The Dangers of Disposable E-Cigarettes and Why They are So Popular Among Youth

When federal restrictions were enacted in early 2020 to limit the flavors that closed-pod e-cigarette devices, such as JUUL, could sell, the use of disposable e-cigarettes increased dramatically.

From 2019 to 2020, disposable e-cigarette use among high schoolers increased by 1,000% from 2.4% to 26.5%. Among middle school e-cigarette users, disposable vape use increased by more than 400% from 3% to 15.2%. A whopping 72.6% of disposable sales were attributed to flavors that were banned in pod-based products.[1]

Unfortunately, disposable e-cigarettes are just as dangerous and addictive as pod-based systems–and they are just as popular among teens as JUUL previously was.

What are Disposable E-Cigarettes?

Disposable e-cigarettes are exactly what they sound like: they are single-use e-cigarettes that are thrown away after they run out of “puffs” or juice. Unlike other e-cigarettes, the battery cannot be recharged and you cannot add more vape juice to the device when it runs out.

Most disposable vaping devices do not have buttons, either. You simply put the device up to your mouth and inhale through the mouthpiece. The action of sucking on the mouthpiece activates the device and produces vapor.

Disposable e-cigarettes come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs, but they are all addictive and harmful to users’ health.

Popular Disposable E-Cigarette Brands

It seems as though there are new e-cigarette brands emerging on the market each and every day, but some of the most popular disposable e-cigarette brands include:

  • Puff Bar
  • Hyde
  • Breeze
  • Elf Bar
  • Sirius
  • VaporLax
  • DragBar
  • Pachamama
  • Draco

Why are Disposable Vapes so Attractive to Young People?

Disposable e-cigarettes have increased in popularity among teenagers and young adults for a variety of reasons. Tasty flavors, ease of use, affordability, and discreet design are at the top of the list.

First, disposable vapes come in a variety of flavors. There are sweet flavors, ranging from whipped cream to chocolate caramel. There are fruity flavors such as blueberry, grape, strawberry, and watermelon. There are also more natural flavors, like mint, cucumber, lemon, and coffee. All of these flavors taste better than tobacco does, and some of them taste so good that the vaping experience becomes enjoyable.

Disposable vapes also come in small, discreet sizes that can easily be hidden at school or at home. The vapor that comes from disposables is also more discreet than the large clouds of vapor produced by other e-cigarette devices, making it easier to vape without others noticing.

Even though disposables are discreet, they are also attractive to the curious eyes of teens and young adults. Disposables are sold in bright packaging with animated characters and eye-catching designs that are hard to overlook.

Finally, disposable e-cigarettes are also cheaper at the point of sale than rechargeable vapes are. Many disposable vapes can be purchased for less than $10, while the vapes that come with a rechargeable battery, coils, and cartridge range anywhere from $50 to $200. They also require substantially less maintenance and upkeep than traditional vapes do.

Disposable E-Cigarette Health Risks

E-cigarettes contain concentrated oils or juices that have exceptionally high levels of nicotine. Many disposables contain up to 5% (50mg/mL) of nicotine by weight. For comparison, a single Puff Bar can contain as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes, and many young people can go through an entire Puff Bar in a single day without even realizing how much nicotine they have consumed. Some disposable vapes, like the Elf Bar, contain enough puffs to equal 45 cigarettes.[2] High levels of nicotine are one of the reasons why disposable vapes are so easy to get addicted to and so easy to quit.

Other health risks include:[3]

  • Lung injury
  • Lung disease
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Certain types of cancer

Disposable vapes aren’t only harmful to your health, but they are also harmful to the environment. Some vape stores have containers that are designated for customers to discard their disposables safely, but many disposables end up in regular trash or recycling bins. These vape pens are known for leaking and releasing materials such as battery acid and nicotine into the environment, potentially contaminating water and animal habitats.[4]

Many disposable devices are made with all types of plastic that end up in landfills or the oceans if they aren’t disposed of in the right way. The batteries can even explode and cause fires, burns, and additional harm to the environment and contributing to the climate crisis.

Resources for Quitting Vaping

If you or someone you know is hooked on vaping with disposable e-cigarettes, now is a good time to take an honest look at what you are doing to your health and well-being. Disposable e-cigarettes are a lot more dangerous than people think, and they are highly addictive.

Resources that may help you quit vaping include:

  • ​​BecomeAnEX® – A free, digital quit-smoking plan and online community.
  • ​​The EX® Program – An expansion of BecomeAnEx that provides enterprise-level tobacco cessation services to employers and businesses.
  • This is Quitting – A free, quit-vaping text messaging program designed for teens and young adults.

You may also speak with your doctor about taking a smoking cessation medication which may help alleviate cravings and boost your motivation to quit.

Quitting vaping altogether is the best way to preserve your health. It will save you money, too! Take the first step toward quitting today.



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