Every time someone new switches from smoking to vaping, it’s a great thing for that person and everyone around them because it means that there’s one less person filling their house, car and lungs with stinky cigarette smoke. Actually making the jump from smoking to vaping, though, is sometimes easier said than done with the enormous variety of products that you’ll find at any well-stocked vape shop. On one hand, you can see that some vaping products – full-sized vape mods, for instance – probably aren’t intended for beginners.
On the other hand, though, there are also plenty of smaller and simpler vaping devices – and all of those devices are great choices for beginners. The only real challenge is figuring out which type of device will be the best choice for you. In this article, we’re going to talk about the differences between disposable vapes vs. vape pods. Disposable e-cigarettes and pod systems are both perfectly appropriate for beginners, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be equally happy with both. It’s likely that one type of device is better for your needs than the other, and we’re going to help you decide which one is right for you.
Let’s learn how vape pods vs. disposable vapes compare.
Disposable Vapes and Vape Pods Work Differently
All of the differences between vape pods and disposable vapes stem from the way in which the two devices work, so we’re going to begin by explaining the two types of vapes on a fundamental level.
So, what is a disposable vape? A disposable vape is a vaping device that’s ready to use immediately with no setup. It comes with a fully charged battery and a supply of e-liquid, so you can remove it from the package and start vaping immediately. Disposable vapes aren’t designed for refilling, though, so the e-liquid that comes with a disposable vape is all the vape juice that device will ever have. When you’ve exhausted a device’s supply of vape juice, you’ll replace the entire device.
A pod vaping system, on the other hand, is a rechargeable and refillable device that isn’t ready to use out of the box and requires a little setup. To use a pod system, you’ll need to begin by charging the battery and filling the pod with vape juice. To keep the device going, you’ll need to perform periodic maintenance by recharging the device, refilling the pod and replacing the pod or atomizer coil when the flavor quality begins to decrease.
So, although vaping is basically the same regardless of whether you’re using a disposable vape or a vape pod, the maintenance aspect of owning the two types of devices is completely different. If you’re new to vaping, you can immediately see that disposable vapes are more convenient and easier to use than pod systems – but that’s just the start. Here are some other differences that you should consider.
Disposable Vapes May Be Less Expensive for Some Vapers
One of the biggest areas in which disposable vapes have changed over the years is that they’re markedly less expensive than they used to be. In the early years of vaping, a disposable e-cigarette would often cost as much as two packs of cigarettes while lasting about half as long. The price disparity between the different types of vapes meant that disposable vapes weren’t really good for anything other than introducing yourself to vaping without committing to the price of a full vape kit.
These days, though, it’s common for a disposable vape to contain the same amount of nicotine as several packs – even as much as a carton – of cigarettes. Since a disposable vape comes with its own e-liquid and doesn’t require replacement pods or coils, using a disposable e-cigarette may actually be the least expensive way to vape depending on how often you vape and what your e-liquid flavor preferences are.
Pod Systems Are More Environmentally Friendly Where E-Waste Recycling Isn’t Available
One of the biggest problems with using disposable vapes is trying to figure out how to dispose of used devices in an environmentally sound manner. A disposable vape has components made from plastics and heavy metals, and you shouldn’t throw them away in your standard household trash because they could end up polluting groundwater. Ideally, you should bring your disposable vapes to a local recycling facility that handles lithium-ion batteries. If you don’t have an e-waste facility where you live, it’s likely that using a pod system is the more environmentally sustainable option.
Pod Systems Give You More Flavor Options
One of the best things about disposable vapes is that they’re available in a huge variety of different flavors these days. That wasn’t true in the early days of vaping. In those days, most disposable vapes were available in tobacco and menthol flavors – and that was it. If you wanted to enjoy different flavors, you’d have to buy a refillable device.
These days, the scales have begun to tip ever so slightly in the other direction. Because disposable vapes are so popular, the manufacturers have a strong incentive to make them available in as many different flavors as possible – and thanks to new automated production methods, it’s possible for the manufacturers to make them available in many different flavors without increasing the prices. These days, the world’s most popular e-liquid makers have even begun to get in on the action by licensing their flavors to the manufacturers of disposable vaping devices. While there were once only two types of disposable vapes on the market, there are now dozens.
With that being said, there’s still no way that disposable vapes could ever compete with the full extent of the flavor variety that you’ll enjoy when you buy bottled vape juice. There might be dozens of different disposable vapes, but there are hundreds of bottled e-liquids. If you want to experience the full range of flavor that’s available in the world of vaping, you need to buy a refillable device.
A Vape Pod Makes It Easier to Control Your Nicotine Intake
When you think about it, disposable vapes aren’t really competing with other types of vaping devices – they’re competing with tobacco cigarettes. With that in mind, disposable vapes are generally available in just one nicotine strength: 5 percent or 5 mg/ml. At that strength, a disposable vape delivers about the same nicotine per puff as a tobacco cigarette – and that makes switching to vaping as easy as it can possibly be.
Once you’ve switched to vaping, though, you might want to start reducing your nicotine intake – and if you’re using disposable vapes, you won’t have many options in that area. A few disposable vapes – but not many – are available in a reduced strength of 2.5 percent or 25 mg/ml. It’s a pretty big jump to go from 50 mg/ml to 25 mg/ml, though – and if you want to go even lower than that, you won’t have any options and will need to switch to a refillable device.
Starting out with a refillable pod system, on the other hand, gives you full control over your nicotine intake right from the beginning. Maybe the ideal nicotine strength for you isn’t 50 mg/ml or 25 mg/ml – maybe it’s somewhere in between. After you’ve switched fully to vaping, maybe you’d like to reduce your nicotine intake to something even lower than 25 mg/ml. You can do all of those things with a pod system.
If you just want to switch to vaping, using disposable vapes is probably the easiest option. If you want to switch to vaping while simultaneously cutting your nicotine consumption, though, a refillable device will probably make you happier in the long run.
Using a Disposable Vape Doesn’t Tie You to One Hardware Brand
One of the things you’ll learn as you gain vaping experience is that the various pieces of hardware can differ from one another in subtle ways. A mesh coil disposable vape might produce bigger clouds, for instance, while a disposable e-cigarette with a standard coil may last a bit longer due to the slightly lower cloud production. The only way to really learn those subtle differences is through experience.
One of the problems with buying a refillable pod vaping system is that there are only so many different types of experiences you can have with that one device. A pod system might have a few different pods or coils available to add variety, but the variety of different replacement components represents the full range of what you can do with the device. If you want to experience what it’s like to use another company’s products, you’ll have to buy an entirely new device made by that company.
When you buy disposable vapes, on the other hand, you’re not tying yourself to any single brand’s products. When one device runs out of e-liquid, you’re free to buy a different type of disposable vape from another company. That allows you to experience the full breadth of vaping technologies without being locked into one brand or ecosystem.