Disposable devices are a thorny subject. From a user’s point of view, they are useful as a secondary vaporizer in case your preferred device runs out of battery or is lost. They are definitely a lifesaver when it comes to being stuck away from home without a device and because they are available in all manner of shops – petrol stations, supermarkets etc – the disposables can be obtained even in areas where there are no actual vape shops.
So what’s the problem with them? Environmentally speaking, they are an absolute disaster. How do you navigate recycling a product encased in plastic which also contains metals, cotton and a battery? Which recycling bin does it go in?
On top of that, they are expensive when compared to using a refillable device and so it’s hard to imagine using disposable devices only in the long term.
However, that is exactly what we are seeing with some ex smokers because the disposable flavour bars are still cheaper than cigarettes and are so simple to use.
Issues have also been raised with the ease that minors can purchase them. They are cheap enough to be bought with pocket money and so easy to use that they have become quite popular with the underaged. You can see them littered almost everywhere now.
The IVVA , Ireland’s main vape association, has asked the Oireachtas to ban them and we can certainly see why. We can also see why they are popular. Here, at ROV, we refused to sell them until it became apparent that to compete with other vendors, we simply had to.
Now that we have them on the premises we find ourselves using them as backups and sometimes as a second device just for a flavour change here and there.
The end of vape shops could be nigh if these devices become even more popular.
You don’t need informed staff to show you how to switch the disposable on, how to fill it, how to change the coil or the settings. You also don’t need experienced staff to help you troubleshoot any malfunctions or issues you have with the device.
It’s possible that these ever more popular products could become the main vape product on the market. Then you could end up with a small range of brands in every convenience store, local shop, supermarket and petrol station, similar to tobacco cigarettes.
There are around 40 brands of cigarettes sold in Ireland, but you wouldn’t need 40 e-liquid brands next to them to provide an acceptable range for vapers as each brand of disposable has multiple flavours. It’s possible that just 2 or 3 disposable flavour bar brands would be enough.
Harriet Beecher Stowe said “human nature is above all things lazy”. If that’s the case; then these super easy to use and widely available devices could be the future. What that means for the future of the vape industry is unclear, it does seem that e-cigarettes have come full circle and perhaps this is the end of the revolution.