In recent years, disposable vapes have exploded in popularity, and with their combination of convenience, ease of use and affordability, for many people, they have quickly become the vaping method of choice.
They are also great products for retailers since they don’t require expert knowledge, and they don’t take up lots of shelf space like all the paraphernalia related to traditional vaping kits.
However, just because disposables are available to buy somewhere, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to buy them there – and to explain why, in this post, we answer the question, can you buy disposable vapes in gas stations?
Do Gas Stations Sell Disposable Vapes?
If you’ve visited several gas stations recently and paid attention to the availability of disposable vapes there, you may have noticed that while some carry them, others don’t.
However, the short answer to our central question is yes, you can buy disposable vapes in gas stations – but not always.
But why is this? There are several reasons, which we’ll cover in the rest of this post – so let’s jump right in and get started.
What affects the availability of disposable vapes in gas stations
There are several factors that can affect whether gas stations offer disposable vapes, and together, these explain why a particular gas station does or doesn’t carry them.
1. Local laws
The most important factor that determines whether a gas station carries disposable vapes is local laws – since they won’t carry them if they’re not legally allowed to, and this trumps all other considerations.
Laws governing whether gas stations are allowed to carry disposable vapes vary at state, county and even city level, which is a major reason why some gas stations carry them while others don’t – and why this varies from place to place.
2. Corporate policies
As well as local laws, another factor is corporate policy within gas station chains.
As part of the franchise agreement, certain gas station chains allow franchisees to sell vapes while others don’t.
For example, Shell allows franchisees to sell vaping products according to local laws while Exxon doesn’t, even in areas where sales are permitted.
Chevron is another chain that permits the sale of vaping products if the local laws allow, and Sunoco’s policy is also similar.
This means if you’re a vaper who buys your disposables at gas stations, you need to learn which chains carry them and which don’t.
3. Insurance concerns
Many insurance policies require the sale of tobacco and vape products to be disclosed, and deciding not to sell them may lower the premium.
As a result, some locations may decide that selling these products is not likely to be profitable, and as a result, they make the decision not to carry them.
4. Decisions based on the specific gas station
Finally, it can also come down to factors pertaining to the individual gas station.
Considerations such as clientele, shelf space, reliable age verification and other similar factors can all play a role in determining whether a gas station manager decides to offer disposable vapes in their location.
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What Gas Stations Sell Disposable Vapes?
|Gas Station Chain
|Sells Disposable Vapes?
|Varies by location based on local regulations and franchise owner discretion.
|Availability of disposable vapes depends on individual store policy.
|Franchise owners decide whether to sell disposable vapes.
|No overall company policy, so disposable vape sales are a local store decision.
|Many locations carry disposable vape brands like Puff Bar and Hyde.
|Disposable vapes available at many stores, but varies by region and jurisdiction.
|Tend to sell major disposable vape brands at locations where allowed by state/local law.
|Depends on the individual store’s management and local regulations.
|Pilot Flying J
|Some locations sell disposables, but policies are determined store-by-store.
Gas stations that sell vapes near me
To find gas stations that sell vapes near you, search online directories below. Filter by location and “vape shop” or “tobacco store” categories. You can also call or visit local gas stations directly to ask if they sell disposable vapes. Availability varies greatly by region.
What Vape Sold At Gas Stations?
Even in gas stations where you can buy disposable vapes, the selection is likely to be a lot different compared to the range of products you’d be able to buy in a dedicated vape shop – and there are a couple of reasons for this.
1. The Big Tobacco distribution model
The first reason is related to Big Tobacco and the way the major tobacco companies have long dominated how tobacco is sold.
Not everybody may realize this, but major tobacco companies control which products are sold in many gas stations and how they are sold.
The tobacco companies often have agreements with gas station chains forcing stations to carry their products – and even obliging them to display the products on the most prominent shelves.
Gas stations may be tied into relationships with these companies, meaning in return for following the companies’ rules, they can buy tobacco products at cheaper prices.
The tobacco companies may then also control to a certain degree which vaping products are available because gas stations often use the same suppliers for their vaping products, and these suppliers will then push vaping products made by Big Tobacco companies.
As a result, your choices may be limited, and Big Tobacco-produced vapes tend to be more old-fashioned and less enjoyable to use – since, after all, these companies don’t want smokers to switch to a product that means they are more likely to quit smoking.
2. Quickly evolving market
Another factor affecting the products gas stations carry is how quickly the market for vapes evolves.
Gas stations are set up to buy regular orders of the same product – like traditional cigarettes – but the disposable vape market is so fast-moving that the most popular product one month can easily be replaced by something new the following month.
Gas stations simply can’t keep up with this kind of fast-paced change, so even if you do find disposables in a gas station, you’re unlikely to find the latest brands, models and flavors.
Why gas stations should only be your backup option
Despite the issues we’ve outlined above, it might make sense for gas stations to carry disposable vapes where they are permitted to do so since they seem like just the kind of product gas stations can shift in good numbers, especially as more smokers switch to vaping.
After all, like cigarettes, disposable vapes are single-use, short-term, self-contained products that you use, discard and then replace – just like a pack of cigarettes.
But there are a couple of reasons why this is not the case.
1. Shelf space and changing trends limit choices
Due to the limited shelf space and the ever-changing fashions and development of new products, the range available in a gas station is likely to be extremely limited – especially when compared to what you can find in a proper vape shop.
This means that while you might be able to find basic models from some of the most popular brands such as ELFBAR, Puff Bar or Vuse (the latter being a Big Tobacco product) in a gas station, you won’t have nearly as much choice.
As a result, other exciting brands such as the up-and-coming Spiritbar, producer of the exceptional Jack’s Flask 9000 puffs, a luxury disposable vape that offers users up to 9,000 puffs of top-quality vape juice, are unlikely to be represented in such locations.
But there is an even bigger problem.
2. Counterfeit products
Other than tobacco distributors, gas stations also rely on the kind of distributors that sell cheap phone chargers and the like.
These distributors are also likely to offer vaping products – and there’s a high likelihood that these products will be fakes.
And this should concern you for several reasons.
Counterfeit vapes won’t contain genuine vape juice, so the flavors are unlikely to be anywhere near as good as the real thing – and they may not contain as much juice as they advertise.
Worse, though, is that fake products aren’t subject to the same stringent checks and controls as genuine ones, so you don’t know what you’re inhaling into your lungs.
So by buying a fake vape, you’re not only more likely to end up with a sub-standard product that doesn’t taste good, but you’re also putting yourself at risk of vaping something that may contain chemicals that are harmful to your health.
As a result, we advise buying all your vaping products from reputable vape shops and turning to gas stations only as a last resort if your vape runs out when the vape shops are closed, you’re craving your nicotine hit and you have no other option.
Better to buy in a dedicated vape shop
A much better idea is to plan ahead and buy your vaping products in a dedicated vape shop – and there are many good reasons for doing so.
First, vape shops are far more likely to carry a much wider range of products, allowing you to sample different vapes – such as the aforementioned Jack’s Flask from Spiritbar and its sister product, the Katana BP10000, vapes that you are currently unlikely to find in a gas station.
Second, the products you find in a proper vape shop are guaranteed to be genuine, ensuring that the juices you buy will be high–quality, extremely tasty and – above all – safe to vape.
Finally, vape shops are usually staffed by highly experienced individuals who are likely to be keen vapers themselves and who will be able to help you with any questions or queries you have.
They will be on hand to recommend new products and ensure you buy the right vapes for your needs, whether that means high-quality disposables or more the advanced vaping kits preferred by more dedicated vaping aficionados.
You can buy disposablse in gas stations – but it’s best to stick to vape shops
So as we’ve seen, while you can sometimes buy disposable vapes in gas stations where local laws and other factors permit, it’s generally better to buy them in dedicated vape stores, for reasons we’ve explained.
If you’re desperate for a vape and have no other option, it’s still ok to head to a gas station as a quick fix – but it’s much more advisable to head to your local vape shop for the greater selection of high-quality, genuine vape products they offer.