My Concerns with Single Use Disposable Vapes as a Consumer Product
As both a consumer and reseller, I have always been cautious about the products that I use and sell to my customer base and wider community.
When it comes to single use disposable vapes, it is no different. While these products may seem convenient, they come with a set of concerns that cannot be ignored.
Although my view may differ from that of some of my industry peers, I have gained valuable insight after selling vaping products directly to smokers for over a decade. Based on my experience, here are some personal concerns to consider.
One of the biggest concerns is the lack of regulation in the production of these products. With no standardised testing procedures for all of the products in the market, the quality and safety of these products are not guaranteed. This is particularly worrisome as we have seen cases of contamination and harmful substances in some of these vapes.
Testing Procedures for Single-Use Products in the UK
For single-use products intended for sale in the UK, there are established testing procedures in place. Registration with the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) is necessary to ensure that safety standards are met. Thousands of these products have already been registered and are available for purchase on the open market. For more information on MRHA registered products, please click here:
However, this regulation only pertains to products that are allowed in the UK, specifically those that contain liquid up to 2ml (600 puffs) and have no more than 2% nicotine (20mg). For more information on the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), please click here:
Illegal and Unregulated: The Dangers of Exceeding Legal Limits in the UK’s Vaping Market
It’s important to note that any single-use vaping product available for purchase in the UK, whether through retail outlets or online, is illegal and unregulated if it exceeds the legal limit. This includes larger products with 3000, 5000, and 7000 puffs, as well as smaller 600-puff products that may not have undergone testing. Given this, it’s impossible to accurately estimate the number of unregistered products currently on the market.
2. Internal quality and probability of leakage
As vaping has become more popular, the quality of the products has come under scrutiny. While it is known that a lot of vaping devices and e-liquids remain untested, the quality of single-use devices themselves is also questionable. Some devices may be leak-proof and free from contamination, but how do we know that the illegal ones are manufactured to the same standards?
A typical consumer will use a disposable vaping device and discard it once it’s finished, not realising that the liquid may have been contaminated due to poor manufacturing standards. Liquid can find a way out of most containers over time, even from the most leak-proof devices. This is especially true for highly-engineered devices that are meant to be used multiple times over a longer period.
Single-use vaping products are “ready to go” and consist of separate components held together by a durable outer shell, while reusable pods or tanks are either permanently fixed or designed to remain intact as a single leakproof unit.
Single use vape
Reusable ‘open’ Pod
As a retailer, I would never advise a customer to use liquid that has been in a tank for longer than four weeks. E-liquid that is manufactured in sealed 10ml bottles is safe and ready for consumption until the seal is broken or the product passes its sell-by date. Quality vape manufacturers sell their products in air-sealed packaging to ensure the bottled e-juices or pre-filled disposable carts stay fresh longer. Exposure to air can cause oxidation, which leads to spoiling and decay of the liquids. Properly sealed e-liquid bottles or cartridges can last well over a year or more, but leaving them open for an extended period of time should be avoided.
Shipping and storage
Regarding the quality of e-liquids in disposables, I believe that the liquid inside is more prone to exposure to oxygen. This also depends on how long it takes to be consumed from the point of manufacture. Considering that it will be shipped or flown across the world and then stored at multiple locations before being bought, even the best quality tested e-liquid would have trouble maintaining its quality under these conditions.
If you have ever carried vaping products on a plane, you may be aware that during takeoff, tanks and unsealed bottles (of any liquid) may leak. This is due to the presence of air in the bottles, which is compressed at ground-level air pressure.
As the plane ascends, the air pressure inside the cabin decreases, causing the air inside the bottles to expand. If not sealed tightly enough, the liquid may leak out along with the air.
It’s important to consider the impact of temperature on vaping products during shipping. When liquid and air are heated, they can change their composition and structure. Now, imagine a metal shipping container packed with disposable vapes traveling around the world for several weeks. Even if it’s air freighted, the internal components of the disposable vape may not be in the same state as they were when they left the factory in China. For these reasons, it’s difficult for me to endorse them as a safe product for long-term smoking cessation.
3. Considering the environmental impact of Vaping Products
It is crucial to think about the overall impact that vaping products have on the environment. Beyond the obvious issue of throwing them away in landfills, there is also the problem of production and transportation. Approximately 80% of disposable vapes are made in China, with the remaining 20% coming from countries like the UK and the US. This results in significant environmental damage, as billions of these products are transported around the world via planes and freight ships.
Even reusable vaping products can be problematic. However, a well-maintained, high-quality vape can be recharged and used for up to two years, with some lasting up to five years. This means that they only need to be transported once, which greatly reduces their environmental impact.
The effects of single-use product disposal are not always clear until the waste piles up. Recycling initiatives have been implemented, but are rarely utilised. Right Vape has teamed up with The Green Wings Project, an organisation that provides vape retailers with recycling collection bins, to help reduce the amount of waste. Despite extensive marketing efforts, the public has not made much use of these bins. It’s important to remember to dispose of single-use products properly, and we will continue to promote their safe disposal.
It’s a well-known fact that approximately 1.3 million disposable vapes are being discarded in landfill or incineration facilities. Despite all of our best intentions and efforts to educate the public on recycling opportunities, it’s difficult to see how we can make a significant impact on that staggering statistic.
- nicotine strength and quality
- under age and irresponsible selling
- misleading packaging
Additionally, single use disposable vapes contribute to the growing problem of e-waste. These products are not designed for recycling and end up in landfills, polluting the environment and potentially harming wildlife.
As a responsible consumer, it is important to consider the impact of our actions on the environment and our own health. While single use disposable vapes may seem like a convenient option, the risks associated with them cannot be ignored.