That’s not a USB they’re smoking. It’s a JUUL

Bryson Hall | PNN contributor

If you’ve seen someone on campus smoking what looks like a USB drive, it isn’t what it looks like.

They’re probably smoking the JUUL, a smaller more portable variety of e-cigarette.

Although the typical e-cig runs of off juice, the JUUL takes pods, which means it is not designed to leak. The JUUL is significantly smaller, and can be charged through a USB charger.

“The JUULS are extremely popular,” said Victor Joyner, the manager of the Sheetz off Charles Boulevard near ECU. “It wasn’t my decision to carry the JUUL in the store. That is part of the corporate plan. I’m glad we do, though, because we sell a lot.”

While the JUUL does come with obvious advantages, the device isn’t perfect.

“The only difference between Juuling and vaping is the cloud difference. If you’re doing it just for the taste and the nicotine, then Juuling is the way to go, but if you’re one of those people that care about clouds, then you should use e-cigs,” said freshman and JUUL user Chase Faircloth.

“When you exhale with an e-cig, there’s a lot of smoke, and some people care about that,” he said.

While there is less smoke with a JUUL, there is more nicotine per hit. The JUUL is designed to create the same blood-nicotine level per hit as one would get with a tobacco cigarette. This is substantially more than the average e-cig.

One similarity traditional e-cigarettes and JUULS have is the price.

“Mine was $35. A regular e-cig is also $30, but most people have nicer models that run between $60 and $200. You can buy the base model of both for about the same price though,” Faircloth said.

Those who invest extra money in traditional e-cigs care about the “cloud factor,” at least according to Faircloth.

“I think e-cigs are already dying out now. The people that care about smoke can do it, but people that just do it for the nicotine or just want to be cool probably just do Juuls,” said Faircloth. “It’s just easier to have on and it doesn’t leak as much as e-cigs.”

Hall produced this story for his fall 2017 Media Writing & Reporting class.