If you have or know someone in college or early 20s, then you’ve probably heard of “Juuling.” But what is a Juul? Is it a vape? The short answer is yes, Juuling is absolutely a type of vaping. But, the longer answer is a bit more complicated and it includes my personal opinion. Keep in mind, I am in no way bashing Juul products when bringing up this question. Juul has been a miracle device for countless smokers out there; it has saved lives. But in comparison to other vape devices, I would put Juuling on the “low end” of true vaping. (For what it’s worth, Juul also does not seem to consider its products vapes, as evidenced by its tagline “The Smoking Alternative, unlike any E-Cigarette or Vape.”) Technically, a Juul produces vapor in a similar way to a box mod or any other electronic device. We are all still inhaling vapor instead of smoke, tar and crazy amounts of chemicals.
In my opinion, the Juul acts in a way similar to a cig-a-like device. You know, the ones you can get at local gas stations? Juuling, like e-cigs, include pre-filled juice cartridges, and produce a restricted MTL (mouth to lung) draw. They are very tiny in size like an e-cig and do not provide vapor production like you would see in a regular higher wattage box mod. There are no coils to replace, and no wicking or cotton replacement needed. (Most vapers know what I’m talking about.) Essentially there is absolutely no upkeep when using a Juul device. With this comes a hassle-free alternative to smoking cigarettes. But, where is the fun? Out of all the Juul’s characteristics, the main one to consider is the lack of flavored e-juice options. Juuling gives the user only a handful of flavor options. There are thousands of flavor combinations out there that us vapers take advantage of on a daily basis.
That being said, the Juul does have several advantages to a “normal” vape. For one thing, the Juul is both portable and stealthy, making it great for traveling or going out to bars and clubs. Furthermore the Juul has an excellent warranty, and Juul Labs will generally replace your broken Juul with no questions asked. The Juul is also extremely simple to use, and the USB charger is easily usable with commonly carried items such as a laptop or iPhone charger. Basically, when it comes to pure convenience, the Juul is hard to beat.
But one area the Juul truly suffers in is the availability of compatible e-juice. Many vape shops do not even carry the Juul “pods” that contain the e-juice. These pods need to be replaced when one runs dry of e-juice. Of course you can purchase them online easily, but that would mean you need to think ahead and order them before you run out. With the popularity of the Juul booming, however, I’ve also found it difficult to buy pods at places that carry them. Oftentimes they are sold out. That could be another downside of being a Juuler. Vape shops have regular e-juice readily available for a “typical” vaper.
I would almost consider a Juul to be the second generation of the cig-a-like. It has much more in common with a cig-a-like than a box mod. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. A Juul works for many ex-smokers and provides the nicotine they are craving in a way they are accustomed to. The draw on a Juul mimics that of a traditional cigarette. There lies the reason a Juul is a saving grace for so many people.
A regular box mod with a rebuildable tank on top provides a more enhanced vaping experience than a Juul will. Sure, some smokers do not desire any “experience” and a Juul is best for the.) But, not only do you get to choose your most desirable flavor and nicotine level, but you are able to have a hands-on experience. A few ways to personalize your vaping style using a vape mod, unlike a Juul, include:
- Choosing a box mod from among hundreds.
- Adjusting the settings on that mod to fit your preferences
- Choosing a tank (pre-made sub ohm, RTA, RDA, RDTA)
- Figuring out if you are a MTL or DL vaper
- Choosing an e-juice (from thousands of options) and nicotine level (0 to 36mg)
- Maintaining the tank, which includes putting coils inside and wicking (replacing cotton to freshen up the flavor of the e-juice)
I have to say the products the vaping industry is coming out with now are better than they have ever been. There is no comparison in flavor that you get from a fresh wicked box mod/tank to that of a pre-filled Juul pod. The flavor of a real e-juice in a real vape crushes that of a Juul system, in my opinion. But, it comes down to what suits your needs. But the existence of the Juul ensures there is something on the market for every vaper, from beginner to advanced. For many vapers it is a whole fun and unique experience to maintain a device, an experience that they very much enjoy. For others, devices like a Juul, cig-a-like and vape pens – with no maintenance requirements – work better for them. To those people, I would say the same as I would to an advanced vaper… If it works, it works! As long as you able to quit cigarettes (and save your life!) it does not matter what you use.
So, Juuling is vaping…in its own way.