Juul, the company behind a controversial US vaping device, is worth $16billion. Now it’s bringing its revolutionary technology to the UK…


In case you didn’t know, regular cigarettes contain ammonia. This is the chemical that allows nicotine to be absorbed into the lungs and brain at insane speeds. It why cigarettes produce that ‘satisfying’ hit. Put simply, ammonia is to nicotine what crack is to cocaine.


Vaping devices, on the other hand, produce vaporised nicotine. In other words, pure nicotine, that isn’t ‘turbo-charged’ with those nasty chemicals. Hence why vaping can’t replicate that ‘satisfaction’. Or at least, it couldn’t – until two product design graduates invented Juul.


In three short years, Juul has captured 70-percent of the American vaping market and is one of the fast-growing tech companies in the world. Its current value? A mind-boggling $16billion. Last year, Juul’s sales grew by 800% as millennials in the US swapped ‘vaping’ for ‘juuling’.


Juul’s founders, former smokers James Monsees and Adam Bowen, started developing the device back in 2012. Their goal? To improve the lives of those who puff the toxic stuff by coming up with something as ‘satisfying’ smoking.


While big tobacco pumped millions of dollars into making vaping devices look like a cigarette (complete with glowing tip) Juul created a product that behaved like a cigarette. Their secret? Vaporising nicotine with nicotine salts. These salts allow the nicotine to be absorbed into the body almost as quickly as the nicotine in a regular fag.


Now, Juul has become a victim of its phenomenal success – particularly amongst American teens, who, critics say, are getting hooked on cucumber-flavoured nicotine before they even graduate high school. Worse, say critics, young vapers wowed by its millennial social media marketing aren’t aware that Juul delivers a serious punch of nicotine (said to be three times as strong as a regular cigarette).


For its part, Juul says its committed to preventing the use of its products by minors. Meanwhile, it racked up a billion dollars in sales in a single 12 month period. It’s even set its sights on Europe and recently launched an online store in the UK.


The European version uses the same magical chemistry, but its nicotine pods are restricted to 20mg/ml, the maximum allowed by EU law. Is it really the holy grail of headrushes? For £24.99, you can find out for yourself.