Published On: 2023-07-26
e-cigarette latin america

The popularity of electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes, has been on the rise worldwide as a potential alternative to traditional tobacco smoking. In recent years, a specific subset of e-cigarettes known as disposable e-cigarettes has gained significant traction, especially in Latin America. This region has witnessed a surge in the use of disposable e-cigarettes due to various factors existing in this particular area of the world. What is the market for disposable e-cigarettes in Latin America?

This article aims to explore the key causes for customers choosing disposable e-cigarettes in Latin America, shed light on the characteristics that make these devices appealing to a wide range of users in the region, and show obstacles that can come with this specific device. By examining the unique landscape of disposable e-cigarettes in Latin America, we can gain valuable insights into the shifting preferences and trends in the vaping industry.

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It is important to note that disposables are still important customer products in the e-liquid industry, however, the biggest concern lands on their negative impact on the environment (compared to other vaping products). Thus, we must explore both sides of this particular vaping sector.

The ECigIntelligence’ report identified and analyzed disposable e-cigarette markets in Latin America. To start we have to note what a disposable e-cigarette exactly is.

What is a disposable e-cigarette?


A disposable e-cigarette is a self-contained vaping apparatus that is designed for single use and discarded after the e-liquid or battery is depleted. It comes pre-filled with e-liquid and has a built-in battery that cannot be recharged, unlike reusable e-cigarettes that have a possibility recharging of batteries and the opportunity to change the e-liquid for the liking of the user.

Disposable e-cigarettes are typically designed to mimic the look and feel of traditional cigarettes, with a mouthpiece, a heating element (coil), and an indicator light that activates when the user takes a puff. They are often compact, lightweight, and easy to use, making them a convenient option for individuals looking for a hassle-free vaping experience.

However, once the device is used and the e-liquid is consumed, users dispose of the entire unit and replace it with a new one. This process creates a significant obstacle – the amount of discharged devices brings an issue about environmental contamination which will continue to grow in upcoming years with a big probability of new legislation coming to life to reverse this movement.

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Latin America – rapidly growing region in a disposable e-cigarette use

Latin America is experiencing significant growth in the use of disposable e-cigarettes, with different tendencies observed across various countries within the region. In Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, there has been a notable rise in the adoption of disposable e-cigarettes. These countries have witnessed an increasing number of users attracted to the convenience and ease of use offered by disposable e-cigarettes. Additionally, changing social norms and a growing awareness of the potential health risks associated with traditional smoking have contributed to the popularity of these devices.

Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have also seen a surge in the usage of disposable e-cigarettes. One of the primary drives behind this trend is the presence of strict regulations on tobacco and vaping products in these markets. Disposable e-cigarettes provide an accessible alternative for individuals who are seeking a discreet and socially acceptable way to satisfy their nicotine cravings. The disposable nature of these devices also appeals to users who do not wish to invest in reusable e-cigarettes due to money issues coming with a single purchase, or deal with the complexities of refilling e-liquid or recharging batteries.

Paraguay and Venezuela have witnessed an increasing demand for these devices due to their convenience and the absence of persisting smoke. Disposable e-cigarettes offer an alternative that aligns better with the norms of society in these regions, where traditional smoking is often subject to strict regulations and stigmatization.

Below you can see the graph showing an increase in use of the disposable e-cigarettes as a primary device from 2021 to 2022 in Latin America.

What are the key points that are driving the growth of disposable e-cigarettes across all the countries in Latin America?

Disposable e-cigarettes offer optimized vaping experiences and cater to customers’ preferences while also addressing regulatory challenges in restricted markets. Key factors that drive customers to choose disposable e-cigarettes include their convenience, optimized vaping capabilities, and accessibility in markets with stringent regulations. 

These compact devices are highly sought after due to their convenience. They come pre-filled with e-liquid and are ready to use right out of the box, eliminating the need for refilling or charging. Users can simply inhale and enjoy the vaping experience without the hassle of maintenance. The compact size and lightweight nature of disposable e-cigarettes also make them easily portable, allowing users to enjoy their vape on the go.

Disposable e-cigarettes are designed to provide an optimized vaping experience. They often feature advanced technology and built-in components that enhance flavor and vapor production. These devices utilize high-quality coils and offer different nicotine strengths to cater to varying preferences. By focusing on the vaping experience, disposable e-cigarettes strive to replicate the satisfaction of traditional smoking while minimizing potential health risks.

Disposable e-cigarettes have gained popularity in markets with strict regulations on traditional smoking and vaping products. In Latin America, where certain regions have imposed restrictions on tobacco and vaping products, disposable e-cigarettes serve as a viable alternative for smokers looking to transition or reduce their tobacco consumption. The discreet nature of these devices and the absence of lingering smoke make them appealing to those seeking a more socially acceptable option.

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Disposable e-cigarettes in Latin America: what influence the customer’s choice?

Disposable e-cigarettes offer a range of characteristics that influence customers’ choices. These factors significantly impact the decision-making process for users in Latin America. The report highlights aspects such as flavor, price, and capacity of the device, law restrictions, and puff count versus battery power.


As it comes to flavor the possibilities seem to be endless and the availability and quality of flavors play a crucial role in customers’ choices. Disposable e-cigarettes offer a variety of aromas, including fruit flavors, beverage options, cooling mint flavors, and traditional tobacco. The ability to choose from a wide range of appealing flavors enhances the overall vaping experience and allows users to find their preferred taste.

flavour preference vape latin america

When it comes to Latin America the key factor which influences customer’s choice is fruit-based flavor. In its sub-category major choice falls on berry and tropical aromas which contribute to more than 58% of preferred fruit extracts. Then melon (11%), exotic (9%), stone (8%), and some fruits (6%) follow – closing with citrus (4%) and other flavors (1%) in this category.

After flavor choice falls between beverage (8-13% of choices) with mainly alcoholic drinks, cola, and energy drinks flavor or a different soda taste; and a cooling effect (primarily with the use of mint or menthol) where preference ranges from 7 to 10%. All countries in Latin America prioritize beverage taste to cooling effect except Argentina – where the preference of customers shows to be 20% for cooling and 10% for a beverage of all disposable e-cigarette purchases.

When it comes to tobacco flavor, all countries are inclined to select tobacco (85%) instead of cigar flavor (15%).

Overall, in the whole vaping market e-cigarette aromas allow users to personalize their vaping experience, catering to their individual taste preferences. The availability of diverse and appealing aromas enhances the enjoyment of vaping and contributes to the overall satisfaction of users.

Whether users prefer a familiar taste or are interested in exploring new and exciting flavors, the wide array of e-cigarette aromas provides an enticing and dynamic aspect to the vaping experience. If you want to deepen your knowledge about a vast range of e-cigarette aromas you can check our informant and database of concentrated flavors here.

chemnovatic flavour vape aroma

Price and capacity

A distinct factor influencing customer choice would be the ratio between the price and capacity of a disposable e-cigarette. According to the report, an e-liquid capacity can range from 1.2ml to as high as 20ml, but most of the produced ones stay in the 4.1 to 5ml range.

The report states that the average price for a total category is $3.41 per ml and $17.05 per unit price with a 6.5ml average capacity.

Also, items with big tank capacities are increasingly entering the market as a result of the lack of regulation in the category and the global trend of growing e-liquid capacity of disposables, which ultimately raises the price per unit of these items. But taking into account the limited purchasing power of consumers in these marketplaces devices with lesser capacity are more popular because they are less expensive.

Law restrictions

The law restrictions pertaining to disposable e-cigarettes vary across countries in Latin America. Here are some of the most important law restrictions for the following countries:


In Argentina, the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes and related products are subject to restrictions. E-cigarettes containing nicotine are classified as medical products and require authorization from the National Administration of Medicines, Food, and Medical Technology (ANMAT) for commercialization.


Brazil has stringent regulations on e-cigarettes. The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) prohibits the import, commercialization, and advertising of e-cigarettes, including disposables. The sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes is not allowed, and their importation for personal use is also prohibited.


In Chile, the law prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and restricts the advertising and promotion of these products. E-cigarettes containing nicotine are considered tobacco products and are subject to tobacco control regulations.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health regulates the importation, commercialization, and use of e-cigarettes. Selling e-cigarettes to minors is prohibited, and advertising restrictions apply.


In Colombia, the Ministry of Health oversees the regulation of e-cigarette products. The ones containing nicotine are subject to specific labeling requirements, and advertising restrictions are in place to prevent targeting minors.


In Mexico, the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes are restricted to individuals 18 years and older.   E-cigarettes containing nicotine are classified as tobacco products and are subject to labeling requirements and advertising restrictions.


In Paraguay, e-cigarettes are subject to importation controls, and their sale to minors is prohibited. Also, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare oversees the regulation of these products.


Peru regulates the sale and use of e-cigarettes, including disposables. The Ministry of Health controls the importation, commercialization, and use of these products. E-cigarettes containing nicotine are considered tobacco products and are subject to tobacco control regulations.


In Venezuela, e-cigarettes are subject to labeling requirements, and advertising restrictions apply. Additionally, the Ministry of Health regulates the importation, commercialization, and use of these products.

Puff count vs. battery power in disposable e-cigarettes

The battery power does not increase in the same manner that the puff count does since the relationship between the two properties is not linear. This is because most disposable versions with big e-liquid capacities have charging capabilities, allowing users to continually recharge the batteries and consume all of the e-liquid.

In the case of a smaller-capacity disposable e-cigarette, the battery lasts enough time to use the e-liquid fully which drives customers to get smaller-sized disposable devices.

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Latin America’s vaping markets in comparison: leaders, potential, general tendencies


The report displayed the quick rise in popularity of disposable e-cigarettes is a global phenomenon brought on by practicality, accessibility, and an improvement in the vaping experience. Disposables were present in all markets in 2021, and as US patterns greatly influence Latin American markets, their popularity increased dramatically in 2022.

The ECigIntelligence report identified 5,618 disposable e-cigarettes across nine countries. The most saturated markets are Brazilian, Mexican, and Venezuelan. The room for growth is left for Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru. As it goes for Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina, the advancement in these countries seems to be much slower.

Since Brazil and Mexico are already developed disposable markets, it can anticipate a slower rate of expansion in those two nations than in the majority of the other countries under study.

The expansion of the disposable sector in other nations could start with the availability of these products for purchase in conventional retail locations like convenience stores and gas stations. This has already been noticed in Colombia and Paraguay, and in fact, Colombia is assumed to have the greatest increase in Latin America’s disposable e-cigarette market over the coming several years.

Additionally, the emergence of some local disposable businesses with roots in Brazil, Colombia, and Paraguay suggests that Latin America may decide to move towards building a local disposable e-cigarette market in the next years, increasing competition with pricey, imported goods.

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Challenges on the way – concerns for the disposable e-cigarette industry


The growth of the disposable e-cigarette market in Latin America faces certain concerns and obstacles due to law restrictions in various countries. In Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, the regulatory landscape surrounding e-cigarettes can present challenges for market entry. Strict laws and regulations govern the sale, distribution, and advertising of these products, with varying degrees of restrictions across the region.

These regulations often include age restrictions, limitations on nicotine content, labeling requirements, and advertising bans, making it crucial for companies to navigate the complex legal framework to ensure compliance. The stringent nature of these restrictions can pose significant obstacles for businesses seeking to enter the disposable e-cigarette market in Latin America, requiring careful adherence to local regulations and close cooperation with regulatory authorities.

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The problem of underage users

One of the significant concerns for the growth of the disposable e-cigarette market in Latin America is the regulation and prevention of underage use. In several countries within the region, there may be a lack of effective mechanisms to check and restrict the purchase and use of these products by underage users.

Insufficient age verification systems and limited enforcement of age restrictions pose challenges in preventing minors from accessing and using disposable e-cigarettes. This raises concerns regarding the potential impact on public health and the need for strong measures to prevent youth initiation and protect vulnerable populations.

Thus, it becomes crucial for regulatory authorities and industry stakeholders to collaborate in implementing stringent age verification protocols and promoting educational campaigns to raise awareness about the risks of underage vaping.

Environmental issues regarding the disposable e-cigarette market

Disposable e-cigarettes, by their nature, contribute to increased waste generation due to their single-use design. The improper disposal of these devices, which often contain batteries and electronic components, can pose environmental risks if not managed properly.

Additionally, the production and disposal of e-cigarette cartridges and packaging materials contribute to the overall carbon footprint of the industry. As the market expands, it becomes crucial for manufacturers and consumers to prioritize environmentally friendly practices. This includes promoting recycling programs, encouraging the use of biodegradable materials, and developing sustainable disposal solutions. Otherwise, the growth of a disposable e-cigarette market may face the obstacle of the enforcement of law restrictions.

Vaping Industry in Latin America: the chances for a successful business

With all the information provided, the disposable e-cigarette market in Latin America seems to be prospering well due to factors such as the wide range of flavors, competitive pricing, e-liquid capacity, and adherence to law restrictions which significantly influenced customer choices.

Vape markets in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela are leading the growth; with Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru following the trend. A considerable space for growth in the market is left for Costa Rica, Chile, and Argentina.

However, the challenges persist, particularly concerning the spread of underage users and the environmental impact of disposable e-cigarettes. The trend of enforcing law restrictions will likely continue.

How can Chemnovatic help your business to start and grow?

Before entering the market it is good to still consider both disposable and reusable e-cigarette options

Whatever the final choice will be for new companies entering the vape market, Chemnovatic provides all materials needed for the development of any vaping product – starting with base materials like pure nicotine, glycol (PG) and glycerin (VG), flavor aromas, and production itself of e-liquids.

Additionally, Chemnovatic provides a vast spectrum of services for private labels like:

  • recipe development,
  • labeling,
  • laboratory tests & analysis,
  • regulatory consultations,
  • registration services,
  • graphic design and branding.

Chemnovatic offers the expertise, resources, and support needed to capitalize on opportunities and achieve success in this dynamic and evolving industry. Thanks to our company’s comprehensive assistance and specialized services, businesses can thrive and expand their presence in the vaping market and achieve tremendous success.

We have been in the vape and e-liquid sector since 2013. Dozens of customers have trusted us and we have launched over 200 products and brands. Use our resources and experience and together we will earn your success.

Contact us at: and let’s talk about your challenges and numbers!


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