If you’re a regular user of single-use disposable vape pens, you’ll probably be familiar with the advertised number of puffs that each device is designed to deliver. What you might be less familiar with is how to ensure you get the most out of each and every disposable. This guide will provide you with helpful tips to get considerably more puffs for your pounds.
The last couple of years have seen an exponential increase in the number of disposable vape bars being sold globally. In England in 2022, over 15% of adults who vape used disposables, compared to just 2.2% in 2021. Judging by our sales data, we expect to see this number rise even further in 2023.
Single-use vapes definitely have their place in the vaping world. They are proven to be extremely effective at getting smokers that may be sceptical about vaping to give it a go. That’s down to there being minimal initial monetary outlay and no complexity to the device. Check out the pros and cons of disposable vapes to learn more.
A rise in dodgy, non-compliant high puff count disposables, issues with minors being sold disposables by unscrupulous vendors, kids being encouraged to take up vaping via TikTok influencers, and the environmental waste concerns, have given the devices a bad name of late. However, those are (very important) problems that need to be addressed with an open mind about the overall benefits and effectiveness of puff bars.
What we want to address here is how to ensure that adult vapers, choosing disposables as their quit smoking method, get the most bang for their buck.
Is your disposable vape legit?
In the UK, and any other country where the vaping industry is tightly regulated, the most common number of puffs you should see advertised on a disposable device is 600 (there are exceptions that have been passed for approval by the MHRA).
Purchasing your vapes from a responsible retailer, such as Vape UK, means that you can be sure that your chosen disposable meets all the legal requirements and has been sourced from a legitimate supplier.
Overfilled disposable vapes
You may have read stories in the news recently about Elf Bar 600's being recalled from retailers for issues of non-compliance.
In the UK, the legal amount of e-liquid that contains nicotine present in any vaping device is 2ml, with a maximum nicotine strength of 2% (20mg).
Elf Bar wholeheartedly apologised for their mistake, after realising that products meant for other markets where higher liquid volumes and nicotine levels are permissible had been inadvertently sent to their UK suppliers. In a statement to The Daily Mail, a spokesperson for the Chinese manufacturer stated:
“We found out that some batches of the Elf Bar product have been overfilled in the UK. It appears that e-liquid tank sizes, which are standard in other markets [such as the US], have been inadvertently fitted to some of our UK products. We wholeheartedly apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.”
What you won’t have read about the overfilling of disposables
In the interests of balance, it’s worth pointing out that, as much as we recognise the need for our suppliers to meet the tight regulations imposed on UK vaping products, as a duty of care to our customers, the outrage in the media over this story was (in parts) exaggerated to further an anti-vaping agenda.
Yes, the tested (and subsequently recalled) disposables contained more than the legally mandated 2ml of nicotine e-liquid. However, the nicotine levels were only higher than 2% if you didn’t account for the overfill. In other words, if there had been only 2ml of e-liquid then the nicotine level would have been too high by volume; but there wasn’t, so it wasn’t.
It’s also worth noting that the built-in batteries on single-use vapes are designed to contain the amount of charge (usually around 500mAh) needed to vaporise roughly 2ml of e-liquid before they run out. Put simply, it’s impossible to continue vaping any surplus vape juice once the battery is drained.
The fallout from the overfilling of disposables
Since this unfortunate incident, products such as the Elf Bar 600 for the UK market now contain a smaller (360mAh in this case) battery than before.
According to testing, the smaller battery and accurate e-liquid volume should still deliver 600 puffs to the user. However, we’ve been receiving lots of comments from our customers saying that they’re noticing a decline in the longevity of their vape bars.
One possible answer is that they were getting more than 600 puffs before, and therefore the disposable was lasting them longer. I personally don’t count each puff I take; I doubt many people do. Most will just go off the rough length of time between starting one disposable and the next.
How long should a disposable vape last?
The answer to this question is a frustrating one - it depends.
600 puffs is the equivalent of roughly 45 cigarettes. Logically speaking, a disposable vape should last you as long as it would have taken you to smoke two packs of ciggies. However, even though they’re designed to closely replicate smoking, in reality, there are differences that can mean you get through single-use vapes faster.
For example, they’re less harsh on the throat, so you might find yourself taking longer draws than you would on a cigarette. They taste a hell of a lot better, so you might reach for your vape more often than your nicotine cravings demand. Also, they’re not prohibitive in the same way that smoking is; you probably wouldn’t dream of smoking in your house or car, but are less likely to put the same restrictions on yourself when vaping.
All mitigating factors taken into account, the longevity of your disposable vape is largely down to you. If you want to increase the lifespan of your vape bar, then you’ll find these tips useful.
Check your nicotine strength
If you’ve just quit smoking then your nicotine cravings will be at their most intense. If you’re finding yourself reaching for your vape bar more often than you’d like, you’ve probably started on too low a strength to manage them.
Try moving up to the next nicotine strength available for a while, and monitor how you get on. The aim should be to reduce your nicotine intake over time, but if you try to do this before you’re ready, you’ll get through the vapes faster.
Take ‘vape breaks’
When you were a smoker, chances are you weren’t lighting up every few minutes. You can’t light a cigarette, take a few puffs, and then put it down for later. Once you light up, you're committed to smoking the whole thing. This means you would have made a conscious decision about when to have a cigarette (and the astronomical cost of them would give you pause for thought about lighting up too often).
This is especially valid in the workplace. You can’t just light up willy-nilly. Smoking breaks are fixed and scheduled to certain points in the day.
If you apply the same arrangement to vaping, and make a conscious decision to vape rather than puffing away with abandon, then you’ll definitely reduce the quantity you get through. Keep your vape out of reach to make this easier to achieve.
Don’t carry your vape around with you
On a similar theme, if you’ve not got your disposable in your hand, then you can’t vape it!
I’m a massive culprit for this; my vape is always with me, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I have to remind myself that I’m only going into the kitchen to make a brew - I don’t need to take my vape along!
If I do, the chances are that I’ll take unintended puffs while the kettle’s boiling, without need or thought. It’s this kind of subconscious and habitual action that can result in getting through your vapes without even realising you’ve been using it more than you need.
Reduce the length of your puffs
When I mentioned earlier that disposable vapes are tested to measure their puff count, I meant that this is done by a vaping machine rather than a person.
This means that each puff that is registered is a consistent length - usually about one second, which is the average length of time taken when drawing on a cigarette.
Humans are far less consistent than machines, so our puff lengths will vary depending on a range of circumstances. Maybe you like creating big clouds with your vape; or find it more satisfying to take longer draws because the sensation is far less harsh than smoking.
It’s important to vape in whatever way you see fit in order to stay away from smoking. Just be aware that longer, deeper draws will deplete your disposable; so if you want it to last longer, try reducing the length of your puffs.
Don’t chain vape
When you smoke a cigarette, it’s always lit and ready for the next puff. If you’re short on time, or your cravings are particularly intense, this can lead to chain smoking (several puffs in quick succession).
E-cigarettes don’t work like that. The wick in the device needs time between puffs to absorb more e-liquid, so chain vaping can make the flavour of your juice taste burnt and gross.
Also, the more puffs you take without a break, the hotter the battery and coil will get. This will lead to your battery life reducing, and higher volumes of e-liquid being vaporised. Both resulting in your disposable vape’s life being shortened.
Consider a change of e-liquid flavour
One of the best things about vaping is the variety of flavours on offer. Let’s face it, cigarettes taste grim, so swapping the smokes for something that tastes infinitely better is one of the main reasons why vaping is the most successful quitting method around.
The other consequence of this, of course, is that you find a disposable vape flavour that you enjoy SO MUCH you simply can’t stop vaping it.
If you recognise that you’re reaching for your vape to satisfy a sweet tooth, rather than satisfy a nicotine craving, you might want to try adding a more neutral flavour (such as menthol) into your vaping arsenal. By all means keep your favourite flavours around as a treat, but using a less delicious flavour as your go-to vape when you actually NEED to vape will lead to you not reaching for it as often.
Upgrade to a refillable MTL kit
We’ve established at length that disposables are a fantastic way to transition from smoking to vaping, but they shouldn’t be your long term solution. The cost to the planet is one concerning factor; but the cost to you is something that can be massively reduced by switching to a refillable and rechargeable device.
Refillable starter kits are nowhere near as expensive as you might think, and ongoing spend on e-liquids and coils will be far more cost-effective in the long run. One 10ml bottle of premium e-liquid can be purchased from as little as £2, and gives you the equivalent volume of vape juice as five disposable kits, which would set you back £20!
An effective next-step away from disposables, that’s proving extremely popular with our customers, is upgrading to one of our vape bundle kits. Each collection has been carefully curated to offer a seamless transition away from single-use vapes.