What is a Disposable Vape and How Does it Work?

Date Published 19/10/2022

There are lots of different vape pens and devices available to people thinking of switching to vaping from smoking, including disposable (or single-use) vapes.

People might choose a disposable vape over other devices because of the cost – the upfront cost is generally cheaper than reusable vapes – or because a lack of commitment or simply for ease.

Without a doubt, the best option for any smoker is to stop nicotine use altogether – vaping is not risk-free. However, switching to an alternative like vaping represents a better choice than continuing to smoke. To find out about disposable vapes and how they work, keep reading.

What is a Disposable Vape?

A relatively new edition to the vape market, disposable vapes are vapes that come pre-filled with e-liquid and pre-charged too. They’re then disposed of when empty rather than refilled with e-liquid like some other vapes.

Whereas other vapes often require more investment or more knowledge around vaping, disposable vapes are generally more simple, less customisable, and easier to work. You also don’t need to buy any replacement parts like coils when it comes to disposable vapes.

They’re similar in appearance to other vapes but are generally thinner and smaller – particularly when compared to more advanced vapes like box mods.

How do Disposable Vapes Work?

Disposable vapes work in a similar way to other vapes, with the largest difference being that they need very little setup before you use them. Disposable vapes contain a battery, a tank, and a coil. However, the coil is found inside the tank, alongside the e-liquid, which vapers don’t need to manually add.

The battery sends a current to the coil, heating it and causing the e-liquid to turn into vapour that can be inhaled – just like in a regular vape. With most vapes, the user needs to press a button, but this isn’t necessary with disposable vapes.

Once a disposable vape is empty, it can’t be reused, so they need to be disposed of. Whereas other vapes can be recharged or refilled, the design of disposable vapes is such that they can’t be. 

How to Use a Disposable Vape Pen

Before using the vape pen, it’s worth considering whether you’ve got the right vape for you. Disposable vapes are sold in a ready-to-use condition, and flavours can’t be changed. Disposable vapes come in a wide variety of flavours, much like the re-fillable versions.

Using the pen itself is simple. Just unbox the pen, find the mouthpiece and inhale. They're sold ready to use so there's no need to press a button in, add e-liquid, change any settings or set anything up.

When you’re finished vaping, just remove the mouthpiece from your mouth – it’ll switch off automatically. Eventually, once the e-liquid in the vape pen has been used up, you can simply dispose of it, as you won’t be able to reuse it.

How long do disposable vapes last?

There’s no easy answer to this question, as it will depend on how often the vape is used. But, as the name suggests, a disposable vape won’t last as long as a regular vape.

On average, a disposable vape will last for around 300 to 600 puffs. Again, this will depend on the frequency of use, but can also depend on the particular make and model of the vape too. Some disposable vapes will have more powerful batteries than others, or the capacity to fit in more e-liquid. 

Before deciding on a disposable vape, it may be a good idea to look at different vapes and how they compare in terms of battery strength and tank capacity.

How do Disposable Vapes Differ to Other Smoking Alternatives? 

As previously mentioned, disposable vapes don’t last as long as some alternatives, and can’t be refilled or recharged – when you’ve used up the e-liquid in the vape, it’s time to dispose of it. Disposable e-cigarettes likely won’t make large clouds of vapour, either, as they aren’t equipped to do so – more advanced mod devices are more suitable.

Disposable vapes have a cheaper initial cost, too, though they can work out more expensive than regular vapes in the long run because of the cost of replacing the device on what can be a regular basis. Because of the cheaper initial cost, they require less commitment too, but at the same time aren’t as customisable as regular vapes. 

Disposable vapes differ from heated tobacco products too, like IQOS, as HEETS contain tobacco, whereas disposable vapes don’t. Rather, they contain e-liquid which contains nicotine that might be derived from tobacco.

Nicotine pouches are another alternative to smoking. Like disposable vapes, they contain nicotine rather than tobacco and need to be disposed of after use, but they sit under the top lip and release nicotine that’s absorbed through the gums – there’s no vapour involved. 


All  Heated Tobacco    Vaping    Smoking Alternatives    Benefits    News    Laws & Regulatons    Mythbusting    Technology & Research    FAQs & Facts    IQOS & HEETS      Guides  

Learn about heated tobacco
Learn about heated tobacco

What is heated tobacco?

Try IQOS for £10
Try IQOS for £10

Try now for 14 days

Discover the benefits of IQOS
Discover the benefits of IQOS

Why switch to IQOS?