Juul ($JUUL) is absolutely smoking the competition. The tobacco product's maker probably can't be knocked off by any competitor. 

Our first image maps out where you can buy Juul and its flavored nicotine pods - just about anywhere you can find a traffic light in America right now, you can find a gas station or a bodega - and you can find Juul there, too. 

However, Juul is also getting itself into hot water - some lawmakers are out to ban flavored vapes. Juul CEO Kevin Burns had to make a public appearance to basically say, 'Don't use Juul, if you're not already a smoker.' And Buzzfeed broke the story that the company is sharing user info with a public relations firm. Still - Juul is super popular, and our first chart tracks its Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) Likes Count. It reflects a 4.5% increase in likes - at a time when many consumers are disengaging from other brands on the social network - to nearly 14,000.

Still, Juul is a $38 billion giant that counts investors like Tiger Global and Fidelity among its backers. Because analog tobacco company Altria ($NYSE:MO) owns a whopping 35% stake, it's not likely that Juul will shoot for an IPO debut any time soon, the way so many other tech startups have done that are eager to take advantage of hungry investors eager to buy into new offerings. 

Look at our chart above - Juul's LinkedIn ($NASDAQ:MSFT) Employee Headcount has grown 140% in 2019 alone. Juul's Wikipedia page says it has 1,500 employees, but that figure stopped being relevant a long time ago. 

And Juul won't stop growing any time soon - our final chart tracks Juul job postings, which have risen nearly 50% so far this year. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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