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JUUL Review: Updated for 2019 after Using the JUUL for Three Years

Chris Kendell
May 18, 2018

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.

Between myself and three or four of our team, we have been using the JUUL in our offices for close to 4 years now. We have also tried and reviewed hundreds, if not thousands of other vaping products, so make sure to read more below to hear our thoughts on the JUUL in 2019.

Note: Our review is based on the US version of the JUUL.

The FDA announced Jan. 2 that it will begin enforcing all Deeming Rule requirements immediately for prefilled pod- and cartridge-based vaping products in flavors other than tobacco and menthol. Products sold after Feb. 2 are subject to enforcement if the FDA has not granted them marketing approval through a premarket tobacco application (PMTA). No PMTAs have been approved for vaping products yet. The FDA guidance only applies to products sold in the United States.

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 (59mg/mL per pod) in the United States and 1.7% nicotine by weight in the EU and Israel
  • JUUL wattage: estimated at around 8 W
  • Age to buy JUUL: 21 years of age (online)
  • Availability: United States, UK (1.7% nicotine version), Switzerland (1.7% nicotine version), France (1.7% nicotine version), Israel (1.7% nicotine version), Germany (coming soon), Russia (coming soon), Italy (coming soon)
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Shipping: free when you spend $34 or more
  • Colors: Metallic Grey (standard) and Silver
  • Pricing:
      • 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 similar to a disposable vape like the Puff Bar, but instead of disposing the whole device, just the pods are discarded. Pod vapes typically only feature two components, a battery and a pod filled with e-liquid. The pod fits 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 8 flavors. Virginia Tobacco and Mint pods also come in a 3% nicotine option.

The best option to get you started is the JUUL starter kit. This kit includes, a JUUL battery, four flavors (Mango, Mint, Virginia Tobacco and Creme) and a USB charger. The kit costs $49.99 and features a one-year warranty. A pack of 4 pods cost $15.99. According to a calculator on the JUUL site, a pack-a-day smoker (based on a pack costing $6) will save $949 a year. While the JUUL isn’t the most affordable form of vaping, it is the by far the most convenient and will still be far cheaper than smoking.

Juul

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.

Juul-pods

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). If you have one of those portable JUUL chargers, the charge times will vary.

Juul

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.

The good

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.

Consistent puffs

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.

Juul_lifestyle

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.

Juul_lifestyle

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.

Accurate tasting flavors

My personal favorites include Mango, Mint, Fruit as well as Classic Tobacco. 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.

No mess

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.

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).

The bad

Limited nicotine options

One of the major selling points of the JUUL is the high nicotine strength. But there is only one option for the majority of flavors. JUUL currently only offer a lower nicotine strength (1.7%) for the Mint and Classic Tobacco flavors. 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.

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 the JUUL is only available in the United States, UK, France, Switzerland and Israel. Most of the rest of the world will have to wait to purchase the device. That’s a shame! There are lot of smokers in the rest of the world that could benefit from having access to the JUUL.

Conclusion

  • Super easy to use
  • Unmatched satisfaction for smokers (high nicotine + great performance)
  • Hits like a cigarette
  • Small size and stealth factor
  • Solid flavor profiles
  • Little to no leaking
  • Durable
  • Great customer service and warranty
  • Limited nicotine strengths
  • Limited flavors and colors
  • Limited availability outside of the US

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 beginner vape devices, the JUUL is one the best for smokers looking to make the switch to a healthier alternative. 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.

Chris Kendell is the co-founder of Vaping360. He started the website with his brother and co-founder Alex in 2014, after Alex introduced him to vaping. Chris was immediately won over by the revolutionary and potentially lifesaving impacts that vaping can have on our society. In his minuscule spare time, you can find Chris travelling and exploring new places from his base in Germany, eating delicious food and enjoying a range of different sports.
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PaulB
PaulB
1 year ago

New to Juul. I was a fairly early-adopter (like 2010) when it comes to vaping, but never chose to completely unhook from my fifty-year cigarette habit–kept it down to about five a day for about six years. Then I fell off the proverbial wagon for 2-3 years, back to full-time smoking. The Juul revolution seems to have occurred during that interval. In my first vaping stint, I never thought much of the popular over-the-counter options like Blu, so I might easily have ignored Juul. But I kept reading and hearing criticism of Juul that made it sound like a serious… Read more »

Jim McDonald
Staff
Jim McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  PaulB

Good for you, Paul! I smoked for 38 years myself. Unlike you, though, I found fruit and dessert flavors a huge help in separating from cigarettes. But to each his own, and I hope this continues to work well.

Nate
Nate
2 years ago

I’ve noticed a recent decline in customer service and extreme variation in quality control. Any tips?

David Silverman
David Silverman
1 year ago
Reply to  Nate

I tried the Fuse can’t remember name but the pods are three times the juul the battery concept was great what a hit but all the flavors n tobacco ones sucked. Too bad great e- cig.

Jeremy Mann
Staff
Jeremy Mann
2 years ago
Reply to  Nate

Hi Nate, unfortunately, there isn’t really much you can do. I too have noticed issues. For me, it’s like the flavors are inconsistent and so is the performance of the pods. The only thing I can recommend if you are having issues with the company and the product is to find an alternative brand. Is JUUL your main device or do you have a bunch of others? If so, what else do you like to vape on?

Nate
Nate
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Mann

Unfortunately just juul. They sent me a replacement which feels like it’s near impossible to hit, and some of my pods work wonderfully, and some burn. It’s very odd the liquid will be clear but you’ll see small dark brown striations forming near the inner workings after the first few hits, then comes the burnt flavor. So odd, one juul the pod wobbles in, the next one they’re tight. I’ve also noticed odd differences in the markings of the juul pods recently. If you have a suggestion toward another brand please respond to me.

Jeremy Mann
Staff
Jeremy Mann
2 years ago
Reply to  Nate

Hey again, Nate.

That sucks! And I know exactly what you’re talking about. The brown streaking in the pods I’ve noticed a lot with the Classic Tobacco. I used to love that flavor, now it just burns.

Check out this page: https://vaping360.com/best-vape-starter-kits/pod-mini-vapes/ The top product on that page — the Kilo 1K — is pretty much like the JUUL. The nicotine content, however, is a little less (45 mg vs. the JUUL which is more like 59 mg). I hope you find a solid replacement. Good luck.

Rebekah
Rebekah
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Mann

I’ve bought two other vapes. I love my JUUL- because I love the flavor of the classic tobacco.
I quit smoking & and use this every now and then. But very other vape I’ve tried (the flavor tastes like pipe tobacco) do I need to buy a new JUUL?

Jeremy Mann
Staff
Jeremy Mann
1 year ago
Reply to  Rebekah

You could of course, and your worst problem would be that you have two devices that satisfy you. Although, you’d technically only have two of one device. Still, you’d be sitting in the winner’s circle. Actually, you already are! On the other hand, you could venture out and try something new. Options are good and it helps to keep the novelty going. I’ve been really enjoying the RELX Classic, which we have featured on our Best Vapes to Quit Smoking. Several of those flavors have a cooling sensation kind of like menthol. Not all, but several. Do you have any… Read more »

Nate watkins
Nate watkins
2 years ago

Will they make a longer stronger battery plz only down fall

Judy
Judy
2 years ago

Can you bring a JUUL on an airplane?

Jodi Deziel
Jodi Deziel
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy

I agree with everything you said and the exact same thing happened to me. I have 7 juuls in a bag at my house and am so frustrated with the devices, & customer service. Which makes this even worse is the fact that they go on, & on about how it helps you quit smoking… you defiantly don’t get 200 puffs and the ingredients are the same as if we smoked a cigarette. Like I said I have 7 at home that don’t work and their policy is they only return 1 in 90 days so that’s how I have… Read more »

Jim McDonald
Staff
Jim McDonald
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy

Hi Judy, we have an article coming soon about traveling with vaping gear. The answer is yes, you can bring a vape on a plane — but you can’t USE it on a plane. It must be carried in your cabin/carry-on luggage, NOT in your checked baggage.

Estelle Billingsley
Estelle Billingsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

I started smoking when I was 10. It’s. been sixty years of smoking. My daughter got me a JUUL a month ago and I have been using my JUUL for a month with great success. I love my JUUL.

Jim McDonald
Staff
Jim McDonald
2 years ago

That’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago

New to juul and I love it. Here’s something really neat i found out as a veteran, if your active duty a veteran or first responder and create an idme account on idme.com you can get the starter kit from juul for a dollar. Go to juul.com scroll down to where it says veterans and first responders and click that the boom you got it for a dollar. It only works in your first order ever in the site.

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