The Crazy Cost Of Vaping On Closed Pod Systems Like The JUUL

First Reason To NOT Buy Any Closed Pod System: The COST

Most of you already know the price of JUUL pods. But did you ever try and compare the real cost of vaping on a JUUL kit with another closed Pod System? Did you then try and do the same thing but with what you (could) pay by using an open Pod System?

This is what we’re going to do in this article… and more.

This article contains NO affiliate links nor ads.
Its only goal is to try and inform you.

This is NOT a clickbait title. At the end of this article, you’ll realize that the true cost of vaping on closed Pod Systems, especially using the JUUL (pods) is indeed crazy compared to the cost of vaping on open Pod Systems. So, that’s absolutely the correct adjective to describe this situation.

This is the first article of a mini-series (or just two articles, we’re not sure yet) meant to give you ALL the reasons, and explaining, why we should never buy a closed Pod System. Be it a JUUL kit or any other. And why, if we’re interested in acquiring one, we should purchase an open Pod System with refillable pods (or an All in One, Box Mod etc… kits) instead.

These articles will not be anti-Pod Systems articles, though. They will demonstrate how closed Pod Systems have in fact nothing better to offer than (good) open ones. And that, therefore, if you like Pod Systems, you should buy open ones with refillable pods instead.

As evaluating the cost of vaping, even succintly, demands a quantitative demonstration, this argument needs to be developed a bit more than (most of) the other points we’ll discuss in our future post(s).

So, this will be a standalone article in which we’ll exclusively address the cost of vaping on, and using, closed Pod Systems with sealed pods vs. open Pod Systems with refillable pods.

[NB: Yes, since they have replaceable coils, by using AiOs or Box Mod kits you’ll spend even less… let alone if you vape on RBAs (if they’re Mouth To Lung RBAs and not DTL RDAs, for example, as the amount of e-liquid you get through with these is quite significant). But we wanted to concentrate on Pod Systems as it’s the main focus of our series of articles which are essentially meant for people new to vaping or simply vapers that use closed Pod Systems.]

This first article will focus on the most obvious argument against closed Pod Systems: COST.

Thus, in this post, we’ll discuss and reveal the true cost of vaping on closed Pod Systems. [We’ll use the JUUL kit and UWELL Yearn (with sealed prefilled pods) as examples]. And we’ll compare it with the true cost of vaping on an open Pod System.

[NB: If you don’t know exactly know what a Pod System is, you can read this article explaining it as well as the other (Mouth To Lung) vaping devices, their similarities, differences etc…]

Now, how is a closed Pod System different from an open Pod System? It’s simple. Basically, the difference is that closed Pod System (like he JUUL) pods are sealed and must be thrown away when empty. Whereas an open Pod System supports refillable pods. So, you can thus refill them with the e-liquid of your choice as long as the coil inside these refillable pods is functioning properly. That’s it.

And if we address the cost of vaping using (open and) closed Pod Systems, how could we not speak about the crazy price tag associated with the use of a JUUL kit and JUUL pods, right? Though we won’t only speak of JUUL.

So, we will compare the cost of vaping using a recent closed Pod System (the UWELL Yearn* –review–) and, then, the JUUL to the average cost of vaping on a good but open Pod System.


*[NB: You can now buy refillable pods for the UWELL Yearn, making it both an open pod system (incidentally, the second best of them all, only behind the Vaporesso Degree) and a closed one. Therefore, using the UWELL Yearn will allow us to use the exact same device for calculating both the average cost of vaping on closed Pod Systems and on open ones. This will give more weight to our argument and show that the true cost of vaping on closed Pod Systems is almost exclusively due to the use of prefilled pods… and that they could easily be refillable pods instead].

E-liquids for closed Pod Systems (in sealed pods) and, sometimes, the actual device themselves, are way overpriced. 

It can get to a point it can be said to be ridiculous, or even crazy, like with the JUUL (pods).

So, and again, to demonstrate this, we’ll give two examples of closed Pod Systems and compare them to the average cost of vaping on an open Pod System.

So, prepare yourself to be shocked and let’s get started.

– The Cost Of Vaping On The UWELL Yearn (with sealed/closed pods)

You can now purchase refillable pods for the UWELL Yearn. But it wasn’t the case when it was launched. Plus, you can still buy pre-filled sealed/closed pods… If you’re crazy enough to do so, that is.

Still, as we know the device, it’s easier for us to speak about it and calculate the cost of vaping on it.

On UWELL’s own website, the sealed/closed pods are priced at $9 for 2 pods or $17.40 for a variety pack of the 4 flavors available.

1 pod containing 1.5ml of e-liquid (this is pretty average for a Pod System), it means you pay $4.35 for each pod or each time you vape 1.5ml of e-liquid [or about $29 for 10ml of e-juice (4 pods) and $2.17 for 0.75ml, about what you get in a 0.7ml JUUL pod].

$29 for 10ml of e-liquid is clearly overpriced. Even if we take the cost of the pods into account.

Although, if we strictly compare the price of the UWELL Yearn Pods to JUUL pods, it’s a very good deal. They cost almost the same as JUUL pods and yet, they contain more than twice the amount of e-liquid.

But keep on reading.

– Open Pod System Cost Of Vaping (UWELL Yearn With Refillable Pods)

As mentioned above, you can now purchase empty refillable pods for the UWELL Yearn. So, it’s now an open Pod System too. What will be the cost of vaping on it if we use these new empty but refillable pods?


You can find them for $9.99 the pack of 4. UWELL is selling the same pack for $14.99 on its website. That’s just greedy. But that’s why they went the closed pod system route with the UWELL Yearn in the first place, right? Greed. (This is one of the other points we’ll discuss in the future article-s we spoke about in our intro).

So, one empty refillable pod will cost you $2.5.

As 1ml of e-liquid bought in a(n online) shop costs on average $0.5 ($15 for 30ml), you need to add $0.75 each time you fill a (1.5ml) pod.

Knowing that you can fill an average pod about 7 times, the total cost of vaping during the lifetime of the refillable pod will be:

2.5 + (7 x 0.75) = 2.5 + 5.25 = $7.75 (amount of e-liquid vaped: 10.5ml).

Now, what would have been the cost of buying 7 closed pods (also 10.5ml of e-liquid, then) for the UWELL Yearn?

7 x 4.35 = $30.45!

About 4 times more!

I think you now understand how badly closed Pod Systems are overpriced.

But wait, you wanna be amazed (or shocked if you’re one of their users)?

Let’s quickly calculate the cost of vaping on a JUUL.

– JUUL Kit Cost Of Vaping

The device itself is overpriced and costs between $35 to $50. Compared to between $15 and $30 max for an open Pod System (the UWELL Yearn costs less than $15 without pods. You can even get the pink one for $12). Plus, it uses a $6 proprietary charging port and USB charger. There’s no small profit, right?

Anyway, the price for a pack of 4 JUUL pods is $15.99. So, one JUUL pod costs 15.99/4 = $4.

A JUUL pod contains 0.7ml of e-liquid. Yes, less than half what contains a Yearn Pod (refillable or not).

So, what this means is:

– To compare with the e-liquid quantity (1.5ml) of the pods above.

You pay 4 x (1.5/0.7) = 4 x 2.14 = $8.56 for each 1.5ml of e-liquid you vape.

– So, while with an open Pod System (like the Yearn is now thanks to its refillable pod option), you pay around $7.75 for 10.5ml of e-liquid vaped (7 fillings of a pod), you’d need to pay JUUL 7 x 8.56 = $59.92.

$60 for the same amount of e-liquid!!

About 8 times more than for an open Pod System!

Now, prepare yourself for being truly stunned, maybe appalled.

Cost Of Vaping Over A Year On Each Type Of Devices (Sealed Or Refillable Pods).

– With an open Pod System

Over a year, at a conservative rate of (the equivalent of) 1 JUUL pod a day (let’s say 0.75ml instead of 0.7 to make it simpler for now), vaping on an open Pod System (still the UWELL Yearn) with refillable pods will cost you:

As you can fill its 1.5ml pod a total of about 7 times, if we take the 0.75ml amount as our baseline for daily consumption, you’ll need to change the pod every 2 weeks.

There’re 52 weeks in a year, so it would mean we’d need to buy 26 pods.

26 x 2.5 = $65.

To this, we must add the e-liquid we’ll also need.

So, $0.75 (cost of 1.5ml of e-liquid on average) divided by 2 (to get the cost for 0.75ml, about the amount of e-liquid in a JUUL pod) x 365 = $136.875.

So, let’s say $137 per year.

We could add the cost of the device itself, and do the same for the next two examples, but you’ll see it won’t be necessary to demonstrate a clear difference in the cost of vaping on these devices.

– With a closed Pod System

Now, the exact same device, the UWELL Yearn, but this time with sealed, prefilled pods:

A pod would last you 2 days. So, you’d need 183 pods for a year.

183 x 4.35 (price of one pod pre-filled with e-liquid) = $796!

So, let’s say $800/year.

More than FIVE TIMES the cost of vaping on an open Pod System… with the exact same device.

This is already a clear rip-off.

True cost of vaping on JUUL-kit-with-pods-Closed-Pod-System-Vaping-device-Electronic-cigarette-724px-cropped
Image credit: Fair_Expert on Wikipedia under the
Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Commons License

Now, let’s see the cost of vaping on a JUUL kit over a year.

– With the JUUL kit

It’s simple you take the price of a pod and multiply by 365 (we should add the price for 0.05ml x 365 = 18.25ml of e-liquid and pods too. We don’t think it’s necessary to prove our point but we’ll do it below, still.)

4 x 365 = $1460!

Almost ELEVEN (11) TIMES what you’d pay with an open Pod System.

If we add the 18.25ml of e-liquid to make it a fair and truthful comparison. It climbs up to 26 (the number of JUUL pods necessary to make 18ml of e-liquid) x 4 + 1460 = 104 + 1460 = $1564!

More than 11 times what you’d pay with an open Pod System (here, UWELL Yearn with refillable pods).

We don’t even know how to call that. This is beyond a rip-off, it’s just CRAZY.

You see, we didn’t exaggerate in our title. This wasn’t a clickbait title at all, just the bare truth.

No wonder JUUL (JUUL Labs Inc.) is a multi-billion-dollar company. No wonder they, if still under warranty, can give a JUUL device if it’s not working properly anymore, almost no questions asked. This is peanuts compared to how much money they actually make from their customers over the lifespan of the device.

We say that time is money but that’s what these 15s at most of so-called convenience (additional time it takes to refill a pod system instead of finding a new JUUL pod, replacing the old one and throwing it away) really cost “you”.

So, are you really willing to pay $1500 (or even $700) a year for 15s a day? Does the convenience of not having to refill a pod worth that much to you?

And you know what? If we take more factors into consideration, are closed Pod Systems really more convenient than open ones, in fact? What else, besides being crazy overpriced, makes them completely inferior?

We’ll discuss this and much more in our next article(s) on this topic.

Speaking of convenience, here’s an important point:

To mitigate this crazy cost, some JUUL users try and buy cheaper compatible, unofficial pods which, like JUUL’s, are made in China.

Wouldn’t this mean that they don’t buy the JUUL kit for the flavors of the e-liquids in its pods, then?

Some actually go to the length of disassembling their JUUL pods and refill them (till their coil expires and produce dry hits… which happens very quickly after a low number of refills with JUUL and most closed Pod Systems).

Where’s the convenience, there?

And how does it make sense to buy a JUUL kit if you’re going to the trouble of dismantling its pods… to refill them? Why not simply buy a way cheaper, better performing open Pod System that is actually built and meant for this?

Voopoo Alpha Zip Pod Kit – Similar design… but better in every way than the JUUL

If you really like the JUUL, stick Pod System, form factor, check the Voopoo Alpha Zip Pod Kit out (link to our review. The following links will lead you to our reviews of these devices as well).

It has the same shape, but more refined and is better than the JUUL kit in every way.

If you want something even smaller, in the form of a true cigarette, you could be interested in the Innokin I.O (review), the “cigarette 2.0”.

Something even more unique, with a Caliburn-like loose draw, a great build quality and made of 2.5D toughened glass? That’s the iJoy Neptune.

You don’t care much about design and want something simple with a big battery and top notch performance? The UWELL Crown is for you.

Or simply the best Pod System right now? Then, check out the Vaporesso Degree.

Maybe you want the Supercar Of Pod Systems?

Even if we are picky and demanding (you’ll see that in our MTL Reviews and MTL Vaping News Sections), there are many options and fantastic devices out there. Don’t limit yourself to a crazy overpriced (if we take the actual cost of vaping with it) and passably performing device.

In our next article(s) on this topic, we won’t focus on the JUUL kit, at all.

We’ll barely even mention it. We don’t want to center the discussion around JUUL. We want to speak about all the drawbacks and disadvantages closed Pod Systems in general have compared to open ones.

So, we’ll discuss many factors demonstrating the clear inferiority of closed Pod Systems without being too brand-specific.

That’s it. We hope this article gave you a better idea of the true cost of vaping with an open Pod System, a closed one and… The JUUL. It’s indeed a closed Pod System, but it’s in a category of its own.

Now you can read our next article of the mini series on the 10 Reasons Why NOT To Buy Any Closed Pod System: The Truth About The 3 Benefits To Use Closed Pod Systems

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