If you’ve been using an e-cigarette for some time, you may have tried switching to a disposable vape due to the array of flavours available. But are disposable vapes safe?
Below, we cover everything you need to know about disposable vapes and discuss whether they are safe or not, as well as provide tips on how to quit vaping.
What Are Disposable Vapes?
Disposable vapes come pre-charged with an internal battery and are pre-filled with flavoured e-liquid. They are ready for use straight out of the packet and will continue to work until the battery runs out.
They work by heating a liquid called e-liquid into an aerosol, which the user then inhales. E-liquid typically contains propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, nicotine, and flavourings.
Are Disposable Vapes Safe?
The safety of disposable vapes is a complex issue, and there is no definitive answer. However, the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes, in general, are around 95% less harmful than smoking, according to Public Health England (PHE).
Disposable vapes may also pose some additional risks, such as:
- Explosions and fires: There have been reports of disposable vapes exploding or catching fire. This is typically caused by defects in the battery or charging system.
- Counterfeit products: Counterfeit disposable vapes may contain harmful substances that are not found in genuine products.
- Environmental impact: Disposable vapes are single-use products that generate a lot of waste, meaning they are incredibly harmful to our environment.
Overall, the safety of disposable vapes is a matter of debate. However, it is important to note that vaping is still less harmful than smoking. If you are thinking about using a disposable vape, purchasing from a reputable retailer and following the safety instructions carefully is important.
The Health Risks of Vaping
While vaping is often marketed as being a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, it is very important to note that vaping is not harmless. Vaping can cause a number of health risks, including:
- Respiratory problems: Smoking a vape can irritate the lungs and airways, and it can lead to respiratory issues. This can include things such as bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Cardiovascular disease: Vaping can damage the heart and blood vessels, and it can increase your risks of some cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
- Addiction: Vaping can be addictive, and it can be difficult to quit. Nicotine is the main addictive element of cigarettes, and this is also present in e-liquid.
- Other health risks: Vaping has also been linked to other health problems such as cancer, metal poisoning, and seizures.
As well as the health risks listed above, vaping can also have negative social and economic consequences. For example, vaping can lead to nicotine addiction in young people, and it can be expensive to maintain a vaping habit.
Disposable Vapes vs. Reusable Vapes
Disposable and reusable vapes both have potential health risks, but disposable vapes may be more dangerous. Disposable vapes often contain higher levels of nicotine than reusable vapes, and they may also contain harmful chemicals not found in reusable vapes. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, disposable vapes are more likely to explode or catch fire.
Reusable vapes are generally considered to be safer than disposable vapes, but they still pose some health risks. Reusable vapes can irritate the lungs and airways, and they can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Additionally, reusable vapes can be addictive, and it can be difficult to quit vaping.
Disposable Vapes vs. Traditional Cigarettes
Tar and Carcinogen Exposure
Disposable vapes don’t produce carbon monoxide or tar. These are two of the most harmful substances in cigarette smoke. However, they do contain some other potentially harmful chemicals, such as ultrafine particles and heavy metals.
Traditional cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals, including over 700 known carcinogens. When you smoke a cigarette, you inhale all of these chemicals, which can damage your lungs and other organs.
Both disposable vapes and traditional cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. Nicotine can cause cravings and withdrawal symptoms, which can make it difficult to quit vaping or smoking.
Overall Health Risks of Cigarettes
Disposable vapes are generally considered not as harmful as cigarettes, but they still pose some health risks, as outlined above.
Traditional cigarettes pose a much higher risk to your health than disposable vapes. The smoke in cigarettes contains over 7,000 chemicals, including over 700 known carcinogens. Smoking cigarettes can cause a lot of health problems, including:
- Lung cancer.
- Heart disease.
- Cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, bladder, cervix, kidney, larynx, liver, mouth, throat, and colon.
- Premature death.
Overall, disposable vapes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but they still pose some health risks. If you are thinking about taking up vaping, it’s important that you weigh up the risks and benefits carefully. If you are already vaping, talking to your doctor about the potential health risks and how to reduce them is important.
Tips to Quit Vaping
Here are some tips to help you quit vaping:
- Make a plan. Set yourself a quitting date, and then tell your friends and family about your decision. This will help you stay accountable and get the support you need.
- Get rid of all of your vaping devices and supplies. This will make it less tempting to vape when you have a craving.
- Identify your triggers. What are the things that make you want to vape? Once you know what your triggers are, you can develop strategies for avoiding them or coping with them in a healthy way.
- Develop healthy coping mechanisms. Relaxation techniques, exercise and spending time with your loved ones can all help you deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Don’t give up. Quitting vaping is hard, but it’s possible. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just pick yourself up and start again.
- Talk to your doctor. They can help you develop a quit plan and provide support and resources.
- Use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).NRT products like patches, gum, and lozenges can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Join a support group. Quitting vaping is easier with support from others going through the same thing.
-  are around 95% less harmful than smoking - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5b6c3f57ed915d30f140f822/Ecigarettes_an_evidence_update_A_report_commissioned_by_Public_Health_England_FINAL.pdf
-  reports of disposable vapes exploding or catching fire - https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/may/13/single-use-vapes-sparking-surge-in-fires-at-uk-waste-plants
-  Counterfeit disposable vapes may contain harmful substances - https://www.vapepal.co.uk/the-hidden-risks-associated-with-counterfeit-and-illegal-disposable-vapes/
-  generate a lot of waste - https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/are-disposable-vapes-bad-for-the-environment/#:~:text=They're%20made%20from%20plastic,are%20almost%20impossible%20to%20recycle.
-  often contain higher levels of nicotine than reusable vapes - https://www.vapepal.co.uk/are-disposable-vapes-worse-than-normal-vapes/#:~:text=This%20is%20because%20disposable%20vapes,strength%20of%20their%20e%2Dliquid.
-  the most harmful substances - https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/stopping-smoking/reasons-to-stop/tobacco#:~:text=Although%20nicotine%20is%20a%20very,licensed%20to%20help%20smokers%20quit.
-  cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemical - https://www.lung.org/quit-smoking/smoking-facts/whats-in-a-cigarette
-  The smoke in cigarettes contains over 7,000 chemicals - https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet