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Disposables: The Definitive Guide To Single-Use Vapes

Disposables: The Definitive Guide To Single-Use Vapes

John Boughey |

Last fact-checked 30 April 2024

Whether you’re a smoker looking to dip your toe in the vaping world, or a long-standing vaper in need of a convenient back-up device, this definitive guide to disposable vapes is for you! In this definitive guide, we'll tell you everything you need to know about single-use vapes. We'll also try to explain why these devices will disappear from UK shelves in April 2025. 

What are disposable vapes?

Disposable vapes are single-use vape devices with enough e-liquid and battery life to deliver around 500 to 600 puffs of nicotine-infused vapour. Disposable vapes (also known as ‘bars’, ‘pods’ or ‘sticks’) come in a broad range of flavours. They’re normally draw-activated devices with a nicotine strength of 20mg/ml (although weaker strengths are available). 

In the past, disposables had a reputation for weak flavour, power and nicotine strength. Recent advances in vape technology have had a huge impact on how these devices work. Nowadays, you can expect a decent mouthful of flavour, a rewarding cloud of vapour and a good hit of nicotine. 

Disposables are much much less environmentally friendly than vape pens and box mods. They also cost more per-puff than traditional vape kits. Apart from that, there’s no better way to get a clean, convenient, fuss-free vaping experience.

CLICK HERE to see our full range of disposable vapes 

How do disposables work?

Disposable vape devices work straight out of the box. To start vaping, you just have to take the disposable out of its packaging and suck on the mouthpiece. This activates the coil and delivers a puff of vapourised e-liquid. When the device has run out of e-liquid and power, you simply dispose of it in a special vape bin (learn more about disposing of disposables).  the disposable in the bin. 

There is usually an LED built into the bottom of the device to show you when the coil is firing.

A draw-activated disposable is much easier to use than a standard vape pen or box mod. You can’t adjust the settings on a disposable, but you also don’t have to replace or refill any parts. It’s clean, convenient and incredibly simple.

Who are disposable vapes for?

Disposables are meant for new vapers, but established vapers often buy them just out of convenience. There is evidence to suggest that underage vapers are getting their hands on disposable vapes and that this is driving an increase in underage vaping. 

We age-verify all of our customers, and we're an established website for vaping enthusiasts, so our stats might seem unusual. On our site, three-quarters of our disposable vape sales come from existing vapers (returning customers). The rest of our disposable sales are to first-time customers (many of whom might be new vapers - we can't be sure).


We can see why disposables work so well for first-time vapers. For less than the price of a pack of cigarettes, you can pick up a disposable, start vaping and see if it works for you.  You don’t need to know Ohm’s law, mix your own shortfill or wick your own coil … you don’t even have to push a button. It couldn’t be simpler.

This simplicity explains why disposables are popular with experienced vapers, too. If you’ve been vaping for a while, then you have probably already invested in some great vaping kit. Proper kits are great if you like to change flavours, play with cloud size and build your own coils, but they can be a bit bulky and time-consuming. Sometimes you just need a quick puff of nicotine when you’re at work or travelling. It’s times like these when a disposable comes in really handy. 

That said, the convenience comes at a cost to the environment. The amount of waste generated by discarded disposable vapes is significant. That's why, as of 1st April 2025, the UK Government will use environmental laws to ban disposable vapes. So vape them while you've got them and make sure you dispose of them properly!

Today’s Top 10 Disposables: Bestseller data

This table shows you the top 10 best selling disposable vape devices on in January 2022. You'll notice that all of these devices top out at around 600 puffs. Once those puffs are used up, the device itself is worthless and needs to be recycled:

  1. SKE Crystal Original  | 600 puffs per device  | 41 flavours available

  2. FNTA Disposable Pods | 600 puffs per device  | 13 flavours available

  3. Tngo Glow Bar  | 600 puffs per device  | 10 flavours available

  4. Elf Bar 600 Disposable Pods  | 600 puffs per device  | 21 flavours available

  5. Glamz Bar Disposable  | 600 puffs per device  | 20 flavours available

  6. GeekVape Geek Bar  | 575 puffs per device  | 22 flavours available

  7. Area 51 Zero Nicotine Stik  | 800 puffs per device  | 10 flavours available

  8. Fantasi Bar Disposable  | 600 puffs per device  | 10 flavours available

  9. Tasty Fruity Zoom Bar  | 600 puffs per device  | 20 flavours available

  10. SMOK Club Bar   | 600 puffs per device  | 9 flavours available

The law on disposables: what to look out for

Disposables are subject to the same legal requirements as any other tobacco product… 

  • You must be over 18 to buy a disposable vape bar. 
  • Disposables can hold a maximum of 2mls of e-liquid.
  • The maximum nicotine strength of a disposable is 20mg/ml. 

As a rule of thumb, a disposable shouldn’t promise more than 600 puffs (750 puffs if it’s a nicotine-free option), because that’s all that you’ll get out of a 2ml reservoir. Also, if you’re promised a  nicotine strength of more than 20mg/ml, then something’s not right. 20mg/ml is the absolute maximum allowed by law, both in the UK and the EU (see our guide to British & European vaping laws).

Like all other vaping products, disposables are regulated by the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). You should be able to find your disposable on the MHRA’s published list of disposable e-cigarettes. If you can’t find a device on the MHRA’s approved list, or if you can only find an entry for an e-liquid brand (nothing for a disposable device), then it may not be legal. There’s some good advice on this on the UKVIA’s website (download the ‘If In Doubt, Check It Out’ PDF here).

Are disposables bad for the environment?

Disposables are very bad for the environment. Disposables are single-use devices — they can't be recharged or reloaded, and they're made of low-quality components that are hard to recycle.

 We know that there are a lot of smokers out there who want to explore vaping as a smoking cessation tool, but who don’t want to spend a lot of money on kit and e-juice that they might not like. Disposables are one way for quitters to get around the cost hurdle. That's why, for the time being, we have decided to keep selling disposables here at Gourmet E-Liquid.

As of 1 April 2025, the law will change and we won't be able to sell any disposables. At the end of the day, vaping helps hundreds of thousands of people to quit smoking every year (learn more on our guide). Vaping is helping to win the war on smoking. We have to remember that smoking causes thousands of needless deaths in this country every year (source: Public Health England). But disposables are just one part of the picture. The e-cigarette industry was helping smokers quit long before disposables hit the market, and we'll continue to do so long after they're gone. 

Stay safe and happy vaping!

John Boughey

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