Are Disposable Vapes Safe? Industry Facts


Disposable vapes have been around for some time now, although the popularity of them continues to grow at a steady rate. Unfortunately, this rise in popularity has also seen an increase of negative reports in the media which can often create confusing information for those looking to answer the question, are disposable vapes safe?

According to an expert independent evidence review by Public Health England (PHE), nearly half the population (44.8%) didn't realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking.

This article looks deeper into the questions related to the safety of disposable vapes and provides answers to the worries you may have. If you're an experienced vaper looking for a different vaping style, or a beginner looking at making the switch from smoking, we address the popularity, news articles, safety concerns and benefits of disposable vapes so you can make your own informed decisions.


TL;DR: Disposable vapes, alongside other e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking according to Public Health England (PHE). To ensure safe disposables, always purchase from reputable vape suppliers and ensure that they follow all regulations set by government bodies. Once you finish a disposable vape, recycle them accordingly to limit impact on the environment.

Image showing collection of different types of disposable vapes

What are disposable vapes?

Disposable vapes are affordable, pre-filled, single-use devices that aim to closely mimic the process of smoking a cigarette, without the harmful contents such as tar and carbon monoxide.

Most often, disposable vapes differ from other vape kits due to having no buttons, settings or adjustments which can't be re-filled or charged. By having this design, they are perfect for those not familiar with more advanced electronic cigarettes, or those looking to quit smoking.

Once the battery and/or e-liquid has drained from a disposable, it is then depleted and can be disposed of. We would strongly advise that you recycle any disposable vape product to minimise your impact on the environment, we discuss this further later on.

Generally available in nicotine strengths of 10mg or 20mg nicotine salts, disposable devices provide a stronger hit than what's generally used with sub-ohm vape kits or more powerful pod kits, for this reason they are great for on the go use when you need that nicotine hit throughout the day.

Woman in green jacket holding a green elf bar disposable vape

Why are disposable vapes popular?

Disposable vapes have continued to grow in popularity since they first began to appear, mostly due to being simple and easy to use, whilst removing the need to change coils, pods and batteries or re-fill with e-liquid.

The increase in popularity of disposable vapes and electronic cigarettes in general can possibly be linked to the aid in helping smokers quit through vaping.

"You're roughly twice as likely to quit smoking if you use a vape compared with other nicotine replacement products, like patches and gum." - (NHS, 2023)
As the demand for disposables continues to grow, more vaping manufacturers and e-liquid brands have created their own designs with a growing collection of styles, e-liquid flavours and designs. This constant growth continues to propel the popularity of disposable vapes throughout the world.
Row of disposable vape devices with one showing the internal battery and components within

Are disposable vapes safe?

Although there is no current evidence pointing towards disposable vapes being 100% safe, the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes in general are around 95% less harmful than smoking according to Public Health England (PHE).

Although electronic cigarettes are highlighted to be much safer than smoking, this is only the case when legal and complaint products are being used. It's important to understand what illegal and non-compliant vaping products are, and why they can cause potential issues to your health or cause other risk factors due to harmful chemicals or design.

Disposable vape device underneath a judges gavel

Illegal, Non-Compliant Disposable Vapes

Unfortunately, with the growing popularity and demand of disposables, the rise of low quality, fake and non-compliant devices has also increased by those looking to illegally make money on unsafe disposable vapes.

Like with anything vape related, it's important to ensure that you purchase disposable vape products from reputable sources whilst looking out for warning signs that a disposable may be illegal in the UK.

The UK vaping industry is strictly regulated by Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR). These regulations are set in place to ensure a minimum standard for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and e-liquids are met. They also ensure that information on related products is provided to customers to make informed choices. Vape related products must also be within an environment that protects children from starting the use of these products.

Woman stood in front of yellow background looking at a yellow disposable vape device

How to know if my disposable vape is safe?

The simplest way to understand if your disposable vape, or any vaping related product is safe is by ensuring that it follows the regulations set out by TRPR. Those who disregard any TRPR regulations are more likely to overlook other safety features and checks which could affect your health or cause other risk.

TRPR Requirements

As discussed, all vaping products must follow TRPR regulations which set strict requirements for all vape kits, e-liquids and accessories. To ensure that your vape is safe, please see below a list of TRPR requirements:

  • Vape tanks and pods should not provide more than 2ml capacity of e-liquid
  • E-liquid should not contain more than 20mg/ml of nicotine
  • E-liquid for sale that contains nicotine should not be sold in containers larger than 10ml
  • Nicotine containing products or packaging should be child-resistant and provide tamper evident design
  • E-Liquid should not contain banned ingredients such as colourings, caffeine and taurine
  • All packaging should be labelled according with warnings of contents
  • All electronic cigarettes and e-liquid must be published by the MHRA before being sold

By ensuring that any vaping product you purchase follows these guidelines highlighted above, you should have a much greater protection of the products being genuine. We also strongly advise that you also purchase from reputable suppliers who have a track record of regulation compliance with everything required in place.

Collection of different vaping devices laid out on a black wooden background

Are disposable vapes safer than mods?

As long as you ensure that you purchase your disposable vape or mod from a reputable vape shop, and ensure that everything is compliant with TRPR as previously highlighted, there would be no reason to highlight a disposable vape as less safe than any other mod or electronic cigarette that follows the same regulations, although this would also require correct use of the device.

When using an advanced vape kit, or something you're not completely used to, it's important to ensure that you understand how to use the device. We always advise to read product descriptions, manufacturer guidelines, and instructions to make sure you understand how to use and to prevent any issues. If you purchase anything from Royal Flush Vape and require further assistance, please be sure to reach out to us where a member of our customer support team will work with you to answer any queries.

Man looking at computer screen with a surprised look on his face

Disposables Negative Press

As discussed, there has been a sharp increase in negative media reports regarding disposable vape products, although many are worried that their disposable vape may not be safe and can be put off entirely from electronic cigarettes.

With a strong ethos on providing safer alternatives to smoking, we feel that it's important to ensure that you have all the facts to make your own informed decision. Below we highlight the key areas of discussion in the press when it comes to disposable vapes whilst going into further detail on all areas covered.

Girl holding a vape device in her left hand with her right hand pointed up in stop motion

Underage Vaping Sales

One of the leading headlines you may read in the press is related to underage vaping. Much like many age gated products, the sale of vaping products to those under the age of 18, and underage vaping in general is still an ongoing issue. However, you may not be aware that the UK Vaping Industry Association, which is the largest trade body representing the vaping industry has reinforced its call for a range of get-rough measured to crack down on unscrupulous retailers who sell vapes to young people.

“The UKVIA understands the need for the right balance between supporting adult smokers to quit without encouraging take up amongst under-18s and ‘never-smokers."

As an active member of the UKVIA, we completely back their efforts whilst ensuring that we do everything within our power to ensure that only those of the legal age purchase any vape related products from us. In addition to age verification process in store, all customers who purchase from Royal Flush Vape online must pass age checks via our 1account age verification process.

With recent reports by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) highlighting growing concerns among parents, teachers and local authorities, CEO of Chartered Trading Standards Institute, John Harriman stated:

“We fully support the proposals to ensure there is sufficient funding for local Trading Standards teams, to deal with what is an increasingly significant issue, with an explosion in the sale of non-compliant vapes and concerns around their supply to young people.”

Here at Royal Flush Vape we stand by leading UKVIA and government bodies to ensure the sale of vape products is correctly age restricted and don't fall into the hands of those underage.

Tube being pulled out of laboratory with text saying "toxic metals - test"

Illegal Materials in Disposable Vapes

As discussed previously, the vape industry is heavily regulated by TRPR, although those looking to make money from the sale of illegal vaping products will continue to push their products through non reputable shops and online marketplaces.

Most commonly, press headlines that discuss harmful materials found within disposable vapes highlight they are found within devices which are non-compliant to TRPR regulations. In a recent test by Baxter College, lab co-founder David Lawson stated that "none of these should be on the market - they break all the rules on permitted levels".

Although disposable vapes are now readily available in the likes of petrol stations, local corner shops and even other non related vape stores such as takeaways and phone shops, you have to ask yourself why these are being sold in these environments and if they have your health in their best interests.

According to Westminster City Council, raids carried out this year removed more than £1 million of fake vaping goods from Oxford Street's sweet and souvenir shops in the last 15 months.

In May 2023, a factory worker who managed A-Z Booze in Yorkshire was also charged under the Trade Marks Act 1994 relating to counterfeit tobacco products, including disposable vapes.

With numerous other headlines and reports highlighting illegal vapes on the market, it's clear to see that the majority of unsafe disposable vapes come from those looking for a quick profit outside of the vape industry.

We must advise that you make sure to check any vaping product you want to purchase to ensure it follows TRPR regulations. Always look out for reputable vape stores who have a track record of preventing the underage sale of vaping products and only stock TRPR compliant products as a general rule of thumb.

Collection of disposable vape devices laid on top of batteries

Disposable Vapes and the Environment

One key area of worry and a frequent headline in the press relates to the environmental impact of disposable vape products. Unfortunately like with any single use products available today, there are many guidelines when it comes to recycling which can cause confusion on if products are recyclable or how to dispose of them safely.

According to an article in the BBC, they highlight that many are unaware that disposable vaping products could be recycled with one consumer stating "[they] had no idea they were recyclable and that the "messaging could definitely be improved".

Looking down on a forest with a battery symbol in the center

How to Recycle Disposable Vapes

To limit your impact on the environment, whilst also ensuring you dispose of your used disposables safely, its important to safely recycle. The easiest and most convenient way to do so is by taking them to a local battery recycle point.

Here at Royal Flush Vape we are committed to minimising our carbon footprint. For this reason, we completely adhere to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations. If you purchase any electronic product from us, we will safely dispose of your product for you to minimise environmental impact. 

Royal Flush Vape Battery Recycle Point

To recycle with Royal Flush Vape, simply return your unwanted electrical goods purchased from us. All of our stores provide battery recycle points where you can safely recycle your disposable vapes and other electrical vaping products. 

If you are confident and want to recycle disposable vapes yourself, ensure that you separate the battery from the device itself and recycle all components separate depending on the materials used.

Person holding cigarettes and a lighter in one hand and a disposable vape in the other hand

Using Disposable Vapes to Quit Smoking

Much like other forms of vaping, disposable vapes play a vital role in helping those quit smoking. Professor Peter Hajek, Queen Mary University London and independent author of the review stated:

"My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health. Smokers differ in their needs and I would advise them not to give up on e-cigarettes if they do not like the first one they try. It may take some experimentation with different products and e-liquids to find the right one."

With preference on flavour, strength and style of vaping being numerous factors in the chance of success when it comes to quitting smoking through vaping, which product works can vary. The overall goal is to find a vaping experience that helps you replace tobacco products, this can be either completely at first, or a way to slowly replace tobacco with vaping.

Due to the simple use and availability of disposable vape devices, many who choose to quit smoking may do so with disposables. It's vital to ensure that people people looking to quit smoking with vaping are not put off from headlines in the press. Chief Executive of health charity ASH stated:

“Smoking is much more harmful than vaping and smoking remains the biggest threat to our children’s health."

With guidance set out by the National Health Service (NHS), Public Health England (PHE) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) all pointing to vaping being a a safer alternative to smoking and a successful quitting aid, it's important to understand the facts to make your own informed decision on vaping.

A disposable vape in one hand with the other hand showing a thumbs up

Advantages of disposable vapes

The increasing popularity of disposables can be linked to the numerous advantages that they provide, below are a few examples on the advantages of disposable vape devices:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • No Maintenance
  • Wide Selection
  • Cheaper (up front)

Woman looking shocked with hand over her mouth and the other hand holding a disposable vape

Limitations of disposable vapes

With an appealing list of advantages that disposable vapes provide, it's also important to point out that they do have their limitations and drawbacks:

  • Wasteful (lifespan)
  • Non-Rechargeable
  • Non-Refillable
  • Fewer Options
  • Expensive (long run)

Collection of disposable vapes in a row

What are the best disposable vapes?

Similar to other vaping mods, pod kits and sub ohm devices, disposable vapes are available in many styles, flavours and designs which cater for all preferences. Although preference plays its part, below we highlight the most popular disposable vapes available here at Royal Flush Vape:

  1. Elf Bar 600
  2. Lost Mary BM600
  3. Geek Bar Meloso Mini
  4. SKE Crystal Bar 600
  5. Found Mary FM600

Person holding disposable vape near mouth with vapour coming out of their mouth 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

In most cases when you vape an empty disposable vape you will get what's called a dry hit. This is caused by dry cotton being heated up the coil which can create a burnt taste. It is strongly advised against vaping any empty vape as you would be directly inhaling burnt cotton. The good news is that generally disposable vape batteries are optimised to match the e-liquid capacity to help prevent vaping an empty disposable vape.

Disposable vape devices provide 2ml of e-liquid capacity with a battery optimised to match. For this reason a disposable vape pen will last around 600 puffs which is the equivalent to a pack of 20 cigarettes.

Disposable vapes have many benefits which are linked to their rising popularity. For the most part, the cheaper upfront price and simplicity of disposables creates the largest benefits, however the wide selection available and their ability to help those quit smoking without harmful chemicals such as tar and carbon monoxide is another great benefit.

Disposable vape devices provide 2ml of e-liquid which provide around 600 puffs, this is equivalent to one pack of 20 cigarettes. On a price comparison, this makes disposable vapes much cheaper than smoking whilst being around 95% safer as highlighted by Public Health England (PHE).

Like with any battery, if disposable vapes are not recycled correctly, or simply thrown away they can cause electronical and hazardous chemical waste into the environment. Vapes are classed as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEE). This means that consumers should dispose of them at a household recycling centre, or at the shop where they bought the device.

Public Health England (PHE) currently estimate that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Although highlighted as safer, it's important to ensure that you use TRPR compliant vaping products.


Disclaimer: The content on offers general insights about vaping and vape related products. Please be aware that this information is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice and should only be relied upon when explicitly referenced. We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy, reliability, or health-related advantages of the content displayed across all pages of our website, including blog posts, product pages and social media content.

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