How Juul made nicotine go viral
- Published on: Friday, August 10, 2018
- Juul tried to design a solution to a public health problem. It wound up creating another one.
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Read more about Juul on Vox.com: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/1/17286638/juul-vaping-e-cigarette
And listen to the Today Explained episode on Juul's marketing practices: https://art19.com/shows/today-explained/episodes/3cfdf464-8619-4ebe-a343-42458870cb77
Since the first patent in 1930, electronic cigarettes have taken many shapes. At first they mimicked the packaging and physicality of cigarettes, with a cylindrical shape and light-up tip. Then they trended toward boxier designs, with low nicotine levels and high amounts of vapor.
The Juul did things differently: it packed a high-nicotine, low vapor hit in a small, USB drive-shaped package, with a colorful range of flavors and a buttonless, intuitive design. It wasn't just a hot new e-cigarette — it was a hot new tech gadget. Now, middle schools and high schools across the US are nervous about how many kids are getting hooked on Juuls.
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