Brief History of JUUL

The evolution of vaping

Much has changed since the emergence of the modern day vaping culture that originated in UK and Europe from roughly 2015, which then spread to USA, and then finally to the Middle East and South Asia since the year 2017 onwards. The industry has evolved from cigarette-style disposable e-cigarettes, to the bulky but customizable box mods, to vape pens with refillable tanks, to JUUL (sleek and easy to carry), to now disposable vapes. However, even though disposables are now trending in the market since they are the easiest to carry, use-and-throw, with absolutely no leak issues, JUUL still continues to be a major player in spite of a falling market share within the e cigarette categories.

Why is JUUL so well known?

James Monsees and Adam Bowen, both graduates of the design program at Stanford University, started a brand named Ploom in 2007 in San Francisco, USA, which was later named Pax Labs (with its product named ‘PaxVapourizers’. Then in 2017, Pax Labs was renamed as JUUL Labs and the brand JUUL was born. In the beginning phase of JUUL, the brand’s social media image as a trendy, cool, and young brand, coupled with ease of use and sleek nature appealed to many smokers and vapers, young and old. The fact that JUUL emerged when the competition was dominated by bulky devices that were not so ‘cool’, enabled it to capture a significant share of the vaping population. However, its shortfall was that it also converted many young people into vapers who were not necessarily smokers. Surely though, JUUL had no intention of catering to this young audience but rather to appeal to adult smokers as an alternative to combustible cigarettes.

JUUL and its controversies

JUUL went through a series of controversies for popularizing vaping among teenagers, and in USA ultimately it stopped any social media activities, and eventually even the sale of its popular fruity flavours (for example Mango which was the most preferred flavour). In end of 2018, the company Altria (basically Phillip Morris in USA), bought a 35% stake in JUUL for $12.8 Billion. As of July 2022, JUUL is valued at just $450 Million, which at some point was as high as $38 Billion. The brand has expanded internationally to reduce its dependence on just one market and to capitalize on international popularity. The brand in now officially available in Canada, UK, Austria, France Germany, other European countries, Russia, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines, and Israel.

The JUUL of today

JUUL is without doubt the most popular vaping brand in the world currently and its popularity is very much noticeable. Once can visit popular cities such as London, New York, Paris, Dhaka, Kathmandu etc. and one is bound to come across as adult JUULing on the streets or in one of the restaurants. All shops that sell conventional hookah/shisha tend to sell vapes as well, and if they sell vapes they mostly also sell JUUL. There is an issue of authentic vs fake JUUL products in some areas, and hence it is recommended that one buys from a credible vape supplier such as STOP. Since fruity flavours are no longer available in the USA, they are often imported from Canada and Russia. An important trend is that while JUUL is the most popular vape brand in the world, its dominance is no longer that stark. Other disposable vape brands like IGET, Elf bar, Puff Bar, Yuoto, Freeton etc. are catching up and are seeing a fast increase in acceptance. With JUUL continue to remain the number one vape brand globally in 3-5 years – yet to seen, but unlikely unless JUUL evolves with time.


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