Switching to vaping from smoking can be daunting and frustrating. Part of the beauty of vaping is the plethora of choices and endless customizations. However, that also brings with it countless complexities that can turn off many first-time users. You’ll face thousands of e-liquid choices in varying nicotine strengths and PG/VG ratios, various batteries, coils and tanks and at times a lack of quality options. The JUUL, by JUUL Labs, eliminates all that hassle. By combining quality technology into a modern design wtih consistent performance, the JUUL was destined for greatness.
It surged onto the market in June of 2015 and was quickly dubbed the “Apple of vaping”. Since then, JUUL has captured a staggering 50 percent market share in the United States in just under three years. Its growth and dominance have been unrivaled, and with it have come new categories within the vaping market: pod vapes and salt-based nicotine. Those who use the JUUL are commonly referred to as juulers with juuling becoming a thing in its own right. Despite increasing competition and many copycat products, the JUUL is a favorite among adult smokers in the U.S. looking to kick their smoking habit.
Note: I have been using the JUUL for almost three years now (since it came out). Here at the Vaping360 office, it’s the daily carry for many on our staff of ex-smokers. In this JUUL review you will learn what makes the JUUL so popular, and if it really is the best choice for smokers looking to quit.
Key JUUL specifications
- JUUL Sizing:
- Length (battery): 8.72 cm
- Length (battery + pod): 9.48 cm
- Width: 1.51 cm
- JUUL Pod capacity: 0.7 mL = roughly 200 puffs
- E-liquid ingredients: glycerol, propylene glycol, natural oils, extracts and flavor, nicotine and benzoic acid
- JUUL nicotine strength: 5% nicotine by weight (59 mg/mL per pod)
- JUUL wattage: estimated at around 8 W
- Age to buy JUUL: 21 years of age (online)
- Availability: currently only available in the United States
- Warranty: 1 year
- Shipping: free when you spend $34 or more
- JUUL starter kit: $49.99
- JUUL device kit: $34.99
- 1 pack of JUUL pods (4 pods included): $15.99
- Autoship pod packet price: $13.59
How to use the JUUL: a quick-start guide
The JUUL is a non-refillable pod style ecig. It’s a simple two-part design, with only a battery and a pod filled with e-liquid. The pod (with a mouthpiece attached) clicks into the battery housing and you are good to go. It’s super easy. The JUUL pods come in one nicotine strength (59 mg/mL) and in five regular flavors, plus an additional three limited edition flavors.
The best option to get you started is the JUUL starter kit. This kit includes a JUUL battery, four flavors (Mango, Cool Mint, Virginia Tobacco and Crème Brulee) and a USB charger. The kit costs $49.99 and features a one-year warranty. A four-pack of pods cost $15.99. According to a calculator on the JUUL website, a pack-a-day smoker (based on a pack costing $6) will save $949 a year. Using the JUUL auto-ship allows you to save even more. While the JUUL isn’t the most affordable form of vaping, it is the most convenient and still far cheaper than smoking.
According to JUUL, one pod is roughly equal to the nicotine content of a pack of cigarettes. This does not mean one JUUL pod is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes though. According to Public Health England, vaping is 95% less harmful compared to smoking. When comparing a JUUL to cigarettes, it only holds true for nicotine content.
One pod, depending on the frequency of usage, will last anywhere from a day or longer (you’ll get a couple hundred or more puffs per pod). The battery will not last the entire life of the pod; you will likely have to charge once a day if you frequently use it. Charging the battery takes roughly 50 minutes (last time I charged mine, it took exactly 52 minutes using the provided USB charger in a USB port on my PC).
The JUUL features a small LED that indicated the battery life. To check your battery, simply double tap your JUUL and it will flash one of three colors: green for a high level, yellow for medium, and red means the battery will need recharging soon.
Super easy to use
The JUUL couldn’t be simpler to use: place a pod in the battery and vape when you want. There are no buttons or complicated menu to navigate. Just take a hit when you want. It’s ready when you are. Once your pod is empty, remove it and replace it with a new one. Smokers will appreciate the simplicity.
The JUUL is an unassuming device. What sets it apart from other similarly sized devices is its innovative technology and performance. The tech in the JUUL works well! I’ve tried dozens of similar pod vapes but the performance of the JUUL is in a league of its own. The JUUL uses automatic temperature control, a feature typically found in bulky vape mods with complicated settings. Because of temperature control, JUUL does not produce burnt hits like some of its competition.
The JUUL uses nicotine salt-based eliquid in its pods. This “salt,” in chemical terms means the nicotine has a positive and negative charged ion which smooths out the harsh nicotine taste found in similar-looking devices. That said, you will feel it when you hit it! JUUL closely mimics the feeling of smoking — most other vape products have failed to replicate that sensation.
The JUUL hits like a cigarette
The perfect draw (inhale) on a vape comes down to preference. The JUUL provides what is known as a mouth-to-lung (MTL) draw and it’s a fairly tight one at that. This draw is similar to that of a cigarette in that you inhale first into your mouth before taking it to the lungs. This is the most familiar and comfortable draw to transition from smoking to vaping.
It's small and discreet
The JUUL is really lightweight, weighing about the same as a typical ink pen. It’s just over 14 grams with a pod installed. Fully assembled, it’s just over 9.5 cm in length and 1.5 cm wide. A cigarette is 8.3 cm in length, making the JUUL marginally larger. The small size and light weight will be in line with what smokers are accustomed to.
The JUUL is also discreet while in use. That makes it optimal for those that don’t want to draw attention to themselves. This lends itself well to vaping at clubs, bars, at the office (if vaping is allowed), and countless other scenarios where big cloud-making vapes would attract unwanted attention. Vape your JUUL when you want, but break rules at your own risk.
Accurate tasting flavors
My personal favorite pod flavors are the Fruit Medley and Cool Mint among the standard line. The Cool Cucumber and Classic Tobacco are the two I prefer the most from the new limited edition pods.
It’s difficult to describe the taste of the flavors, but they’re all fairly accurate for what they’re supposed to be. Unlike a lot of normal e-juice flavors, these flavors are not overly sweet either. That makes them easier to enjoy no matter the time of day.
Tip: I suggest trying the JUUL starter kit since it allows you to try four of their flavors.
The JUUL is mess free! You won’t have to worry about leaking or spilling any eliquid. As I will discuss later in the tips and tricks section (located after the verdict), the JUUL pods and battery have evolved over time. In the earlier versions, the pods had issues with leaking. That has all been fixed now. The mouthpiece now has cotton pads that prevent liquid from entering the mouth, and the bottom of the pods resist leakage from the battery connection.
The JUUL battery is only 200 mAh which means it will need frequent charges. Heavier usage may require one or two charges per day. The small size of the device can only accommodate a low-capacity battery. That said, there are pod devices with larger batteries, but the JUUL seems to last longer than many of them. It’s just more efficient across the board. Again, this comes down to the innovative tech and chip the JUUL uses. Luckily, there are aftermarket JUUL charge cases that will allow you to charge your JUUL on the go so you won’t be tethered to a USB outlet.
Customer service and warranty
The JUUL comes with a one-year warranty and their customer support has a solid reputation. Read on any vape forum or social media platform and see customers’ feedback of JUUL support is quite positive. That said, I have not had to use it in the three years I’ve been a JUUL user.
The JUUL is a solid little device that can take a beating. I’ve dropped mine and even thrown them around on countless occasions and despite the wear and tear, they’ve kept on working. Out of the 10 batteries I’ve owned over three years, only one died (and I was able to bring it back to life — which I will discuss in the tips and tricks section).
One nicotine strength
One of the major selling points of the JUUL is the high nicotine strength. But there is only one option. For those transitioning away from cigarettes, this will hardly be a concern. The issue is that some users would like to step down their nicotine consumption after leaving cigarettes behind. To do that with the JUUL, you’d have to cut back use. Only time will tell if JUUL will offer lower nicotine options.
Limited flavor and colors
This was more of an issue in previous years, but it’s still a fair critique of the JUUL. There aren’t many color options and there isn’t a long list of flavors to choose from. It seems that JUUL is aware of the need for more flavor and color options because they’ve recently released limited edition colors (like navy blue and gold), and a few different flavors have recently been added. As an avid user of the JUUL, more flavor options would be a godsend!
Limited availability outside the US
Currently only available in the United States, and recently the JUUL made it to Israel. While it’s a good thing that it’s now available somewhere else besides the US, there are a lot of smokers in the EU and the rest of the world that could benefit from having access to the JUUL. However, I can speculate on the JUUL coming to the U.K. in the near future since they are hiring U.K. positions on their website. Rumor has it that JUUL Labs representatives were spotted visiting British vape shops and handing out samples to retailers.
JUUL tips and tricks
- JUUL Party Mode: to unlock the JUUL party mode, after taking a hit you simply need to wave your JUUL from side to side. By doing this the JUUL LED will create a rainbow-like effect with different flashing colors.
- Get a stronger hit: If your JUUL is not hitting as strong as it should, try shaking your JUUL pod slowly from side to side to remove any air bubbles that may obstruct the wick from absorbing liquid. If that doesn’t do the trick, try squeezing the mouthpiece of the pod and watch as the bubbles float to the surface. That will fully saturate the wick if the bubbles obstructed it.
- Tighten up the draw: By placing your fingers over the window it will slightly restrict the airflow and thus make sure the air is going through the pod and nowhere else. This will provide a much stronger hit, similar to the first hit of a fresh pod.
- Charge dead battery for 60 seconds to get 10-15 extra hits: if your battery is completely dead and you can’t wait for a full charge, simply charge your JUUL for one minute. This will provide you with another 10-15 smaller hits, without having to wait for the device to be fully charged.
- Charge in your pocket: Given the JUUL’s limited battery capacity, you will find yourself charging it once or twice a day (depending on usage). Consider purchasing a portable JUUL charger and never worry about charging again. To learn more head over to our JUUL chargers piece. Alternatively, purchase some extra JUUL batteries.
- Make your JUUL unique: if you want to add some additional style to your JUUL, in the form or wraps and stickers make sure to have a look at our JUUL skins and accessories guide.
Where to buy a JUUL
After deciding to get a JUUL, you will want to know where to buy one. There are many fake JUULs and clones on the market, so I suggest when purchasing a JUUL to only do so from their website. Avoid ebay and Alibaba as they are littered with fakes and clone products. If you need a physical location, there is a handy JUUL locator on the JUUL site where you can locate a JUUL near you.
JUUL troubleshooting guide
JUUL not hitting at all or producing weak hits
If your pod is producing vapor, but not as much as it was when the pod was fresh, then please refer to the tips and tricks section above which will help solve this issue.
If your pod is not producing any vapor at all this could be due to multiple reasons. First and foremost make sure your battery is charged. To check your battery life, double tap your JUUL and check the colored LED light. A red light will indicate you need to charge your device. If your JUUL is still not working this could be due to the pod contacts not connecting properly with the battery. Over time there will be a build up of condensation at the bottom of the pod and in the top of the battery. This can be also caused by leaking through the bottom of the pod, if you have perhaps squeezed the pod too much or have hacked and re-filled the JUUL pod (which can cause serious leaking). To solve this simply remove your pod and get a cotton swab or tissue and clean any excess condensation or e-liquid from the bottom of the pod and from inside of the top of battery unit. Once dry and clean, your JUUL should be up and running again.
If the above doesn’t help, you might have to go the extra mile and remove the battery and clean it. To remove the JUUL battery simply push a thin blunt instrument into the bottom of the JUUL battery (where the charging contacts are). Now push the battery slowly and it should start sliding upwards and out of your device. There is a rubber attachment on the top of the battery unit to stop leaking entering the battery compartment. You can pull this rubber cover off and if you notice any residue or e-liquid, simply clean it up with a cotton swab or piece of paper towel. You might also want to check the inside of the now hollow casing and clean up any residue that could be on the inside. When I attempted this the first time, there was considerable residue on the battery top and inside the casing. Once dried and cleaned, my “dead” JUUL was alive once more! (Note that this does not seem work with the navy blue JUUL, as the battery is very firmly in place.)
If none of that works, contact JUUL support in order to receive a replacement for your defective device. For more info on how to contact JUUL support check out the support section below.
JUUL not charging
If your JUUL isn’t charging, the first thing to try is to use a cotton swab moistened with isopropyl alcohol and clean the charging contacts on the battery and also on the charging unit itself.
Secondly, some JUUL users have had success with using a magnetized object and rubbing it against the JUUL charger on all sides of the battery device. I’m not sure how, but this can sometimes fix the issue of the JUUL not charging.
Another way to clean the charging contacts, if the cotton swab doesn’t work, is to use a paperclip to gently scrape the contacts clean. Sometimes the magnets will attract metal dust, which block the contacts from connecting with the charger.
JUUL support and warranty claims
If your JUUL isn’t working, first check out our troubleshooting guide and tips and tricks above, which might help fix any issues you are having. If you are still having issues, contact JUUL support and their customer service team will help.
How to contact JUUL support
- Online support: the first option is to contact them using their support section on the website. You’ll first be asked a few questions with some possible solutions being offered. If these don’t help, you can fill out a replacement request form or submit a support ticket.
- Live chat: by going through the support portal, JUUL also provide a live chat from Mon-Fri 9am-5pm PT (Pacific Time).
- JUUL support telephone number: you won’t find the JUUL support phone number on their website, but by calling “1 855-509-5885” (during business hours) you will get straight through a customer service rep.
- Twitter: another way to contact JUUL is to send them a direct Twitter message. Apparently, they are very responsive on their Twitter page.
The JUUL currently only comes in three colors. Keep an eye on our website for new colors that may come out in the future. If you find other JUUL colors that are not listed below, be careful — they could be fakes!
The graphite is the original JUUL color and is currently the only color that can be purchased as part of the JUUL starter kit.
The navy blue is a limited edition color and the second color to be released by JUUL. It can currently only be purchased as a device kit (battery + charger).
Limited Edition JUUL Colors
The blush gold is a limited edition JUUL color and can only be gotten hold of when signing up for three months of the JUUL auto shipment program. For more information read more about the benefits of the JUUL autoship program.
JUUL versions (V1, V2 and V3)
The JUUL hasn’t officially been updated and there is no mention of different versions on their website, there have been some minor changes over the past few years. While there may have been other changes, these are ones I have managed to spot after comparing devices and pods over the past three years. These changes have in my opinion contributed to improved performance and quality and have ironed out some of the original kinks. In general, the JUUL of today performs better than the original from 2015, and there are far fewer issues with leaking and charging.
JUUL battery versions:
V1: charging contacts at bottom of battery were 4 circles; cut out at the top of charger in shape of a diamond (weight = 12g)
V2: charging contacts at bottom of battery were 4 circles; cut out at top of charger in a hexagonal shape (weight =12g)
V3: charging contacts changed to four larger rectangular shapes; cut out still in a hexagonal shape (weight = 12.4g)
V4: Navy Blue battery (battery almost impossible to slide out)
JUUL pod versions:
V1: Diamond cut out shape
V2: Hexagonal cut out shape; addition of absorption pads in the mouthpiece to prevent leakage and spitback
If you have a V1, or V2 you can try and have JUUL send you a replacement with a newer version.
- Super easy to use
- Unmatched satisfaction for smokers (high nicotine + great performance)
- Battery life (compared with similar devices)
- Hits like a cigarette
- Small size and stealth factor
- Solid flavor profiles
- Little to no leaking
- Great customer service and warranty
- Only one nicotine strength
- Limited flavors and colors
- No availability outside of the U.S.
If you’re a smoker and have already tried unsuccessfully to switch to vaping, you owe it to yourself to try a JUUL. Out of the countless JUUL alternatives I’ve tried, the JUUL is one the best vapes for smokers looking to make the switch to a healthier alternative. It’s easily the best product I know of to help smokers that want to retain the hand-to-mouth action of smoking. It’s super simple to use, it’s small and discreet, and it tastes good too. Don’t give up on quitting, just try a better way.