PAX Labs (yes, the company that makes the PAX 2 and PAX 3 herbal vaporizers) surprised everyone when they took the e-cigarette market by storm with the release of their Juul pod vape in 2015. And the device’s near immediate success spurred the launch of a completely new company, simply named Juul.
The Juul vape is a slim, rectangular, draw-activated vape pen. One of the Juul’s most enticing features is its pre-filled closed-system pods that use a new kind of nicotine that mimic the effects of a cigarette: salt nicotine. When this new device was released, smokers suddenly had access to a simple and convenient cig-a-like–style vape pen that was easy to use and satisfying. Word quickly spread through North America that the Juul was the best and most effective vape for transitioning from cigarettes.
However, underneath all the past and current hype, the Juul pen carries a good number of negatives that aren’t often discussed (and I’m not referring to the bad media related to Juuling teens). I’m talking about the extremely limited battery power (200mAh), restricted selection of e-juice flavour and nicotine strengths/types, and the fact that a pack of Juul pods costs significantly more than a bottle of e-liquid with the same capacity.
But it seems that those cons have been consistently overlooked, and instead people tend focus on the Juul device’s convenience and portability, the potency of its pods, and the attractiveness of its name brand.
North of the U.S. border, people were desperately trying to figure out where to buy Juuls in Toronto and other parts of Canada. Because of their pre-filled nicotine salt pods, any large shipments of Juuls headed north would be stopped and held by customs. However, since Canada began allowing the import of nicotine e-liquid from the U.S.A. in 2018, distributors and retailers have been able to receive and sell Juul devices and Juul pods.
Because of the high consumer demand and rapid change in legislation, the market for the Juul e-cigs in Canada was quickly snatched up by eager retailers looking to provide for their customers’ needs. Saturation of the Juul diffused throughout the remainder of the industry thereafter.
But there are still some shops who refuse to carry the Juul kit. Perhaps this is based on teen Juuling craze perpetuated by the media, or the fact that closed-system pod vapes really are less cost effective than open-pod systems. Regardless, it seems that some businesses have rejected the Juul outright for moral reasons, even though they may be missing out on a large piece of the vaping pie.
So what is does the future look like for the Juul vape? As pod vapes have been seemingly accepted into the mainstream vaping industry, even by experienced vapers, they’re likely to stick around. However, with pending federal and provincial legislation around the corner, will the Juul, specifically, survive? According to the media, the Juul is to teens what cigarettes were to their parents. But does that mean we shouldn’t make them available at all when they could be effective in helping people of legal age transition away from combustion? Not necessarily. If the governments are able to see Juuls and similar closed-pod devices as the tools they are, and are help to further prevent them from getting into the hands of minors, we may see a further decline in the number of smokers in Canada.