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Do Vapes Expire?

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Suppose you have an old disposable vape pen that you’ve just found in the back of a drawer. You’re not entirely sure how long it’s been there, but you’re certain that it’s been quite a while. Can you still use it? Do vapes expire?

The short answer to the question of whether disposable vapes expire is “yes” – all e-liquid is meant to be used within about a year of its manufacturing date. As to whether you can still use your old disposable vape, the answer is “maybe.”

If a disposable vape is more than a year old, it’s definitely safe to assume that your experience won’t be as good as it would have been when the device was new. That’s because e-liquid changes over time – something we’ll describe in greater detail shortly – and eventually becomes less pleasant to use. That’s why almost every product that contains vape juice – whether it’s a disposable vape, a bottle of e-liquid or something else – has an expiration date on its package.

If your old disposable vape is still in its original box, you can just look for a date. If the expiration date has passed, you can still use the device but probably won’t enjoy it very much. Since you’re reading this article, though, there’s a good chance that you’ve already removed the device from its box and thrown the box away – and in that case, you’re going to need a little more information.

So, is your old disposable vape still safe to use? Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about what happens when a vape gets old.


What Happens When the E-Liquid in a Disposable Vape Gets Old?

As a disposable vape age, the e-liquid in the device undergoes changes that affect the flavor and the nicotine. We’ll discuss the changes to the e-liquid’s flavor first.

The E-Liquid Degrades as a Disposable Vape Ages

The ingredients that give an e-liquid its flavor are volatile, which means that they’ll undergo molecular changes over time. We discuss this in greater detail in our article about the expiration of vape juice. In short, though, the changes that occur within an e-liquid’s flavor components cause some of those compounds to meld together and others to degrade into new compounds. People sometimes talk about this as a sort of “mellowing,” but what’s really happening is that the individual flavor notes are beginning to degrade away. Every vape juice has a peak, and that peak is always within about the first year of the e-liquid’s life. After that, the flavor profile will slowly degrade into a sort of generic unidentifiable sweetness.

The Nicotine Degrades as a Disposable Vape Ages

Nicotine is perhaps even more volatile than an e-liquid’s flavor compounds. If you have an older disposable vape that’s still sealed in its plastic or foil pouch and still in the original box, it’s protected from air and light and will probably still have much of its original potency if it isn’t too old. If you’ve removed the device from the package, though, the nicotine will degrade very quickly – even if the device is still less than a year old. If the nicotine in a disposable vape has undergone significant degradation, you may notice that it no longer has the throat hit it once did. You may also notice a slightly bitter flavor that wasn’t there before.

In summary, while there’s no reason not to use a disposable vape that’s a little past its best-by date, it definitely won’t taste the same and won’t be as satisfying as when it was new. If you can tolerate the degraded flavor, you should expect that you’ll need to vape more often in order to maintain the same level of satisfaction.

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