How Are Disposable Vapes Different From Other Devices?

Date Published 19/10/2022

For people who switch from smoking to vaping, there are a lot of different options out there. Among them are disposable vapes.

Whereas many vape devices on the market are designed to be reused, recharged, and refilled, disposable vapes are designed to be used for only as long as the e-liquid already included lasts.

The best choice any smoker can make is to stop nicotine use altogether, but for those who can’t or won’t stop, switching to an alternative – while not risk-free – is a better choice than continuing to smoke.

To find out how disposable vapes differ from other devices, from other vapes to heated tobacco devices like IQOS, just keep reading on.

Disposable Vapes vs Regular Vapes

While they share similarities, there are a few key differences between disposable and regular vapes, which we’ll look at here.


The initial outlay of a disposable vape is likely to be less than that of a regular vape. However, because a regular vape lasts longer than a disposable vape, using disposable vapes may work out more expensive in the longer term.

With regular vapes, additional costs include the cost of e-liquids, coils and other device parts which may need replacing from time to time. However, there are starter kits which usually contain a device and e-liquids, and these can be cost-effective. 

Difference in Look and How They Work

Disposable vapes are small devices that come with a battery, a tank, and a coil. The coil is found inside the tank, as is the e-liquid. They might not have any buttons, and can come in a range of colours. 

When it comes to regular vapes, there are a few different types, and they can vary in appearance. There are simpler vape pens, which resemble disposable vapes a little more, and more advanced mods, which are larger and more customisable.

How to Use Them 

When using a disposable vape, all the vaper needs to do is unbox the vape, find the mouthpiece, and begin inhaling – there’s often no need to even press a button.

In contrast, with regular vapes there’s a need to charge them, fill the tank with e-liquid, and otherwise set them up before they’re ready to be used. 

How Long They Last

It’s difficult to give a clear answer on how long a disposable vape will last, as it’ll depend on how often it is used. However, you can roughly expect a disposable vape to last for between 300 and 600 puffs – though this may vary depending on the make and model of the device. 

While you’ll need to keep buying e-liquid and replacement parts like coils as and when required, regular vapes last longer. A good quality vape could last you for months before it’s time to replace it.

What Options are Available 

With disposable vapes, there are a lot of different flavour options available, and the majority of e-liquid flavours available with refillable vapes will also be found inside disposable vapes.

It’s worth noting, there are a lot of options when it comes to refillable vapes too. They range from simpler vape pens and cigalikes to tank-based systems and box mods, which are more complex and customisable. 


Disposable vapes aren’t customisable in the same way as a lot of more advanced vapes. With other vapes, there are numerous ways to customise them. 

For example, if you don’t like the e-liquid in a disposable vape, there’s no way to change it. You can either use it or buy one with a different flavour. With regular vapes, you can try different e-liquids and clean the device in between each one to ensure there’s no residue from previous flavours.

Disposable Vapes vs IQOS Devices 

Disposable vapes differ from IQOS devices too, and below we’ll take a look at how.


Disposable vapes are cheaper than IQOS devices – the IQOS 3 DUO kit costs £39. However, they can be similar in price to HEETS tobacco sticks, which have a recommended retail price of £5.50 for 20 sticks.

How Long They Last 

While disposable vapes are claimed to last for around 300 to 600 puffs and then can no longer be used, IQOS devices are rechargeable. IQOS is formed of two key components: the holder and the charger. Between uses, the holder stays in the charger, where it gets recharged and ready for the next use, but after every 20 uses, the IQOS itself needs to be plugged in and recharged.

Each HEETS stick is designed to be used just once inside the IQOS device. They should last for around six minutes or 14 puffs, around the same as a cigarette, before being removed from the device and disposed of. 

Flavours vs HEETS Variants

Again, there are lots of different e-liquid flavours available inside disposable vapes, from fruit,  flavours to flavours like tobacco, menthol, and mint. 

When it comes to HEETS, there are ten different variants. They range in intensity and taste, with some having a classic tobacco taste and some having a menthol taste. Some, like HEETS Russet and HEETS Sienna, have a more intense classic tobacco taste, while HEETS Turquoise offers mellow menthol aroma profile, and HEETS Mauve has a menthol and berry taste.

Difference in How They Look and How They Work 

As stated, the IQOS device has two parts: the charger and the holder. The holder has an opening for the HEETS stick to go into, and it heats the tobacco in the stick rather than burning it like a cigarette. This creates a vapour that can then be inhaled by the user.

While the IQOS is similar to disposable vapes in that they both heat something to create a vapour, they differ in that the IQOS can be used multiple times over a longer period and be recharged. 

How They are Used

Before using the IQOS, it’s important to make sure that it’s charged. Then, take the holder from the charger and slide a tobacco stick in, with the tobacco side facing down. Press and hold the holder button for two seconds as the LED light begins to flash green, and when it’s solid green the device is ready for use. 

The device can be used for up to 14 puffs or six minutes, whichever comes first, and when the heating cycle comes to an end the LED light will turn red, letting you know that there are two puffs or 30 seconds remaining. Once the light goes off, the tobacco stick needs to be removed.

The process of using IQOS has more steps than the process of using a disposable vape – with a disposable vape, users can simply put the mouthpiece in their mouth and begin inhaling. And IQOS uses heated tobacco rather than e-liquids, which contain nicotine that may be derived from tobacco rather than tobacco itself. 

Again, the best option for any smoker is to quit tobacco and nicotine use entirely, but for those or can’t or won’t, switching to an alternative represents a better choice than continuing to smoke. If you’d like to know more about IQOS, you can find more information here. Or, you can find out more about the alternatives to smoking here


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