The Rise and Fall of JUUL
Posted on 05 May 2021
What is the JUUL
The JUUL is a closed pod MTL e-cigarette originally introduced to the market by Pax Labs. The JUUL has 200 mAh battery power, and can be recharged using a JUUL specific charging dock. It’s compatible pods contain 0.7ml of e-liquid in either tobacco or menthol flavour. The pods are available in 1.5% 3% or 5% nicotine. Available in either slate grey or silver, it’s sleek design made it a popular choice among younger vape users.
The History of JUUL
The JUUL is perhaps one of the most well known e-cigarettes in North America, accounting for roughly 70% of the U.S e-cigarette market at the height of its popularity. JUUL labs, originally called Ploom, was founded in 2007 by James Monsees and Adam Bowen with the intention of providing smokers a less harmful cigarette alternative. The company didn’t have much success with their first device, the Ploom Model One Vaporizer, due to the limited nicotine delivery that it was capable of. In 2011 the Ploom brand was sold to Japan Tobacco International and the Ploom executives renamed the company Pax Labs after the popular Pax Vaporizer which had quickly gained a following among cannabis users. Pax Labs continued to develop their e-cigarette technology and in 2014 discovered a formula that enabled them to increase the nicotine levels of their e-liquid to 5%. Less than a year later Pax Labs introduced JUUL to the market with a cross country advertising campaign heavily focused on social media ads and glamorous parties. JUUL sales skyrocketed, selling more than 1 million units in 2017, prompting Monsees and Bowen to start JUUL Labs, a company independent from the former Pax labs. Under the supervision of former Pax Labs CEO Tyler Goldman, JUUL continued to gain popularity as its own brand. Goldman left JUUL Labs later that year and was replaced as CEO by Kevin Burns. In 2018, amid a mounting pile of lawsuits against the company for its negligence in preventing underage nicotine use, JUUL continued to grow, accounting for just over 70% of the e-cigarette market in America and valuing the company at around 16 billion dollars.
New JUUL CEO
In late 2019 JUUL CEO Kevin Burns resigned from his position and the company hired big tobacco executive K.C Crosthwaite as his replacement. Some JUUL employees were left confused by the decision, finding themselves suddenly working alongside a representative from the industry they had previously opposed. Mr Crosthwaite definitely had a big job in front of him as the new JUUL labs C.E.O, on top of the mounting pile of lawsuits against the company for misleading advertisements and poor prevention tactics against the sale of JUUL to minors, JUUL was facing a new scandal following several vaping related deaths in connection to black market cannabis vape oil.
In mid 2019 the CDC began receiving reports of lung injury in teens and young adults. There was some speculation at the time that the lung damage was being caused by nicotine e-cigarettes given the correlation between teen vape usage and reported lung injury. Based on their suspicion the CDC and FDA named this new disease EVALI (E-cigarette and Vaping Associated Lung Injury). However, later that year in december 2019, this study provided the research that indicated nicotine e-liquid was likely not the cause of EVALI. Current research suggests EVALI is caused by vitamin E acetate commonly found in black market cannabis vape liquid. In fact, the New York Times reported in late 2019 that those who purchased cannabis vape oil from illicit or black market sources were nine times as likely to develop EVALI compared to those who used regulated cannabis oil. Unfortunately for JUUL these findings did little to improve their public image. After years of marketing to youth and non-smokers, as well as intentionally misleading information about the addictive quality of nicotine, the public had lost faith in the once industry leading company. Mr Crosthwaite has announced publicly that JUUL will be making every effort in the future to win back public trust, taking steps that include electronic ID scanning at retail locations to prevent youth from purchasing their products, as well as a ban on fruity flavours which a survey showed to be popular among highschool students. For now the future of JUUL is uncertain.
Alternative option to JUUL
As JUUL labs focuses on regaining the trust of the community, there is another device available for adult smokers who want to switch to vaping. STLTH is a great alternative to the JUUL device. STLTH is a MTL device that functions similarly to JUUL, however it is designed and manufactured in Canada, so users can feel confident that it lives up to Canada’s strict health and safety standards for vape products. It also offers a longer battery life than the JUUL with 420mAH, and a standard USB charging port. STLTH pods are available in the three JUUL equivalent nicotine levels, and with 58 flavours STLTH users have significantly more options than JUUL users when it comes to flavour selection. The best thing about STLTH however is the official co-brands listed on their website. STLTH teams up with reputable e-liquid brands to create STLTH compatible pods in some of the most popular e-liquid flavours, and thanks to the co-brand list, STLTH users never need to worry about whether their pods are coming from a reputable brand, putting all our minds at ease.