December 17, 2021 8 min read
Peel away the cellophane. Open the box. Remove the vape pen and pop out a pair of silicone stoppers found on each end. Hold the tapered mouthpiece of the vape pen to your mouth and inhale.
This is all it takes for an adult of legal smoking age to enjoy the flavor and performance of a draw-activated disposable vape. Pre-filled with delicious e-juice and ready to use with a precharged battery, there is nary a button in sight.
You do not need to purchase prefilled vape pods or squeeze bottled juices into small fill ports. A vape mod style navigable menu with wattage settings and other controls is nowhere to be found.
Don't feel like priming coils or getting e-juice on your fingers while swapping one out? Not a problem.
You can start using a disposable the second it is unwrapped. For adult traditional nicotine users, it represents less labor than applying a lighter to a traditional nicotine form.
In the parlance of the FDA, disposable vapes are an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDs) stripped to its most basic elements. A disposable vape pen consists of a pre-charged battery, a heating element or atomizer that creates vapor, a draw activation mechanism that is triggered by inhalation on the mouthpiece, and a cotton polyfill soaked with e-liquid.
Disposables vary greatly in size, form factor and e-liquid capacity. The original disposable e-cigarettes from a decade ago were meant to resemble combustible cigarettes and were available in only tobacco flavors. Much has changed since these small cigalikes dominated brick and mortar vape sales.
A study conducted by Dr. Farsalino illustrates the what is always biggest driver of change in modern society: Consumer preference.
He demonstrated definitively that most adult vapers greatly prefer to purchase vaping products with "characterizing" flavors inspired by fruits, desserts, and beverages. Simulated tobacco cigar and cigarette flavor notes simply are not as popular with adult vapers.
No one should really be surprised that delicious flavors are more popular than fake tobacco flavors with former traditional nicotine users. Not that tobacco e-juices haven’t improved tremendously in the last few years, but you may note that there aren’t a ton of ash and tobacco flavored products in the liquor aisle either.
The lack of popular characterizing flavors and the limitations of freebase nic caused the first wave of disposable cigalikes to fade into obscurity. Starting in 2015 and picking up speed in 2018, a new generation of pre-filled and pre-charged, one-time use vape pens emerged.
Delicious salt nic juice flavors made the modern disposable vape possible and popular. The Puff Bar from Puff Labs, Posh Vapes, Oro Bars, Esco Bars and the original Cali Bar are all examples of the stick or bar style disposable that took the vape world by storm.
The early nic salt disposable designs held 1.3ml, which is about twice the capacity of a Juul pod. They also use the same style of salt nic juices found in prefilled pods to provide similar levels of satisfaction. Despite being disposable in nature, they are generally much better price performers than prefilled pods, thanks to their greater e-liquid capacity per unit.
And after January 2020, only disposables remained available in the flavors that adult vapers overwhelmingly prefer. A federal ban on prefilled pod flavors barred Vuse, Juul, MyBlu, and NJoy’s most popular products.
It is thanks to high strength salt nicotine that modern disposables are so capable of providing satisfaction and great flavor.
In a nutshell, nic salts are created by adding benzoic acid to regular nicotine. This nicotine can be of tobacco or non-tobacco origin. The resulting nic salts, a molecular term that has nothing to do with granular table salt, have a much lower pH level and cross the blood brain barrier more easily.
A lower pH means that more nicotine can be added into a given ejuice without making it too harsh for a normal human to endure, let alone enjoy. High nic strengths allow what would have previously been an underpowered e-cig to provide satisfying performance.
A Juul or a disposable vape lack power to generate the larger vapor clouds that lower nicotine vapers seek. In fact, it is the odorless and discrete performance of disposable vapes and vape pods that make them useful for adults vaping on the go. In terms of flavor quality, disposable vapes are outstanding.
Smaller puffs, a big part of the disposable and vape pod experience, require less wattage. Less wattage and higher resistance atomizers allow for the use of smaller batteries. This opens the door for compact disposable vapes that still have a high enough puff count to last for a day or more. Sometimes much more.
Today, there are dozens of longer lasting disposables on the market. They may generate a bit more vapor than the stick disposables but mostly they are designed to last longer. Puff counts may get a bit inflated but there is no disputing e-liquid capacity and battery power.
Looking at mAh power of a battery and juice capacity, measured in milliliters, is the most reliable way to judge longevity.
Cylindrical designs are extremely popular, as it is a logical shape for an e-cigarette and easy to manufacture. No longer just a device that lasts a single day, there are disposable vapes that hold 8ml or more of e-liquid. The popular Hyde Disposable even offers a rechargeable model, which ensures that the battery does not give up the ghost before the e-liquid has been vaporized.
Disposables may be a one-time use design, but they are capable of competing head to head with prefilled and refillable pod systems in terms of flavor and satisfaction.
Unlike pre-filled pod systems, which due to a federal ban on pre-filled pod flavors are now only available in tobacco flavors, disposable pens are still sold in the sweeter flavor profiles that most adult vapers prefer.
Unfortunately, there are regressive flavor bans at the local and state levels that deny many adults vapers access to these characterizing flavors. Not surprisingly, Big Tobacco and their e-cigarette subsidiaries dominate the market for tobacco flavored vape products and benefit greatly from these laws.
Disposable vapes are wildly popular with adult vapers because they are available in the best flavors. Using nic salts, most disposable vape pens use a blend of 50 percent vegetable glycerin and 50 percent propylene glycol to create a perfect balance of vapor and flavor. A nicotine strength of 50mg is the current industry standard.
If you use a disposable pen, you have probably noticed there are several legendary flavors that just about every manufacturer has a version of. You can't shop for long without stumbling across one of these favorites. This does not mean there are no other options. From
Pina Colada to decadent desserts, an adult who vapes disposables does not lack for options. Here is our list of the best disposable vape flavors.
The pairing of strawberry and banana is a natural one in a salt nic. Both are very easily distinguished and popular fruit flavors. Artificially flavored strawberry and banana inspired consumables can be found in every food aisle in the grocery store. Neither is too cloying, and the flavor notes are complimentary.
Strawberry is sweet but contains plenty of tart notes. Banana is creamy and bold. It is no surprise that strawberry and banana are one of the most popular pairings in disposable vape pens.
The personal favorite flavor of the author, strawberry ice is an extraordinarily delicious and popular flavor in both disposable vape pens and bottled salt nic juices. Strawberry is a sweet but is also rich is tart notes. The best versions have an indescribable ripeness which is balanced and enhanced with the addition of cooling menthol ice.
If you enjoy a nic salt e-liquids in any form, chances are you have sampled a few of the many outstanding fruit and menthol pairings that dominate the market. Strawberry Ice is an exemplary example of a flavor concept that simply works.
The most popular flavor in the history of salt nic vaping, and maybe vaping, is the mighty mint. Herbaceous and chilly, it has a mild and refreshing flavor that never tires the taste buds. It has enough sweetness to keep your palate interested and a level of crispness that is extremely refreshing.
Countless fruit and menthol nic salts rely on the solid foundation of mint. As a standalone flavor, it is the undisputed heavyweight champ. Imagine if gum never lost its flavor, with balanced spearmint flavors that lasted all-day. That is the appeal of Cool Mint in a nutshell.
What in the heck is a lychee? It is not a flavor most Americans are familiar with. But it is well-known among adult vapers. Competing with staples such as a strawberry, banana, or even mango, lychee is a tropical fruit flavor par excellence. Lychee shares some similarities with a great mango eliquid, the rich tropical notes are cut from the same cloth.
Lychee almost has a delicious wine like flavor that must be experienced to be understood. There are plenty of chances to try this flavor as lychee is an incredibly popular ejuice flavor, specifically when paired with cooling menthol ice in a salt nic.
One of the most popular flavors for disposables is blue raspberry ice. Referred to as blu razz ice by some manufacturers, everyone has tried their hand at making this flavor. And most have succeeded. Sweet blue raspberry is a great flavor on its own.
There is no shortage of blue razz juices without the ice. But the addition of the iced finish is what turns blue raspberry into a tremendous all-day vape. This is the ultimate nostalgic flavor, managing to bundle the flavors of fruit, menthol, and a 1980s summer jaunt into each puff.
While mango without ice was initially the more popular form by far, Mango Ice is now the primary version of this flavor and is offered in most disposable e-cigarettes. Mango is not too sweet and packs in dank elements that add tremendous depth.
If you have vaped mango, you know the flavor immediately. It is exactly the style of juice that adult vapers prefer. There are a lot of versions of mango, ranging from dense fruit to sweet confectionary.
The creaminess and sweetness of banana makes it a perfect match for strawberry. Yet these same elements can stand on their own as well. The perfected form of banana vape juice might be banana ice. The chilly menthol cuts through the intense sweetness. Elevated and delightful, banana ice rarely wears out its welcome.
The combination of watermelon, menthol and raspberry has been dubbed Lush Ice by the vaping community. Watermelon is airy and light. The best versions do not have a perfumed flavor. The tart bite of raspberry cuts through the sweetness of watermelon. Menthol finishes the job by flattening out the peaky sweetness of delicious watermelon.
Some manufactures call their version Watermelon Ice, Iced Melons, Iced Watermelon, Melon Berry Ice, etc. They are all versions of the classic Lush Ice flavor.
Another tropical flavor, pineapple is considerably sweeter than mango or lychee. It is also a more easily identified flavor and delicious enough to stand on its own. But it is a sweet flavor, and the addition of menthol is a huge bonus. Often paired with coconut or other tropical flavors, pineapple is a versatile salt nic juice.
Nectary, sweet and refreshing peach flavors are perfectly suited for a vape juice. Like pineapple, it is a fruit that can trend a bit too sweet for some. This is where the blast of icy mint steps in and balances out an already great flavor. There is no need to dedicate too many flavors to peach. You probably know what it tastes like, and it is obvious why that translates so well to a vape juice.
If not for the relentless war against the flavors that adult vapers prefer, tobacco would almost certainly not make this list. But it is
worth noting that tobacco ejuice flavors have advanced greatly since the days of RY4 and cigalikes. No longer are "throat hit" and "chest burn" foisted on customers as a feature rather than a bug.
Instead, the notes of combustible cigarettes are quite accurately recreated. It turns out tobacco isn’t a bad vape flavor so much as there were bad tobacco vape flavors. Flue-cured and sweet tobacco notes are extremely popular, but heartier, earthier, and more robust tobacco nic salt flavors are available as well.
While still not the top choice for most vapers, a tobacco disposable is a viable option and far removed from the abysmal gas station cigalikes from a decade ago.
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