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May 27, 2019 2 min read

San Francisco-based e-cigarette company Juul makes headlines left and right due to its explosive surge in popularity (especially among teenagers) and market share.

Even after the company was forced to shutter its social media presence while the FDA investigated concerns that Juul was promoting underage use of tobacco products, Juul continues to prove popular with rising sales and affectionate nicknames, such as the "iPhone of vaporizers."

But what exactly is Juul, and is it safe to use one? Here are all the details you need to know about Juul.

What is it?

Juul is like many other e-cigarettes, but with a couple caveats that set it apart. First, this vape is sleek and hardly noticeable: It's USB-drive design can be enclosed in the palm of a hand, and it doesn't produce a massive plume of vapor like some other e-cigarettes. Second, the nicotine content in its cartridges or "pods" set a new precedent for the e-cigarette market.

E-cigarettes work by converting liquid nicotine into a vapor that the user inhales. They're battery operated and intend to provide a similar stimulus to that of smoking regular cigarettes.


Juul is small and discreet

Portland Press Herald/Getty

Developed by two former smokers, Juul's mission is to "improve the lives of one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes." One way the company encourages the switch from cigarettes to Juul is with their Juul calculator, where people can estimate how much money they'd save if they used a Juul instead.

How does Juul compare to other e-cigarettes?

Juul's high nicotine content used to be an anomaly in the e-cigarette market, but now researchers note it seems to be the rule. After Juul's surge in popularity, other e-cigarette manufacturers began bumping up the nicotine content in their products.

Juul uses a closed system, which means users can't refill the pods themselves, a helpful factor for quality control.  Some e-cigarettes, such as the Suorin Drop, use open systems that allow users to refill the vape themselves with bottles of e-liquid or e-juice.

Juul's small size, compact design and minimal plume make it more discreet than many other brands. With no buttons or switches -- just disposable, snap-on cartridges -- Juul is simple, and its built-in temperature regulation prevents you from experiencing a "dry hit." Dry hits occur when vape cartridges get too low on liquid or when they overheat, and produce a burnt taste and throat irritation.


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