Vaporizing, no matter what you vaporize, carries risks. Starting to use e-cigarettes or switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes increases your risk of catastrophic health consequences. According to the American Cancer Society, it’s best to ban both vaporizing and smoking completely.
The health effects of vaporizing are still being researched, and it may take some time before we understand the long-term dangers. We already know the results of vaporizing liquids with and without nicotine, and vaporizing marijuana or CBD oil.
It’s no secret that 2021 is the year of the disposable steamer! Even those who don’t vape have undoubtedly noticed the sudden influx of these super-compact disposable vapor devices onto shelves across the country. From corner stores to specialized vape stores, retailers in the UK have responded to the newfound demand for disposable devices, a category of vape devices that was previously relatively unknown.
You may have already tried these devices, and if not, you may be tempted to give them a try. This is not surprising given their popularity – if everyone is vaping them, they must be good, right?
The reality is that while the vast majority of disposable vaporizers available do no immediate harm, they are not free of flaws either. That’s why it’s even more important that you equip yourself with the knowledge you need to make sure you’re not only making the best choice on your vaping journey, but the safest one as well.
What are disposable vaporizers?
Simply put, a disposable vaporizer is most comparable to a pod device like the LiQuid Air. These are super lightweight, super compact devices that are ideal for those who travel light in the evenings or lead an active lifestyle that involves regular travel or commuting.
The difference, however, is that not only is the pod discarded (with the exception of pod systems that are refillable), but the entire e-cigarette, as the name suggests, is discarded once the e-liquid or battery is empty.
They work quite similarly to cartridges or “cigar-like” vapes. The e-liquid is sucked into a chamber filled with cotton, rather than floating freely in a tank. This e-liquid is then heated by a small ceramic coil, which usually has a higher resistance than most 50-50 devices (about 2.0 ohms as opposed to about 1.5 ohms).
The devices are almost always activated by draw, meaning they are only activated when you inhale through them, similar to cartomizers. They do not have buttons or customizable controls, the only output is a small light that illuminates when the device is in use. They cannot be recharged, and while there are several models to choose from, most disposable brands have opted for sleek, colorful plastic cases. The color usually represents the flavor, although some product information such as flavor and nicotine strength is also stamped on the device.
The e-liquid in a disposable cigarette is almost always a 50-50 20mg nic-salt e-liquid, meaning it delivers a very high nicotine content, but is typically very soft due to the use of salt instead of freebase nicotine.
Are Disposable vapes safe?
While most of the single-use products you find on the shelves are manufactured to set standards and registered under TPD regulations, the high demand has kept consumers from taking risks.
In fact, there have been a number of instances where illegally imported disposable vaporizers have reached consumers in various countries. While these non-compliant versions look the same on the outside as their regulated counterparts, many contain banned ingredients in their flavors and can have nicotine levels of up to 50 mg, which is 30 mg above the legal sales limit of 20 mg for nicotine-containing products in the United Kingdom, Better Retailing reports.
In addition to the illegal nicotine content, these imported specimens often lack important health warnings required by law. These devices have entered the market because rogue suppliers approach retailers during periods of high demand, offering one-off supplies of new and “exciting” varieties of leading brands, often at discounted prices.
The link between certain leading disposable brands, illegally imported non-compliant varieties and a recent spate of posts on social media has not yet been confirmed, but investigations are ongoing. In the process, users reported nose and throat bleeds, as well as coughing – all allegedly while using disposable vaporizers.
Retailers are advised to only buy from registered, responsible retailers to prevent these products from harming consumers, but until your safety is assured, buyers should be cautious.
Don’t be afraid to approach a retailer if a product appears to be non-compliant. The retailer may not even know what they are selling, especially if they are not regular distributors of vaping products and have limited knowledge of the industry and its regulations.
Ultimately, while disposable vaporizers seem like a fun and convenient solution for situations where a regular e-cigarette is out of the question, you always have to consider the risks mentioned above and balance them with your own needs.
This is not to say that disposable products should be banned, but the industry can do more to combat their environmental impact and control their sale to protect consumers. Until then, it’s up to consumers themselves to be responsible with their purchase and use of single-use products, and to do everything in their power to ensure they are disposed of properly and safely.
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