Understanding the Ingredients in Disposable Vapes

Disposable vapes have become popular as a convenient and potentially less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. These handy devices produce flavoured vapour for users to inhale. To grasp their safety and impact on health, it's crucial to examine the ingredients within disposable vapes. In this article, we will delve into the different ingredients.

The e-liquid consists of 2-3 main ingredients: Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), and Nicotine if contained. Additionally, there can be a number of other flavourings which make up the taste, such as tobacco or menthol flavour. Let's delve deeper into what these ingredients are:

Propylene Glycol (PG)

PG is a common base ingredient in e-liquids. Propylene Glycol (PG) is a colourless, odourless liquid that serves various purposes across different industries. Its versatility and safety profile have made it a popular choice for numerous applications:

  1. Food Industry: PG is classified as "generally recognised as safe" (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It's commonly used as a food additive, preservative, and flavour carrier in a wide range of products, including baked goods, beverages, and dairy items. Its ability to retain moisture and prevent spoilage makes it valuable in food processing. 
  2. Pharmaceutical Industry: PG plays a crucial role in the pharmaceutical sector as a carrier for oral and injectable drugs. It enhances the solubility and bioavailability of certain medications, ensuring more effective delivery to the body. 
  3. Cosmetics and Personal Care: PG is a key ingredient in various cosmetics, skincare products, and toiletries. It helps maintain product consistency, keeps formulations stable, and acts as a humectant, attracting moisture to the skin and hair. 
  4. Medical and Healthcare: In medical and healthcare settings, PG is used in a variety of applications. It can be found in inhalers, where it helps deliver medication as an aerosol. PG is also used in topical creams and ointments for its skin-conditioning properties. 
  5. Industrial Uses: Beyond its roles in food, pharmaceuticals, and personal care, PG has industrial applications as well. It is utilised in antifreeze and de-icing solutions due to its ability to lower the freezing point of water. PG's low toxicity makes it a safer choice compared to other antifreeze compounds. 
  6. E-Liquids: In the context of vaping, PG is employed as one of the base liquids in e-liquids or vape juices. Its properties, such as its ability to carry flavour effectively and produce a throat hit similar to smoking, make it a common component in e-cigarette products. 

Safety Considerations: While PG is generally recognised as safe for consumption and has a long history of use in various products, its safety as an inhalable aerosol (as in vaping) is an ongoing subject of research and discussion. Some individuals may experience mild throat or respiratory irritation when exposed to PG aerosols. As such, it's essential for vapers to be aware of potential sensitivities and preferences when selecting e-liquids.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

Vegetable Glycerin (VG), also known as glycerol, is a natural and odourless liquid derived from plant oils, typically palm, soy, or coconut oil. Its versatility and safety have made it a valuable ingredient across various industries:

  1. Food Industry: VG holds the status of being generally recognised as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is widely used in the food industry as a food additive and sweetener. VG enhances the texture and moisture retention in food products and is commonly found in baked goods, confectionery, dairy products, and beverages. 
  2. Pharmaceuticals: VG has pharmaceutical applications, primarily as a solvent and sweetening agent for oral medications, syrups, and cough drops. It can mask the bitter taste of certain drugs, making them more palatable for patients. 
  3. Personal Care and Cosmetics: VG is a key ingredient in personal care and cosmetic products. Its humectant properties help moisturise and hydrate the skin and hair. You'll find it in lotions, creams, shampoos, and soaps. 
  4. Healthcare: In the healthcare sector, VG is used in various medical and dental products. It's found in toothpaste, as it helps maintain product consistency and acts as a sweetening agent. VG is also used in some medicinal lozenges and oral care products. 
  5. E-Liquids: VG plays a critical role in e-liquids or vape juices. It is one of the primary base liquids used in vaping products. VG's thick consistency contributes to vapour production, resulting in plumes of vapour when heated. Vapers often prefer high VG content for its smooth and voluminous clouds. 
  6. Other Industries: Beyond the aforementioned applications, VG is employed in diverse industries. It can be used as a lubricant, solvent, and as an ingredient in some non-food products like antifreeze and various chemical formulations. 

Safety Considerations: VG is generally considered safe for consumption and topical use. However, like PG, its safety when inhaled as an aerosol (in vaping) is an ongoing subject of research and debate. Some users may find that high VG e-liquids contribute to a smoother vaping experience, while others may prefer a different VG-to-PG ratio.


Disposable vapes come in a wide range of flavours, from fruit and dessert to menthol and tobacco. Flavourings are often food-grade and designed for inhalation. However, the long-term effects of inhaling certain flavouring compounds require further research.

Menthol and Mint:

Menthol and mint flavours offer a cooling and refreshing sensation when vaped. They are often chosen by those who enjoy a crisp and invigorating taste, reminiscent of menthol cigarettes. They often include:

  1. Menthol: Menthol is a naturally occurring compound found in mint plants like peppermint and spearmint. It's responsible for the cooling sensation associated with menthol and mint flavours. 
  2. Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is derived from peppermint leaves and contributes to the distinctive minty flavour. It enhances the overall freshness of the flavour. 
  3. Spearmint Oil: Spearmint oil, obtained from spearmint leaves, provides a slightly different minty flavour compared to peppermint. It's often used in combination with peppermint for a well-balanced taste. 
  4. Natural and Artificial Flavourings: Additional natural and artificial flavourings are used to refine and enhance the overall menthol and mint profile. These may include compounds that mimic the taste and aroma of mint leaves. 
  5. Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) 
  6. Sweeteners: Some menthol and mint e-liquids may contain sweeteners to balance the coolness with a touch of sweetness. Sweeteners can enhance the overall taste and mouthfeel of the flavour. 
  7. Cooling Agents: To intensify the cooling sensation, certain e-liquids may include cooling agents like WS-3 or WS-23. These agents provide an icy or frosty feeling when inhaled. Diluents and 
  8. Solvents: Diluents and solvents are used to adjust the viscosity and consistency of the e-liquid. They ensure that the flavourings mix evenly and are suitable for vaping.

Tobacco Varieties

Tobacco-flavoured e-liquids are crafted to replicate the taste of traditional tobacco without the harmful combustion associated with smoking. These flavours are meticulously formulated using a blend of natural and artificial compounds to achieve an authentic tobacco experience. While formulations may differ, here are common ingredients found in tobacco-flavoured e-liquids:

  1. Tobacco Extracts or Flavorings: Natural or artificial tobacco flavourings are the primary ingredients. These flavourings aim to mimic the taste of various tobacco types, such as Virginia, Burley, or Oriental, depending on the desired profile. 
  2. Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable 
  3. Glycerin (VG) Natural Extracts: Some manufacturers use natural extracts from tobacco leaves to enhance the authenticity of the flavour. These extracts can capture the nuanced flavours and aromas associated with different tobacco varieties. 
  4. Sweeteners: Tobacco e-liquids may contain sweeteners to balance the potentially bitter or harsh notes of tobacco. Sweeteners can provide a smoother and more enjoyable vaping experience. 
  5. Diluents and Solvents: Diluents and solvents are used to adjust the viscosity and consistency of the e-liquid. They ensure that the flavourings mix evenly and are suitable for vaping. 
  6. Additional Flavor Notes: To create a multi-dimensional tobacco flavour, additional notes such as nutty, smoky, or earthy undertones may be added. These notes enhance the complexity of the e-liquid's profile. 
  7. Ethyl Alcohol: In some cases, ethyl alcohol is used to extract and carry certain flavour compounds. It can also help in blending and homogenising the e-liquid. 


Nicotine is a central component in many disposable vape products, and its presence plays a significant role in shaping the vaping experience. Here's an overview of nicotine in disposable vapes:

  1. Nicotine as a Key Component: Nicotine is a naturally occurring alkaloid found in tobacco plants. It is renowned for its stimulating and addictive properties. In disposable vapes, nicotine is often used as a principal ingredient to mimic the sensation of smoking traditional cigarettes. 
  2. Nicotine Concentrations: Disposable vapes come in a range of nicotine concentrations, typically measured in milligrams per millilitre (mg/ml) or as a percentage of the e-liquid. Common concentrations include 0 mg/ml (nicotine-free), 12 mg/ml, and 20 mg/ml, among others. Users can choose the concentration that aligns with their nicotine preferences. 
  3. Vaping as a Smoking Alternative: Many individuals turn to disposable vapes as a smoking alternative or cessation tool. They provide a way for smokers to satisfy their nicotine cravings while avoiding the harmful effects of combustion and tobacco smoke. 
  4. Customising Nicotine Intake: Disposable vapes offer users the ability to customise their nicotine intake. By selecting e-liquids with different nicotine concentrations, users can gradually reduce their nicotine consumption if their goal is to quit smoking or control nicotine addiction. 
  5. Harm Reduction: Some public health experts view vaping, including disposable vapes, as a harm reduction strategy for smokers. It is believed that switching from smoking to vaping can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. 
  6. Nicotine Addiction: It's crucial to recognise that nicotine is an addictive substance, and using disposable vapes with nicotine can lead to nicotine dependence. Users who have never smoked or who are not trying to quit smoking are encouraged to avoid nicotine-containing vape products. 
  7. Safety and Regulation: The safety of nicotine-containing e-liquids is a topic of ongoing research and regulation. Governments and health authorities are working to establish safety standards, labelling requirements, and age restrictions for nicotine-containing vaping products. 
  8. Responsible Use: Users of disposable vapes with nicotine should employ them responsibly, especially when it comes to preventing access by minors. Proper storage, adherence to age restrictions, and education about the potential risks and benefits of nicotine use are essential aspects of responsible vaping. 

In conclusion, nicotine plays a central role in disposable vapes, offering users the option to tailor their vaping experience to their nicotine preferences. While vaping can serve as a harm reduction tool for smokers, it's important to use nicotine-containing products responsibly and in accordance with local laws and regulations. Individuals who do not smoke or are not attempting to quit smoking should carefully consider the potential risks associated with nicotine use.


Water is used to dilute and adjust the viscosity of e-liquids. It plays a role in vapour production and helps create a balanced vaping experience.

Other Additives

Some e-liquids may contain additional additives, such as sweeteners or stabilisers, to enhance flavour or extend shelf life. These additives are generally recognised as safe for ingestion but may have different effects when inhaled.

It's crucial to note that while many of these ingredients are considered safe for consumption, inhaling them into the lungs may have different implications. Research on the long-term health effects of vaping is ongoing, and there is still much to learn.

The safety of disposable vapes largely depends on the quality of ingredients and manufacturing processes. Reputable brands prioritise transparency and use high-quality components. Users should exercise caution, avoid using disposable vapes if they have never smoked, and consult healthcare professionals for guidance on their vaping choices.

You can check out our full selection of disposable vapes.