired by fruits, desserts, and beverages. Simulated tobacco cigar and combustible tobacco products flavor notes simply are not as popular with adult vapers.

No one should really be surprised that delicious fruit flavors are more popular than fake tobacco flavors with former traditional nicotine users. Not that tobacco e-juices haven’t improved tremendously in the last few years, but you may note that there aren’t a ton of ash and tobacco flavored products in the liquor aisle or at the juice bar either. 

Disposable Vape Pens and Nic Salts

The lack of popular characterizing flavors and the limitations of freebase nic caused the first wave of disposable cigalikes to fade into obscurity. 

Starting in 2015 and picking up speed in 2018, a new generation of pre-filled and pre-charged, one-time use vape pens emerged.

Delicious salt nic juice flavors made the modern disposable vape possible and popular. The Puff Bar from Puff Labs, Posh Vapes, Oro Bars, Esco Bars and the original Cali Bar are all examples of the stick or bar style disposable that took the vape world by storm.

The earliest stick bar disposables described above held 1.3ml, which is about twice the capacity of a Juul pod. They also had comparable nicotine strengths and even greater assortment of flavors.

Despite being disposable in nature, they are generally much better price performers than prefilled pods, thanks to their greater e-liquid capacity per unit.   

Disposables were increasing in popularity long before the January 2020 ban on prefilled vape pod flavors. But this change in the marketplace surely helped. Adult vapers no longer had access to the popular Juul Mint, Juul Mango, Vuse Alto Mixed Berry or the sundry MyBlu flavors they could purchase before the ban.

Vapor Production

As alluded to earlier, it was salt nicotine that made disposable vapes and prefilled vape pods like Juul viable. Lacking the battery power or low-resistance coils necessary to create substantial vapor, they rely heavily on the potency of salt nic juices to deliver a satisfying vape. In the UK and EU, where nicotine strengths are limited to 20mg, they are significantly less popular.

The odorless and discrete performance of disposable vapes make them useful for adults vaping on the go. When it comes to flavor, disposable vapes are also outstanding. Puff Bar was one on the first vape companies to fully embrace non-tobacco nicotine, which has a more neutral flavor than tobacco-derived nicotine.  

Smaller puffs, a big part of the disposable and vape pod experience, require less wattage. Less wattage and higher resistance atomizers allow for the use of smaller batteries. This opens the door for compact disposable vapes that still have a high enough puff count to last for a day or more. Sometimes much more.

Longer Lasting Disposables

The wave of the future appears to be longer lasting disposables. With more powerful batteries, they also generate a bit more vapor. There are two approaches. The original approach was a cylindrical body that could be scaled up. There is no real limit to this design, although portability does suffer at some point with a flashlight sized disposable. The 8.5ml cylindrical disposables are just as big as a tube mod from a few years ago.

The second style relies on rechargeable batteries. As mentioned above, this is a more reliable method. No longer is it a matter of perfectly pairing the right size battery with the correct amount of e-liquid. A smaller battery can be used, and more e-liquid can be added to a smaller disposable vape. Once the battery dies, it can be recharged. While more wasteful than a refillable device, it is a step in the right direction.

Puff Counts


There is no more controversial topic in disposable vapes than puff counts. As a rule of thumb, relying on the e-liquid capacity and battery size is a much better method for calculating the longevity of a disposable.
There may be slight differences in atomizer resistance or wattage, but this remains the best way to compare disposables head to head. Puff counts are wildly inflated in many cases, especially in the first generation of stick style disposables.

Best Disposable Vape Flavors

Adult vapers love disposable vapes because they are available in the best flavors. Most disposable vape pens use a blend of 50 percent vegetable glycerin and 50 percent propylene glycol to create a perfect balance of vapor and flavor. The industry standard for disposable vapes is currently 50mg nicotine strength. The defunct Eon brand went higher, probably unnecessarily high at 68mg.

The availability of 25mg nicotine strength disposables would make them a viable option for fans of refillable vape pods and nic salts who do not want to mess around with an e-juice double the potency of their normal fare.

If you are an adult vaper who uses disposable vapes, it is kind of hard to miss that several legendary flavors appear in every company’s flavor lineup.

This does not mean there are no other options. From Pina Colada to decadent desserts, disposable vapes do not lack for flavor options. Here is our list of the best disposable vape flavors.

Cool Mint

The most popular flavor in the history of nicotine salts, and probably vaping is mint. Mint never tires out the taste buds. It is cool but has a refreshing sweetness. Mint is also added to countless fruit salt nic juices to make them more balanced and even out the sweetness.

Cool mint is the heavyweight champion of vaping. If you are looking for the heir apparent to the popular Juul Mint, a disposable vape loaded with mint nic salts is a natural choice.

Mango

Mango initially stood on its own as a flavor. It is easily good enough to do so. But mango ice nic salts are even more popular now. Mango is not too sweet and packs in dank elements that add tremendous depth.

If you have vaped mango, you know the flavor immediately. It is exactly the style of vape juice that adult vapers prefer. There are a lot of versions of mango, ranging from dense fruit to sweet confectionary. The best Juul Mango alternative is a disposable vape loaded with mango salt nic juice.

Strawberry Banana

Strawberry and banana are a natural pairing. In terms of artificial flavors, these are two of the best and most popular. They do a good job of mimicking a pair of very popular fruits. Artificially flavored strawberry and banana inspired consumables can be found in every food aisle in the grocery store. Banana flavor can get to be a bit much when exposed on its own with no back-up but works great when merged with other flavors.

Strawberry has a sweet and almost innocent flavor. The better versions also have nice tart kick. They are all distinctly strawberry. Paired with the smooth creaminess of banana and you have a perfect all-day vape.  It is easy to see why this is one of the most popular flavor pairings in disposable vape pens.

Strawberry Ice

The strengths of strawberry flavor make it a natural companion for menthol ice. The combination of fruit flavor and minty menthol in a nic salt is probably the most popular class of vape juice with adults.

If you enjoy nic salt e-liquids in any form, chances are you have sampled a few of the many outstanding fruit and menthol pairings that dominate the market. Strawberry Ice is an exemplary example of a flavor combination that simply works.

Lychee Ice

Lychee is a popular, albeit exotic, tropical fruit but not a flavor familiar to most Americans. Among adult disposable vape users, lychee ice is a top-seller. It is a fantastic flavor that has the tropical notes of a guava or mango but with a bit less sweetness. The flavor is almost akin to a wine. Blended with menthol ice it is a perfect all-day vape. Lychee is best sampled to be understood. There are a ton of lychee ice options to choose from.

Blue Razz Ice

Referred to as blu razz ice by some manufacturers, every salt nic company worth their salt has tried their hand at making a blue raspberry vape juice. Most have pulled it off. It is simply a flavor meant to be vaped.  

Sweet blue raspberry is a great flavor on its own. If you don’t like menthol ice you will find plenty of options. Combined with cooling mint, it is even more balanced. This is the ultimate nostalgic flavor. If one flavor could embody a hot summer outing in the days before the internet, it is blue raspberry.

Banana Ice

Banana is a flavor that works best when paired with other vape flavor notes. The creaminess and sweetness are great but can use a bit of tempering. The perfect banana vape juice just might be banana ice. The chilly menthol cuts through the intense sweetness. Notes of herbaceous mint make sure it is never too cloying. A unique flavor profile, this is one of the best fruit and ice blends found in disposable vapes.  

Lush Ice

The combination of watermelon, menthol and raspberry has been dubbed Lush Ice by the vaping community. Watermelon is airy and light. The perfumed nature of early watermelon vapes has been largely eliminated in modern versions. A hint of raspberry tart cuts through the sweetness of watermelon. Menthol finishes the job by flattening out the intense sugariness of watermelon.

You will see this flavor called Watermelon Ice, Iced Melons, Iced Watermelon, Melon Berry Ice, etc. They are all versions of the classic Lush Ice flavor.

Pineapple Ice

Pineapple is a tropical flavor, but it is considerably sweeter than mango or lychee. It is also a more easily identified flavor by most vapers and has a surprisingly authentic flavor profile.

Pineapple vape juices are delicious enough to stand on their own. Yet pineapple is a flavor that benefits when added to balanced blends. You will find pina colada vapes where creamy coconut is added. Even more popular is pineapple ice. The cool mint helps keep the pineapple notes from overwhelming the taste buds.

Peach Ice

Peach flavor is perfectly suited for a vape juice. Like pineapple, it is a fruit that can trend a bit too sweet for some. Combined with menthol ice, it is a perfect all-day vape. Chances are you know what peach tastes like. It is easy to see why this flavor is so popular with adult vapers.  

Tobacco

Tobacco makes this list because of the relentless war to deny adult vapers the flavors they prefer. Many of us live in areas where every vape juice flavor but tobacco is banned. While it is impossible to take solace in being stripped of our freedoms by special interest groups that understand nothing about vaping, at least the typical tobacco vape juice has been greatly improved over the years.

No longer are "throat hit" and "chest burn" foisted on customers as features rather than a bug of overly strong, high-PG eJuice with freebase nicotine.

RY4 has been superseded by more authentic and earthy tobacco notes.

Tobacco isn’t a bad vape juice flavor. There were just a lot of bad tobacco vape juices. The market has weeded out these weaker flavors.

While still not the top choice for most vapers, a tobacco disposable is a viable option and far removed from the abysmal gas station cigalikes from a decade ago.


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