How Do Disposable Vapes Work?

Disposable pod devices, also known as disposable vape pens, are another chapter in the endless book of vaping trends. Most refer to these little pre-filled 500-1500 puff devices as simply "disposables", but you can call them whatever you please.

In the simplest of terms, a disposable device is exactly what the name entails (we like to do that in the vape industry). A small disposable vaporizer, pre-filled with e liquid, utilizing salt nicotine, that dies after a certain amount of puffs. Once it dies, you simply throw it away and start a new one. Disposable vapes are as easy as it gets.

How Do Disposable Vapes Work?

Coming in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, typically disposable vapes work with one or more preloaded atomizers built inside. The atomizer, which is made up of heated metal coils wrapped in a polyfill material, is activated when air passes through it. This drives heat to the e-liquid inside the vape to produce vapour that can then be inhaled.

Depending on the device, disposable vape pens work by taking a draw (when manual) or by pressing the power button on an auto-draw device. The fact that most disposable vapes are single-use means users have none of the upkeep associated with regular vaping such as filling up tanks or recharging batteries. This makes them incredibly simple and easy to use right out of their packaging.

How to Use Disposable Vapes

To use a disposable vape, first remove it from its packaging. Usually, it will come pre-charged and ready to go, so the next step is to choose your preferred flavour of e-juice if you are adding a prefilled cartridge pod (otherwise start puffing).

Once you have chosen the flavour of e liquid vapour you want, unscrew the protective mouthpiece cap and inhale gently – don't take too big of a draw or else it will end up tasting burnt. When your device stops producing vapour, it's time to properly dispose of your old vape and get a new one.

The Rise of Disposable Vape Pens

So, why had you never heard of disposable vapes until the past few years? The disposable vape absolutely skyrocketed to popularity in the vaping world near the end of 2020 and continues to get more popular overtime. The funny thing is disposable electronic cigarettes are one of the earliest forms of vaping. When vaping started to catch on in its early years one of the most popular options, at least here in Ontario, were the disposable kits.

These cigarette replicas could be found at your local gas station or convenience store, usually in very basic flavours such as vanilla and grape. These early types of kits usually only lasted for about 200 puffs. But, as the industry moved on and developed different ways to vape, disposables were ultimately left behind for better refillable and reusable vape products.

Yet, they began rebounding some seven or eight years later. Right back to where we started with disposable vape devices. Although with some great improvements! Improvements that could very well be the reason why disposable vapes currently reign over the vaping world. 

Advantages of Disposable Vapes

Disposable vapes are a popular, convenient way for people to enjoy the benefits of vaping without worrying about maintenance, cleanup or buying e-liquids. For those who want to enjoy their vaping experience without the hassle of having to clean and maintain a tank, disposable vape pens are an ideal solution. Not only do they provide convenience, but there are also several other advantages.

These pens are usually smaller than regular tanks, which makes them discrete and easy to carry around. They come pre-assembled and require no special tools for use, so users can simply buy their disposable vape, remove it from its packaging, and start vaping right away by simply inhaling.

Disposable vape pens also minimize the need to replace atomizers or coils on a regular basis while still delivering optimal vapour production. Many of these pens have pre-filled tanks that don't require refilling and contain higher concentrations of nicotine salts compared to other forms of nicotine delivery systems like e-juices or liquids. This makes disposable vapes an ideal choice for those who want a quick and hassle-free way to enjoy their favourite vaping flavours.

Disadvantages of Disposable Vape Pens

Vape pens have grown in popularity over the past few years, with their convenience and portability. However, despite some of their advantages there are also some notable disadvantages that come along with using disposable vape pens.

For one thing, disposables can be expensive. Since they are designed to be thrown away after use prices tend to be higher than those of refillable tanks or cartomizers and they contribute to more waste.

Disposables are often made with less-than-sustainable materials and in some models they contain fewer battery-powered atomization points which can affect the device’s overall performance. Consumers should weigh the costs and potential environmental impact associated with these devices before making an informed purchase decision.

The Differences Between Old and New Disposable Pod Systems

The disposable vape pen you buy at your local vape store looks a lot different than it did ten years ago. These are some of the key differences between the disposable vapes of today, vs those of yesteryear.

  1. The flavour options and brands to choose from when shopping disposables have improved significantly. A single disposable brand, such as the Allo Ultra or Envi Boost, could have for example eight different flavours to choose from in two different nicotine strengths. That's sixteen different options for just one brand.  
  1. Today, most disposables utilize the popular nicotine variation of salt nicotine. Usually in 20mg and 50mg, but sometimes as high as 60mg. If you don't know what salt nicotine is, more information can be found here.
  1. Disposable pod systems are now available in different sized devices, with each one lasting for different amounts of time. Some are compact and capable of up to 300 puffs, while there are some that are larger and capable of up to 1500 puffs. These 1500 puff devices can last some users three to four days. In comparison to older disposables those are some pretty good numbers. 
  2. Battery life has improved significantly for the modern disposable vape pen. New versions come with a modern charging base, which allows for quick and easy reloading. This means that you don’t have to constantly switch out batteries or wait for your vape pen to charge. Additionally, the battery cells in newer vape pen devices are much more powerful, allowing users to produce more vapour per puff while still delivering satisfying nicotine hits.

How to Store Disposable Vapes

While your disposable vape pen may have a shelf life listed on the packaging, if you want to preserve your disposable vape for as long as possible, it’s important to learn the best ways to store them. Disposable vapes should always be stored in a cool, dry place. Direct sunlight or extreme temperatures can cause the liquid inside the device to break down, which will lead to an unpleasant taste when the vape is used.

Also, due to the sensitive nature of electronic components, it’s important not to drop or jostle the device when handling it since this could affect its performance. Make sure that the device remains sealed between uses. This helps prevent leaking and extends its shelf life by keeping out air and humidity that can damage the flavour of your vape juice.

Are Disposable Vapes Safe?

Disposable vape pens are electrical devices. They are safe to use if handled with care. Here are a few tips for safely using your disposable vape:

  • Only use disposable vapes that have been safety tested by reputable brands
  • Do not use disposable vapes that have been damaged or show any signs of wear and tear.
  • Keep disposable vapes away from heat sources and flammable materials.
  • Do not overcharge the device - follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to charge it.
  • Do not leave the device charging unattended.
  • If the device starts to feel hot, stop using it and contact the manufacturer.

Who Should Buy Disposable Vapes?

All things considered, disposable vape devices are making a major comeback. Disposables allow current smokers looking to transition to vaping an opportunity to try an e-cigarette without breaking the bank. Most vape shops tend to recommend a disposable to someone just starting. If they decide vaping works for them, they can invest in a vape kit of their choosing but others simply stick with the disposables they started with.

Even seasoned vapers and industry professionals have started to gravitate more and more towards disposable vape systems. With that in mind, it's safe to say that their compact size, ease of use and convenience factor is attractive to vapers of all kinds.

If you are ready to switch and try a disposable vape pen then browse our selection of disposable kits from the industry's top brands. We are always ready to help. Simply, give us a call or pop into one of our 7 locations if you have questions about which is right for you. 

Have you tried a disposable vape kit?


The Vapours Canada blog is meant to provide education and  information for those looking to transition from smoking cigarettes to vaping e-liquid. These thoughts and opinions are entirely our own, and have been gathered through working in this industry extensively, as well as using these products ourselves for a prolonged period of time. In no way are we claiming vaping to be healthy for the user. If you have any doubts, please consult your doctor to see if vaping is right for you. You must be of legal age in your state/province  to vape.