I think it’s likely that a lot of new and potential e-smokers start off by buying disposable e-cigarettes, or at least think about doing so. It makes sense; most companies charge less for their disposable e-cigarettes than they do for their full starter kits and you can’t know for sure whether you like e-cigarettes until you’ve tried one. I’m not certain whether a disposable is the best e-cigarette for everyone, though, so I’d like to present some of the pros and cons of disposable e-cigarettes here and let you decide for yourself.
Disposable E-Cigarettes: How They Work
A disposable e-cigarette is usually a fair bit longer than a real cigarette — usually around 125 mm or so. Although you can buy disposable e-cigarettes online — I’ll share a few of the best deals below — a lot of people think about buying them at their local convenience stores for a few dollars more because of the instant gratification factor. A disposable e-cigarette contains a filled nicotine cartridge — usually in tobacco or menthol — and a pre-charged battery.
As soon as you remove it from the package, you can begin using it by puffing if it’s an automatic e-cigarette or holding down the button and puffing if it’s a manual e-cigarette. If a disposable e-cigarette has a button, you’ll be able to see it on the side of the battery.
Disposable e-cigarettes usually contain roughly the nicotine equivalent of two packs of real cigarettes, so you can usually expect to puff on one for at least a couple of days before the nicotine runs out or the battery dies. When that happens, don’t attempt to recharge the battery; just throw the whole thing away or recycle it.
Benefits of Disposable E-Cigarettes
Depending on the tobacco taxes in your area, disposable e-cigarettes can be pretty good deals compared to the two packs of real cigarettes they replace. They’re great impulse buys at around $10-12 and they come charged and ready to use. They’re fairly long-lasting and tend to work very well. Most importantly, they give potential new e-smokers the ability to try e-cigarettes before they commit to a more expensive starter kit.
Drawbacks of Disposable E-Cigarettes
The biggest drawback of disposable e-cigarettes is the cost. They aren’t much cheaper than real cigarettes — in some areas, they aren’t cheaper at all — and you have to throw the whole thing away when you’re done. It can be a great idea to buy a disposable e-cigarette once to see if you enjoy e-smoking, but you wouldn’t want to make a long-term habit of it unless you’re a social smoker or willing to buy in bulk because you won’t be able to enjoy the long-term cost savings e-cigarettes can provide.
Compare disposable e-cigarettes to an alternative such as the Halo G6. This kit costs only $44.99 and includes two rechargeable batteries and five cartridges filled with USA-made liquids. With a full e-cigarette kit, you can replenish your nicotine supply by spending around $10-12 for a pack of five cartridges instead of buying single disposable e-cigarettes over and over. The low cost of entry-level starter kits makes it a little difficult to recommend buying disposable e-cigarettes to people who are certain they’re ready to switch to e-smoking.
Who Should Buy a Disposable E-Cigarette?
As I mentioned above, disposable e-cigarettes aren’t always great buys because you can find real e-cigarette starter kits with components you can actually keep for less than what you’d spend on a single disposable. Suppose, though, that you’ve decided you aren’t interested in one of these lower-cost starter kits and only want something with all the bells and whistles like the kit I describe in my article about the best e-cigarette for beginners. In this case, it definitely makes sense to buy a disposable e-cigarette first to make sure that you’re going to be happy with the full e-cigarette kit.
Or, suppose you aren’t actually interested in switching to e-cigarettes or aren’t a full-time smoker at all. Maybe you’re getting ready to travel and don’t want to worry about the rules against smoking in rental cars and hotel rooms. Maybe your office allows e-cigarettes and you’d like to “smoke” at your desk instead of going outside for smoke breaks. Maybe you only smoke socially and want something that you can take to the bar or club and won’t leave you smelling like smoke. These are all great reasons for buying disposable e-cigarettes.
Best Disposable E-Cigarettes
If you want to buy a disposable e-cigarette, you certainly shouldn’t get a bad one. Having tried a great many of them myself, these are my recommendations for the best disposable e-cigarettes currently on the market.
White Cloud Fling Disposable E-Cigarette ($2.96 each or $22.46 for ten): I think it would be hard to find a better value anywhere than this one. At just under $3.00 each, the White Cloud Fling Mini is clearly the best disposable e-cigarette on the market if you’re looking for a great value. White Cloud is using the new model of disposable e-cigarette that’s all the rage right now — it’s as small and light as a real cigarette and has a soft tip that feels a bit like a cigarette filter. I really enjoy the flavor selection as well — try “Bora Bora” if you’re looking for a tasty tobacco flavor.
Krave King Disposable E-Cigarette ($6.95): The Krave King disposable e-cigarette uses the same soft tip design that many e-cigarette companies are now using, which means it has a size and mouth feel similar to that of a real cigarette. This also means that it has a liquid capacity equal to about one pack of cigarettes rather than two, and the Krave disposable e-cigarette has a lower price to reflect this. It’s available in Tobacco and Menthol as well as Cherry, Apple, Vanilla, Chocolate and Grape flavors. As of May 2014, Krave is giving away a free t-shirt with any purchase of a flavored Krave King disposable e-cigarette.
V2 Disposable E-Cigarette ($26.95 for pack of five with coupon code vapegrl): The V2 disposable e-cigarette is available in tobacco and menthol flavors and has a nicotine strength of 18 mg. While it costs a bit more per unit than some of the other disposable e-cigarettes mentioned in this article, it also has a larger e-liquid capacity — each pack of five e-cigarettes is equivalent to roughly a carton of tobacco cigarettes. Better prices are available if you’re willing to buy in bulk, and if you’re looking for some interesting new flavors you can also try V2′s new Zig-Zag brand, released in partnership with the well-known tobacco company.
NJOY King Disposable E-Cigarette ($8.99 each or $29.95 for five): After a massive media blitz in 2012, NJOY released the King disposable e-cigarette in early 2013 to mixed reviews. On one hand, the King performed exactly as people hoped; it was soft at the tip, light enough to hang from the lips and had excellent flavor. On the other hand, its liquid capacity was significantly lower than that of other disposable e-cigarettes and its price was about the same. Companies such as Krave and White Cloud, listed above, quickly released similar designs at much lower price points. If you’re set on using disposable e-cigarettes and happen not to like the other offerings listed above, you might consider trying the NJOY King. For me, though, the high price point is a real deal breaker.
Cigavette Cuvana Disposable E-Cigar ($29.95): Who says that a disposable e-cigarette needs to mimic a real cigarette? The Cuvana disposable e-cigar might cost a bit more, but thanks to its massive capacity it can last for well over 1,000 puffs before it begins to lose its flavor. When I’m in the mood for something a little different, I quite like the flavor of the Cuvana.
Blu Disposable E-Cigarette ($39.95 for pack of four): I’m admittedly not a huge Blu fan, but I have to mention their disposable e-cigarette because it’s one of the few on the market with e-liquid made in the United States — nearly everything else uses e-liquid made in China. Also, if you have any sensitivity to propylene glycol, Blu is the only company that makes a disposable e-cigarette using only vegetable glycerin as its e-liquid base. The Blu disposable e-cigarette is automatic and works without a button.
Green Smoke Disposable E-Cigarette ($56.97 for pack of six with coupon code disc5-22269): I’m not crazy about the price of the “Vapors,” as Green Smoke calls its disposable e-cigarette, but I feel I should mention it because the Absolute Tobacco is the one of the better tobacco flavors I’ve tasted in a disposable e-cigarette. Long ago, many vendors gave up on the idea of charging $10 each for disposable e-cigarettes, but Green Smoke still holds on.
Page updated, May 2014: Found some interesting new disposable e-cigarettes and updated list to reflect latest models and prices.