How Juul made nicotine go viral

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  • 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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    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.

    By Design is a Vox video series about the intersection of design and technology. We’re investigating how human decisions on one end of creating something affect people on the other. Watch here: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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  • Vox
    Vox  1 months ago +439

    Design shapes trends in ways that are almost invisible to us, unless you look closely. That's what we're doing with By Design, a new Vox series produced by Christophe Haubursin. Check it out:

    • White Blogger Black Specs
      White Blogger Black Specs  1 months ago

      +Jesse Lewis it's a stimulant

    • Jesse Lewis
      Jesse Lewis  1 months ago

      Nicotine is not a carcinogen

    • White Blogger Black Specs
      White Blogger Black Specs  1 months ago

      Smoking smells, but at least you won't look dorky dying of lung cancer

    • Bryson Gainey
      Bryson Gainey  1 months ago +1

      Juul has a high nicotine content because they do not produce a lot of vapor.

    • EyeAmBatman
      EyeAmBatman  1 months ago

      Brad R.. mg/ml is not measured as a percentage, that makes no sense...
      Also a cigarette on avg has 12mgs of nicotine, where the hell did you get 1 -1.2% from?... lol

  • kik kon
    kik kon  yesterday

    "We need to change how we bury the dead"........

  • Jackson Bonner
    Jackson Bonner  2 days ago

    Who snitched

  • Andy Cheng
    Andy Cheng  2 days ago

    bRo LeT mE hIt YoUr JuUl BrO jUsT oNcE bRo I’vE nEvEr JuULeD iN mY liFe BrO

  • Anthony Zastoupil

    Your last line doesn’t make sense. There are zero negative health effects from vaping. It’s been around for 20 years and I’m sure there are people who have been doing it for 20 years. Where’s their cancer? Oh wait, they don’t have cancer, because vaping is perfectly healthy.

  • Caitlin Smith
    Caitlin Smith  3 days ago +1

    I remember back in 2012 and 2013 when I thought I was a cool 19 year old and had a hookah 😂 I always made sure to buy nicotine-free though. At least I was “smart” about it.

  • Just Jacey
    Just Jacey  3 days ago

    Am I the only one that can hit a juul and... idk... not be addicted to it? I just like the clouds, it’s like bubbles but for adults😂

  • Isak Nordqvist
    Isak Nordqvist  3 days ago

    just do snus instead

  • Falafel
    Falafel  3 days ago

    Kids will do anything people tell them not to. The last generation smoke cigarettes and this one vapes. One kills millions and the other has no reported deaths. Yes nicotine is addictive but so is caffeine. At least people are only getting nicotine and not the additional 2000+ chemicals from a cigarette.

  • KeyToSaraBe
    KeyToSaraBe  5 days ago

    Im 22 I've never heard about of juul it's interesting

  • Magnus Kovacs
    Magnus Kovacs  5 days ago

    This made me wanna buy a Juul.

  • Rhino Alestorm
    Rhino Alestorm  5 days ago

    My grandma has a Juul.

  • Sparkle Dust
    Sparkle Dust  5 days ago

    Juuls are garbage get a real mod

  • Sparkle Dust
    Sparkle Dust  5 days ago

    Nobody even calls them “e-cigarettes” anymore

  • MisterZ3r0
    MisterZ3r0  7 days ago

    Nicotine isn't harmful or addictive in the way public health officials claim. It may even be beneficial to the brain and act as a cognitive enhancer. Don't just buy into the bullshit, look into it yourself. Cigarette smoke contained over a thousand different chemicals, they never studied each of these molecules in isolation and chose nicotine as the boogeyman. Later studies revealed that Nicotine wasn't the addictive component in cigarette smoke, and they still don't know.

  • TFG_ 85
    TFG_ 85  7 days ago

    Interesting but i don’t smoke

  • TFG_ 85
    TFG_ 85  7 days ago

    Why is this in my recommendations

  • jbmp1390
    jbmp1390  8 days ago +1

    Way to jump on the e cigarette hysteria bandwagon vox. How about stating some facts instead? Like the fact that nicotine itself is no more addictive or dangerous than caffeine. And having alternatives to traditional tobacco cigarettes that contain only nicotine rather than the thousands of other chemicals contained in cigarettes is a good thing. Anyone who actually knows how cigarettes are made and how they work chemically knows that they are not addictive because they contain nicotine. They are addictive because they contain a cocktail of several thousand other chemicals and are engineered in that way to be addictive. Any smoker will tell you that an e cigarette is nowhere close to an actual tobacco cigarette. The feeling is totally different. That's why plenty of smokers can use an e cig and still want a traditional cigarette afterwards. Nicotine is not a public health hazard and we need to stop putting forth that narrative and allowing people to be uninformed. Just like people are never going to stop using caffeine, they're never going to stop using nicotine either. I think it makes a lot more sense for people to have access to a smokeless, pure nicotine alternative rather than just regular cigarettes. It's just nicotine, these products are no different than nicotine gum and lozenges for God's sake. Stop it with the hysteria and misinformation.

    • Jeff Wooldridge
      Jeff Wooldridge  5 days ago

      It's about time someone in the comments section knows what they are talking about. Amen brother

  • Anonymous thanks
    Anonymous thanks  8 days ago

    Ah Ty EU for banning Juuls

  • Centeur Achilles
    Centeur Achilles  8 days ago +2

    Nothing . And I mean nothing worked when I tried to quit smoking . I used to smoke a pack a day for 10 years. I tried other forms of vaping devices with regular eliquids. I never got the same feeling and i switched back to regular tobacco cigerattes. Then I tried JUUL. And everything changed. I was about to directly switch to JUUL without no withdrawals, anxiety or physical withdrawals. Although I understand why JUUL is made to look evil because they are attractive to kids. I believe JUUL is a life saver for young adults and adults who are in high risk of diseases related to smoking tobacco.
    Something tells me , that the tobacco industries are proactively trying to remove JUUL like vape products off the market simply because tobacco industry is finding out that their time is up.
    Another thing, when i quit smoking.. I realized it wasnt only the nicotine i WAS addicted to. it was other chemicals in it as well. JUUL should give options to their users for lowering their nicotine and weening off of the addiction. Only then will every adults and teens be able to beat the nicotine addiction totally.
    Another thing about nicotine salt is that it is different from nicotine..