Pod Vape History

Several years after the introduction of the first e-cig in 2003, early e-cig enthusiasts started hacking off-shelf e-cig devices to increase the performance, create more vapor, add more power, and improve the battery life. Over time, the focus of many hardware manufacturers seemed to be on more power (i.e., 200W +mods and .2Ohm coils) and big clouds. While more strength and sub-ohm resistance on the atomizers allowed for much better flavor transfer, many x smokers weren’t looking to create massive vapor clouds, and didn’t want to figure out watts, ohms, and voltage – they were merely looking for a way to stop smoking and for a simple vaporizer to help them with this goal.


Pax Labs changed everything in 2015 with the introduction of the JUUL. No story about this would be complete without looking back to Pax Labs’ first e-cig/vape – introduced in early 2010 called the Ploom Model One (Ploom was also the name of the company back then). The Ploom Model One was revolutionary, but unfortunately, it had a ton of design problems, including using butane vs. a battery, pods that produced very little vapor and thus very little nicotine, and a mouthpiece that would often fall off at inopportune moments.

Ploom changed its name to Pax Labs and eventually set out to conquer the tobacco vaporizer market. They took a different approach to almost all leading companies in the vape industry at that time; as most were releasing the latest high-power mod or sub-ohm tank, Pax Labs looked to solve a fundamental problem – how to increase the conversion rate of smokers to vapers who were trying vaping for the first time. To do this, they looked to resolve two issues – improve design simplicity and nicotine uptake – making a product more akin to what smokers used, thus facilitating a shift from smoking to vaping.

Pax Labs introduced the JUUL on June 1, 2015, without a lot of fanfare. The device featured a sleek design, no buttons, and an atomizer contained inside the disposable Juul pods. The pods also had .7ML of eLiquid with the newly introduced Nicotine Salt eLiquid in 4 flavors at 5% Nicotine or 50MG – more than enough to give smokers the satisfaction they were missing from traditional combustible cigarettes and a much more rapid kick than open system vaporizers.

JUUL started getting a lot more traction when Vapor Shark, based in Florida, pushed JUUL to it’s 160+ retail outlets. JUUL gave independent vape shops a new tool to offer customers looking to make the switch from smoking to vaping. It also became a favorite for existing vapers who were looking for a more discrete device. The device allowed them to vape at home, at work, or in other locations where blowing big clouds of vapor might cause concern or not be allowed.

By 2017, JUUL was a runaway hit – at both independent vape shops and a network of over 15,000 convenient stores. JUUL was so popular that Pax Labs was having a lot of trouble keeping up with the production necessary to meet demand; retailers were frequently out of stock. It was inevitable that the highly competitive vape industry would take notice and soon many hardware companies were developing and releasing a new generation of closed system pod-mods as well as next-gen low wattage mouth-to-lung (MTL) open system devices.

Open system e-cigarettes, which are sometimes called “Pod Vapes,” are entirely reusable and utilize refillable e-liquid. Open system e-cigarettes often have a smoother draw and a more powerful e-cig battery, which means that it will last longer when fully charged. Open system e-cigs are also more environmentally friendly since you don’t have to dispose of the pod every time it runs out of e-liquid.

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