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How Does A Disposable Vape Work? The Definitive Guide

by jamie - 10 minute read - October 18, 2023 -

Looking for a stress-free way to get your nicotine hit? Disposable vapes are popular for many reasons, but convenience is where they shine. Whether you’re a smoker looking to switch to vaping as a safer alternative or need a backup device for when you’re on the go, disposables are a great solution.

At Vape Juice, we stock a wide range of disposable vape pens from reputable brands, and our team of experts know pretty much everything there is to know about these genius devices. So, we’re here to share our disposable vape knowledge and help you decide if disposable vapes are the best solution for you.

Let’s dive in.

What are disposable vapes?

Vaping devices first gained attention in 2003 but didn’t become universally popular until later, when evolving technologies turned generic cig-a-likes into high-performance vape pens. Mods followed shortly after, aiming to give users more flexibility with their vaping experience.

However, disposable pens are one of the most exciting vape devices because they replicate the convenience of smoking cigarettes and are ideal for beginners.

People might call them disposables, e-cigarettes or vape bars, whatever their moniker, these handy devices come prefilled with e-liquid, fully charged, ready for action and easy to use.

How do disposable vapes work?

While traditional vape pens and mods require filling, disposables are pre-filled with vape juice. The batteries provide electricity to the heating element, producing a vapour when you draw on the device, mimicking the smoking experience.

Some of the key components of disposable vape kits include.

Outer casing

Most disposable vapes come with an outer casing typically made of metal or plastic, but it depends on the brand you use.

As they’re single-use products, the vapes don’t have to be highly durable, so most manufacturers use plastic.


All disposables have a built-in battery, which heats the coil so it can produce high amounts of vapour. Most disposable vape pens use a lithium-polymer or lithium-ion battery designed for single usage. You don’t need to recharge them, as the battery lasts 500 to 600 puffs.

E-liquid reservoir

The e-liquid reservoir is central to your vaping experience, containing delicious flavours and nicotine salts. Most disposable vape pens use a 50/50 combination of VG (vegetable glycerin) and PG (propylene glycol), which offers the perfect combination of intense flavours and huge vape clouds.

Activation mechanisms

Many disposables are draw-activated, so puffing on the pen immediately creates vapour. However, you might also find some button-activated pens, which usually require pressing a button and activating the vape.


Some disposable vape devices also have lights that activate when you take a draw. If your disposable vape is about to die, the light flashes to let you know it’s reached the end of its life. While this feature isn’t essential, some people prefer them as they know when to switch to a new device.

How to use a disposable vape?

The great thing about disposables is they’re so easy to use. While other vape devices might take some getting used to, disposables are simply a grab-and-go solution, making them ideal if you’re trying to replicate the smoking experience.

All you need to do is open the packaging and remove the airflow valve’s cover. Then, remove the silicone cover from the mouthpiece, and you’re good to go. As disposables have an auto shut-off function, so you don’t need to worry about preserving battery life.

The advantages of disposable vape

Whether you’re a seasoned vaper or new to the experience, these genius devices offer a range of benefits. While some people prefer using them as backups, others will stick to disposables for convenience and affordability.

Still unsure whether disposable vape kits are suitable for your needs? Take a look at their advantages.

They’re easy to use

If you’re new to vaping or don’t want to deal with refillable vape kits, investing in a disposable vape pen is a great way to begin your journey. While classic vape pens require regular refilling and coil changes, disposables are a grab-and-go solution.

Mod devices are for advanced vapers, so you’ll have to know the various battery powers, airflow settings and other elements that customise your experience.

All you need to do is unwrap the device and begin vaping.

The safer alternative

We all know the dangers posed by traditional cigarettes. According to Cancer Research, smoking exposes people to 15 different cancers, and 7 in 10 lung cancer cases are attributable to it. These figures show how dangerous cigarettes are, but vaping is much safer.

Research published by Public Health England estimates that vaping is 95% safer than smoking, as devices don’t contain tar, carbon monoxide, or many of the chemicals in traditional cigarettes.


Perhaps the best thing about disposables is how closely they mimic the smoking experience. Yes, the primary components are very different, but being able to unwrap the device and puff away is the closest you’ll come to replicating cigarettes.

Also, disposable vapes are full of flavour, whereas a traditional refillable device might lack the same intensity.


Mod devices can be heavy, and they’re not convenient to carry around. In contrast, disposables are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for work or nights out. Many people have a main kit and use disposables when they travel or are out and about for added convenience.

As disposables are cost-effective solutions, it doesn’t matter if you lose them, as you can replace them quickly.

Are disposable vapes safe to use?

Using a disposable vape kit is similar to using rechargeable devices, and safety research does confirm that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking. However, negative press and hysteria lead some people to believe that vaping could put them at risk of various conditions – including popcorn lung.

Research shows that some vape products can cause the condition—but only if they contain an ingredient called diacetyl (American Lung Association). Diacetyl was found in certain foods, including popcorn, which is where the term popcorn lung comes from.

Characterised by a narrowing of the airways, wheezing and shortness of breath, popcorn lung can be fatal. Research by Harvard in 2015 revealed that of the 51 vape juice brands they looked at, 39 used e-liquids that contained diacetyl.

Disposable vapes in the UK are safe

While diacetyl is a hazardous substance, it was banned by the UK in 2016. So, any vaping product you purchase in the UK shouldn’t contain any ingredients known to cause damage. You won’t need to worry if you buy disposable kits from a reputable retailer.

However, buying e-liquids from another country could put you at risk, so reading the ingredients and checking for harmful substances is essential.

Disposable Vape and the environment

Disposable vapes operate differently from their refillable counterparts, so it’s only natural to worry about their environmental impact. However – as with most single-use products – how you dispose of the vape products defines their eco-friendliness.

Collecting your used disposables in a bag and taking them to your recycling centre is the best way to get rid of them responsibly. Most recycling centres have WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) bins, which ensure the responsible management of electrical products.

Who should use disposable vape products?

As a reputable retailer, Vape Juice has strict policies on who can access the vape products, and they’re unsuitable for people under 18. Adults who enjoy vaping often purchase disposables for convenience, but their primary purpose is for former smokers.

There are plenty of NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products available, including lozenges, inhalers, patches and gum – but they have limited effectiveness. According to research from Oxford University, e-cigarettes are more likely to help people quit smoking.

Researchers revealed that around six in 100 people successfully eliminate smoking through traditional NRT products, but people who start vaping have higher success rates.

If you want to quit smoking cigarettes, vaping is one of the best ways to achieve your goals and reduce the risks of smoking-related conditions.

Choose from a wide range of flavours with our disposable vapes

Yesterday’s cig-a-like devices focused on offering traditional tobacco flavours, but today’s disposable vape pens come in a wide range of weird and wonderful flavours. Shopping at Vape Juice UK gives you access to some of the most reputable brands and fantastic deals.

Our online shop is bursting with disposable vape flavours, and you can get four delicious pens for £13.95 or stock up with a whopping 10 bars for just £33.95.

Elf Bars

Elf is one of the most popular providers of ready-to-use vapes, and you’ll find a wide range of flavours on our website. Feel like a cooling cocktail? The new Mojito flavour will quench your thirst and give you a refreshing blast.

Or, if you’re a fan of fruity blends, Elf offers some epic flavour combinations, including Grape Raspberry, Blueberry Kiwi, Banana Mango and many more.

Gold Bars

Gold Bars taste as classy as they look, with impressive flavours to get your taste buds dancing. Love getting tropical? The delicious Bora Bora flavour packs in mixed berries and grapefruit for an intense vaping experience.

Other popular flavours include Blueberry Peach, Banana Ice and Pink Grapefruit.

Lost Mary

With their unique design, Lost Mary disposables immediately grab your attention. They’re made to fit in the palm of your hand and offer around 600 puffs, making them ideal for on-the-go vaping. Better still, each contains intense flavour blends that give you a powerful nicotine hit.

The Triple Mango flavour packs a considerable punch, but the Blue Razz Cherry combines two fan favourites to create an epic vape flavour.

We have plenty of other flavours from Crystal, Klik Klak, YOLO and Strapped Stix, so shop today and stock up on epic flavours to help you say goodbye to smoking once and for all.


What are the alternatives to disposables?

If you’re unsure whether the disposable vape pen is the right option, plenty of other vape kits are available. We stock a range of starter kits, which require little modification and are refillable. Mods are best for experienced vapers, but they can be beneficial for customisation.

Direct-to-lung vapers might prefer a sub-ohm vaping device, which pairs perfectly with high VG e-liquids. Another popular option is pod kits, a combination of disposables and refillable devices.

Using pod systems means you can easily replace cartridges instead of dealing with priming coils. There are also refillable pods, which are compatible with a range of e-liquids.

Which disposable strength should I use?

Most disposables come with 20mg of nicotine, ideal for ex-smokers or people used to higher amounts. However, Vape Juice is committed to giving our customers more flexibility, so you can buy 10mg Strapped Stix disposables.

These kits are perfect for gradually reducing nicotine levels, but you’ll still get a decent throat hit and lots of flavour.

How do I know when it’s time to replace my disposable?

Some disposables have flashing lights, which let you know they’re finished. However, if you notice a burnt taste, there’s no e-liquid left.

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Vape Expert